POW books from the Second World War usually portray Switzerland as a land of Toblerone and honey , with plucky Nazi hating Swiss eagerly awaiting gallant POWs. The reality was slightly different with 26 Allied and Axis aircraft shot down by the Swiss ME109s.For their part the Swiss saw over 6,500 violations of their airspace. The USAF displayed a distinct approach to air navigation when accidentally bombing Schaffhausen on April 1, 1944. It was mistaken for Ludwigshafen am Rhein a German town 284 kilometres away! 40 people were killed and over 50 buildings destroyed, including a group of small factories producing Bf-109 parts for the Luftwaffe. The bombing of both Basel and Zurich on the same day in March 1945 may have exacerbated Swiss feelings in this matter.
- Daniel Culler & Rob Morris
Dan Culler crash landed in a Liberator in Switzerland and was interned in one of the Swiss ski resorts where conditions were sparse but better than a POW camp in Germany. Following an Officer's duty he attempted to escape to slip over the frontier and return to duty. Recapture by the Swiss led to him being moved from POW status to a prison regime with no access to the ICRC, no food parcels and into a camp run by a Swiss Nazi, who for good measure was appropriating cash and rations for his own use. Brutality to prisoners was frequent as was neglect. When Fuller finally escaped again he was shot at by the Swiss border guards and a fellow escaper was hit.
On return to the US he was sworn to silence and either by neglect or deliberate act his records recorded a blank for the period. The book looks at post war events as well and does have some recognition of his suffering but this is left for the reader to uncover.
This book centres around one crewman and his fellow crew members but is a bit thin on the wider picture. Dan Culler was the airman and Rob Morris assisted in this edition. Rob's other book is Untold Valor: Forgotten Stories of American Bomber Crews Over Europe in World War II.
The book is printed to Casemate's usual high standard with relevant illustrations and runs to 120 pages. There is a brief sources page but no file references or index . The cover price is £19.99 (Kindle £11.51)with a few offers from £10.35 NB If ordering for Christmas there seem to be a couple of editions on Amazon, one in stock the other not..
The link here should take readers to the in stock one