Field of Shadows: The English Cricket Tour of Nazi Germany 1937

Field of Shadows: The English Cricket Tour of Nazi Germany 1937

Dan Waddell

Adolf Hitler despised cricket, contemplating it un-German and decadent. And Berlin in 1937 used to be now not a time to be going opposed to the Fuhrer’s needs. yet scorching at the heels of the 1936 Olympics, an enterprising cricket enthusiast of huge bravery, Felix Menzel, by some means persuaded his Nazi leaders to ask an English crew to play his motley band of part-timers.

That group used to be the gents of Worcestershire, an ill-matched staff of mavericks, minor the Aristocracy, ex-county cricketers, wealthy businessmen and callow schoolboys – led by way of former Worcestershire CC skipper significant Maurice Jewell. Ordered ‘not to lose’ via the MCC, Jewell and his males entered the 'Garden of Beasts' to play unofficial try out suits opposed to Germany.

Against a backdrop of repression, brutality and sporadic gunfire, the gentlemen battled searing August warmth, matting pitches, the ability and crafty of Menzel, and competitors who didn't constantly adhere to the legislation and spirit of the sport. The travel culminated in a fit on the very stadium which a yr earlier than had witnessed one among sport's maximum spectacles and a sinister public demonstrate of Nazi may.

Despite the shadow forged via the cataclysmic clash that used to be presently to engulf them, Dan Waddell's vibrant and particular account of the gents of Worcestershire's 1937 Berlin journey is a narrative of triumph: of civility over barbarity, of ardour over indifference and wish over depression.

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