This is the Second World War story of a champion cyclist turned airman who lived to tell the tale against almost impossible odds. A New Zealander in the RAF, Ian Walker took part in the Battle of Britain before transferring to Bomber Command and surviving three plane crashes in his Wellington bomber. The last of these saw him crash land in enemy territory, where he was eventually captured and taken prisoner. Confined within the claustrophobic walls of a POW camp, he hatched a plot with a fellow inmate to escape. This they achieved, almost miraculously, in broad daylight. Living on basic rations, they navigated the enemy wilds until they were captured, yet again, and taken back to prison.After languishing in POW camps and hospitals for more than two years, Ian had the good fortune of being placed on a list of injured men to be exchanged, man for man, with German prisoners. The little-known story of the history-making exchange that took place in Barcelona in October 1943 is detailed here, describing how thousands of allied and axis prisoners were safely returned to their homelands in the midst of war.Ians daughter, Angela Walker, has endeavored to preserve the details of her fathers extraordinary odyssey in full. Her tale circumnavigates the globe, weaving snippets taken from letters and extensive journals kept by her father in order to create a compelling, warm hearted and thrilling account of his war. Having once inspired her to win a gold medal at the Commonwealth Games, her father now continues to inform and inspire her through the stories shes recovered from his past. Her book commemorates the efforts of all New Zealands wartime airmen who, like her father, made significant contributions in the fight for allied victory.
Since it was first published in 1989, Men of the Battle of Britain, the complete third edition of which was published in 2015, has become a standard reference book for academics and researchers interested in the Battle of Britain. This remarkable publication records the service details of every airman who took part in the Battle of Britain, and who earned the Battle of Britain Clasp, in considerable detail. Where known, an individual’s various postings and their dates are included, as are promotions, decorations, and successes claimed whilst flying against the enemy. There is also much personal detail, often including dates and places of birth, civilian occupations, dates of death and place of burial or, for those with no known grave, place of commemoration. There are many wartime head-and-shoulders photographs. Inevitably, the passage of time ensures that there is a constant reevaluation of the wealth of information contained within Men of the Battle of Britain. At the same time, since the 2015 edition it has been possible to expand many individual entries, some 330 in total, to give some idea of the wider social context around the aircrew who earned the Battle of Britain Clasp. This has been achieved by reference to existing sources, including information supplied by The Few themselves and their relatives over many years, as well as new research. This invaluable supplement to the 2015 edition ensures that these additions and revisions are available to all researchers, historians, enthusiasts and general readers.
The Battle of Britain has held an enchanted place in British popular history and memory throughout the modern era. Its transition from history to heritage since 1965 confirms that the 1940 narrative shaped by the State has been sustained by historians, the media, popular culture, and through non-governmental heritage sites, often with financing from the National Lottery Heritage Lottery Fund. Garry Campion evaluates the Battle’s revered place in British society and its influence on national identity, considering its historiography and revisionism; the postwar lives of the Few, their leaders and memorialization; its depictions on screen and in commercial products; the RAF Museum’s Battle of Britain Hall; third-sector heritage attractions; and finally, fighter airfields, including RAF Hawkinge as a case study. A follow-up to Campion’s The Battle of Britain, 1945–1965 (Palgrave, 2015), this book offers an engaging, accessible study of the Battle’s afterlives in scholarship, memorialization, and popular culture.
Methods of Escape Used by RAF Airmen During World War II
Author: Aidan Crawley
Publisher: Stationery Office/Tso
Of the ten thousand prisoners of war held by the Germans during World War II only 30 successfully managed their way to Britain or a neutral country. After 1945, many escapees and PoW's were interviewed by the government and a file built up of their experiences and their efforts. These files were kept secret for nearly 40 years, during the Korean War and Cold War, as they contained evidence of enterprise and resilience that could still be useful to the enemy. This book contains extracts from that evidence as it was compiled by the author Aidan Crawley, himself a PoW, RAF officer and MP.
An Official History of the 'Great Escape' PoW Camp : an Official Account
Author: Howard Tuck
Publisher: US Naval Institute Press
"This Official History of the camp was prepared for the War Office but was never released to the general public. It explains the German administration and running of the camp, the food and conditions the prisoners endured, and the means by which morale was maintained under such trying circumstances. Inevitably considerable space is devoted to the escapes and their careful preparation as well as the anti-escape measures undertaken by the guards. There is also a chapter detailing the punishments meted out for attempting to escape, and lists the number of shooting incidents. This account provides the reader with an accurate and unprecedented insight into life in a German PoW camp in the latter years of the Second World War." - publisher
THIS EXPANSIVE REFERENCE WORK PRESENTS THE FASCINATING BIOGRAPHIES OF 150 WOMEN SPIES. SPANNING THOUSANDS OF YEARS AND SCORES OF NATIONS, THIS ONE-OF-A-KIND BOOK TELLS AMAZING STORIES OF REMARKABLE PEOPLE ENGAGED IN LOVE AND WAR, HATRED AND REVENGE, GREAT ESCAPES AND DRAMATIC CAPTURES. EXAMPLES: MARIE BIRCKEL-THEODORA ACACIUS-MATA HARI-CLAIRE PHILLIPS.
Combining history, politics, and critical analysis, he revisits the killing fields of Cambodia, documents the three-month Hutu "machete genocide" of about 800,000 Tutsi villagers in Rwanda, and casts recent headlines from Kosovo in the light of these other conflicts."--BOOK JACKET.
A Band of Daredevil Pilots and the Greatest Prison Break of the Great War
Author: Neal Bascomb
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
This “fast-paced account” of WWI airmen who escaped Germany’s most notorious POW camp is “expertly narrated” by the New York Times bestselling author (Kirkus, starred review). During World War I, Allied soldiers might avoid death only to find themselves in the abominable conditions of Germany’s many prison camps. The most infamous was Holzminden, a land-locked Alcatraz that housed the most escape-prone officers. Its commandant was a boorish tyrant named Karl Niemeyer, who swore that none should ever leave. Desperate to break out of “Hellminden”, a group of Allied prisoners hatch an audacious escape plan that requires a risky feat of engineering as well as a bevy of disguises, forged documents, and fake walls—not to mention steely resolve and total secrecy. Once beyond the watchtowers and round-the-clock patrols, they are then faced with a 150-mile dash through enemy-occupied territory toward free Holland. Drawing on never-before-seen memoirs and letters, historian Neal Bascomb “has unearthed a remarkable piece of hidden history, and told it perfectly. The story brims with adventure, suspense, daring, and heroism” (David Grann, New York Times bestselling author of Killers of the Flower Moon).
My War in China and Escape from a British POW Camp
Author: Gunther Plüschow
Extraordinary airman and explorer Gunther Pluschow recounts his time as Germany's "one-man airforce in the East" during the 1914 siege of Tsingtao, followed by escaping twice from the clutches of the Allies. He remains the only German prisoner from either World War to escape from Britain and make it all the way back to Germany.
Czechoslovak Society of Arts and Sciences. World Congress
selected papers from the 23rd SVU World Congress : organized by the Czechoslovak Society of Arts and Sciences (SVU) and the University of South Bohemia, České Budějovice, Czech Republic, 24 June - 2 July 2006
Author: Czechoslovak Society of Arts and Sciences. World Congress