Escape From Germany

Written by Aidan Crawley

Out of the ten thousand British Air Force prisoners who were in permanent camps in Germany in the Second World War, less than thirty ever reached Britain or neutral territory, despite the most energetic and highly-organised attempts.

Even so, for many prisoners of war, the arguments in favour of trying to escape were overwhelming.

This book contains the true and often incredible stories of the heroic efforts of the members of the RAF and the Army who tried to escape from prisoner of war camps in Germany.

This authoritative account of their many exploits, drawn from the narratives of the men themselves, makes compelling reading.

It includes such remarkable stories as ‘The Wooden Horse’ — a hollow vaulting horse that was used to disguise a tunnel entrance, enabling three men to escape and finally reach England, and of the persistent and ingenious attempts to escape made at Colditz, known as ‘The Escapers’ Camp’. Although the castle was built of stone on a foundation of rock, more than thirty tunnels were begun here.

‘Escape from Germany’, subtitled ‘The methods of escape used by RAF airmen during the Second World War’, was originally issued by the Air Historical Branch of the Air Ministry and was not available to the public. This reissue contains an introduction, written by Air Commodore H A Probert, Head of the Air Historical Branch (RAF).

‘… fascinating and moving … Crawley describes coolly and vividly the experience of capture and imprisonment for the thousands of Allied troops and air crews who fell into German hands.’ – MAX HASTINGS

Aidan Crawley (1908-1993) was an MP and writer who also produced TV at the very start of the commercial TV era of the 1950s. He wrote a biography of Charles de Gaulle and a history of West Germany after World War II. During the war he had been a prisoner after being shot down while serving in the RAF.

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