Słavomir Rawicz (1915 � 2004) was a Polish soldier who was arrested by Soviet occupation troops after the German-Soviet invasion of Poland.
In a book he participated in writing, he claimed that he and six others
escaped and walked over 6500 km (4000 miles) south, through the
Gobi desert, and over the Himalayas in winter to India
in 1942. In 2006, the BBC released a report based on records from the
former Soviet Union including some written by Rawicz himself that show
that Rawicz was pardoned as a part of a general release of Poles from
the Soviet Union in 1942, was afterward transported across the Caspian
Sea to a refugee camp in Iran and that his escape to India never occurred.
His story of his escaping to India is chronicled in a ghost-written book The Long Walk.
Slavomir Rawicz lived in England for many years after the war. He married an Englishwoman and lived in the countryside until his death in 2004.
The text of the book The Long Walk was written by Ronald Downing based on conversations with Rawicz. The book The Long Walk was released in the UK in 1956. It has sold over half a million copies and has been translated into 25 languages. The book has been inspirational for many explorers, including Benedict Allen and Cyril Delafosse-Guiramand.