I read Col. Lanes obituary today and was intrigued by his actions and accomplishment. Good inning at 95 but still the passing of a generation. Telegraph linky Text in cae the link does not work: Colonel George Lane, who has died aged 95, fought with SOE and was awarded an MC for his service with the Commandos during the Second World War; captured on a secret mission, he was invited to tea by Field Marshal Rommel, who, Lane always thought, courteously prevented him from being shot by the Gestapo. During the lead-up to D-Day, an RAF fighter strafed a pillbox on the French coast. The aircraft carried a camera, and the scientists who examined the film were puzzled that the plane's rockets, which fell short, appeared to have set off underwater explosions. It was imperative to discover if this indicated that the Germans were using a new kind of mine on the beaches. Lane â a Hungarian-born lieutenant serving with 3 Troop, 10 Commando â led a hazardous reconnaissance mission that required a two-mile approach to a heavily defended coastline. On the night of May 17 1944 he crossed the Channel in an MTB which dropped him near Ault on the north-east coast. He found that the Germans were fixing Teller mines to the tops of stakes. These would be submerged at high tide and would explode if they came into contact with a landing craft. Lane reported that the mines were not waterproofed and that the firing mechanisms had become so corroded that the explosion of the rocket had set them off. He was not believed. He was ordered to return the next night, and the next â this time with a sapper officer, Roy Wooldridge, who was a mine expert. They found nothing but Teller mines, but had orders to photograph other obstacles on the beach using infrared equipment. Suddenly, starshells illuminated the beach and Lane and Wooldridge, hiding in the dunes, came under fire from two German patrols. They were cut off from the others in their group who, unable to wait any longer, had left them a rubber dinghy and swum out to their boat. When the firing stopped, the two men returned to the beach and paddled out to sea as fast as they could. Although it was dark and pouring with rain, a German patrol boat spotted them. The two men jettisoned their photographic equipment before they were taken prisoner. They were told that they would be handed over to the Gestapo and shot. For several days they were interrogated by German officers. Eventually they were bound, blindfolded and pushed into a car. They drew up at a castle, and Lane was shoved into a room guarded by a ferocious dog. His blindfold was removed and an elegant German officer arrived with sandwiches and real coffee. Lane was then taken to a large library. Sitting at a desk at the far end was Rommel. The Field Marshal got up and invited Lane, who was standing to attention, to join him at a table which was laid for tea. Rommel had experienced a lot of trouble with "gangster commandos", as he called them. "You must realise," he said, "that you are in a very tricky situation. Everyone seems to think that you are a saboteur." Lane feigned ignorance of the German language, and was anxious not to arouse suspicion that he was not English-born. So he spoke like a Welshman and replied: "Well, if the Field Marshal believed that I was a saboteur he would not have done me the honour of inviting me here." "So you think that this is an invitation?" Rommel rejoined. "I do, sir, and I must say I am highly honoured." The Field Marshal smiled, the atmosphere became relaxed and the two men had a long conversation. Later that day Lane and Wooldridge were taken to Fresnes prison, near Paris. There they were told that they would be hanged or shot. The screams from the other cells were terrifying, Lane said, but after two days the pair were sent on to the castle prison for officers at Spangenberg, Oflag IX/A-H. There were 300 British officers in the castle. They had an excellent library and Lane studied estate management through a correspondence course. As the Allies closed in, the prisoners were moved out under guard. On the second night Lane slipped into a deep ditch. He then hid in a tree, but no sooner had he got settled than he saw a German soldier climbing up behind him. Lane cursed his luck at his swift discovery, but the man turned out to be a deserter. He advised Lane to walk to a nearby hospital and wait for American forces to arrive. Lane did so. A doctor there said that the SS regularly searched the hospital, but was persuaded not to hand Lane over, after Lane insisted that the Americans were very close and that when they arrived, the doctor would need a friend. Lane then proceeded to round up some of the sick and wounded from his PoW column and bring them back for treatment. Two days later he was able to give the Americans such a good account of the doctor that they put him in charge of the entire hospital. Lane got a lift to Paris, where he stayed with his brother-in-law. He longed for a hot bath. "I have lots of Chateau Lafite," said his host, "and lots of Dom Perignon. But I cannot provide you with a bath because there is no hot water." Lane said afterwards that he could have cried. George Henry Lane was born Lanyi Dyuri, the son of landowners in northern Hungary, on January 18 1915. At the end of the First World War, that region was given to Czechoslovakia and George, aged four, became a refugee. He went to school in Budapest and then wished to see the world. He had no money but was an excellent swimmer and toured widely with the Hungarian Olympic Water Polo Team; he also worked as a freelance journalist for a Hungarian newspaper. In 1935 Lane came to England and was studying at London University when the Second World War broke out. He volunteered to join the Army and was accepted by the Grenadier Guards. The Home Office, however, served him with a deportation order. Lane had often stayed at Leeds Castle, the home of the American-born political hostess Lady Baillie, where he had met Anthony Eden and David Margesson, the government Chief Whip. With their help the order was rescinded, but he had to spend a year in the Alien Pioneer Corps doing manual labour. Lane then joined SOE. After intensive training, he became adept in unarmed combat, weapons and explosives, parachuting and small boat handling. He went on missions to Belgium and Holland, but was not attracted by the prospect of parachuting into Hungary, so he transferred to 4 Commando under the leadership of Lord Lovat. Lane joined X Troop (later renamed 3 Troop), all the members of which spoke German, and was commissioned in 1943. For one mission he had to parachute into northern France, rifle a safe in a German brigade HQ and bring back some important papers. A top safe breaker was released from prison for two days and taught Lane how to open it. For another, he was part of a small group which was dropped behind enemy lines to examine a new gun sight. A report was wanted urgently, so they tied this to a carrier pigeon brought along for the purpose. The pigeon climbed into the sky and was heading for home when a hawk darted out from under the cliffs and seized it. Just as with his dashed hopes of a warm bath, the frustration of seeing so much effort wasted, Lane said later, nearly reduced him to tears. During the war he had met Miriam Rothschild, the renowned entomologist, when recovering at her house after an accident. They married in 1943, and after the war he helped to run the Rothschild estate at Ashton Wold, Northamptonshire. The marriage was dissolved in 1957 and Lane went to America. He joined a firm of stockbrokers in New York and studied at night school until he had passed the stock exchange examinations. He later opened offices in France and Switzerland. After he remarried in 1963 he lived in London, travelled widely and pursued a number of business interests. A great sportsman, he loved shooting in Scotland and in his native Hungary. In 1984 he returned to the chÃ¢teau where he had met Rommel for an article in The Sunday Telegraph, and 10 years later went back there for the BBC. He always believed that Rommel had saved his life. George Lane died on March 19. His second wife was Elizabeth Heald, the daughter of Sir Lionel Heald, Attorney General in the last Churchill government. She survives him with a son and three daughters from his first marriage.