Escape Stories.

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by Tartan_Terrier, Aug 24, 2007.

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  1. I've been a fan of escape stories ever since I was about ten.

    I don't really know why I find them so fascinating, if it's the sheer ingenuity that many of the escapers demonstate, or if it's the bravery of men who could sit out the war in reasonable safety, but instead choose to fight back against a vastly superior force, either way though there are some cracking stories.

    Some of my favourites include;

    The Password is Courage by John Castle, which is about BSM Charles Coward and his extraordinary exploits in Auschwitz.

    Five Roads to Freedom by George Beeson, his own story of his five escape attempts and his adventures with the Maquis.

    The One That Got Away by Kendal Burt. The story of the German pilot Franz Von Werra and his escapes from captivity in England, and Canada.

    Any more of the lesser known stories, that are worth a mention?

  2. I remember reading the story of a German who walked from a gulag in Siberia to Turkey. It was called "As Far as My Feet Will Carry Me". It took him several years, and he impersonated a trapper for some of the time to justify his being there, and get "state" supplies. (After googling it, it was published in 1955).

    I also found another book that my memory had confused with it, "The Long Walk", about a Polish officer who did the same thing to India in 1942.

    Both amazing tales of endurance in adversity
  3. Flamingo, " The Long Walk" by Slavomir Rawicz is another I read as a kid, but much of the tale has recently been discredited.
  4. Cow

    Cow LE

    Colditz Story by Pat Reid (I think). Excellent book by someone who was there. Some of the things they created are amazing.
  5. Has it? Long time since I read it, but it was a good read! I suppose the temptation to "large it up" is hard to resist! :D
  6. the_boy_syrup

    the_boy_syrup LE Book Reviewer

    Currently doing the rounds on true movies or movies for men on sky this week
    Same title in German with subtitles

    Also remember a story about Airey Neave IIRC walked out of Colditz disguised as a German officer
  7. "Under The Wire" by William Ash. A US citizen who joined the RAF in 1940 and became one of a handful of PoWs to attempt a dozen break outs (including breaking INTO another PoW camp in order to have a better chance of escaping!!).
  8. Grownup_Rafbrat

    Grownup_Rafbrat LE Book Reviewer Good Egg (charities)

    Last night I watched 'Reach for the Sky', the story of Douglas Bader, who escaped numerous times despite having tin legs. I read the book as a nipper and enjoyed it, and was pleased that my own offspring, having seen and loved the film, now wants to read the book.
  9. They Have Their Exits. Airey Neave escaped from Colditz and elsewhere.

    MI9: Escape and Evasion 1939-1945 M.R.D. Foot and J.M. Langley. A history of escape and evasion and the Military Intelligence section that coordinated much of the preparation.

    Escape or Die: True Stories from the RAF Escaping Society.
    Paul Brickhill.
    A compendium.

    Two Eggs on my plate.
    Oluf Reed Olsen. Pat escape story, part resistance work in Norway.

    Course for disaster : from Scapa Flow to the River Kwai
    by Richard Pool Includes an Evasion from Singapore and subsequent capture. link

    Should keep you going for a bit. Seven years in Tibet by Heinrich Harrer is a very interesting account of his escape from British India to see WWII out in Tibet. Only the very beginning of the book describes the escape, or more properly, evasion, although you will probably enjoy the rest.

    Whilst checking a title I came across this that seems vaguely related and looks interesting anyway:
  10. 'Shan' Hackett - I was a stranger

    Wounded at the battle of Arnhem, and then spirited from his hospital bed by the Dutch Resistance, Brigadier John Hackett spent the winter of 1944 hidden by a Dutch family near a German military policy billet. This is a testament to the author and to the brave, devoted people who saved him.
  11. Just read the Colditz escape extract in the Autobiography of a British Soldier (or suchlike) - thrilling. I'm going to get the Neave book (whilst the memsahib isn't looking!) for holiday reading.
  12. When I was twenty I narrowly escaped getting married to a good-looking but as I sadly found out, also a bed-hopping wench. :cry: .............................But methinks that is not perhaps what you mean by escapes.

    Seriously I googled 'British airman escape' and it comes up with a load of material to keep you occupied, try it.
    Here is the first article as an example. Hope the link works I had to ask daughter to do it for me.
  13. Fly For your Life , the war biography of RR Stanford Tuck, fighter pilot, kriegy and bally hero. The later portion of the book covers his escape with a Polish RAF pilot towards the East, and then (after being dragooned into an infantry role by the russkis) their escape from the Red Army.

    They don't make crabs like that anymore!
  14. Would suggest you research...(no books around published)
    But can be researched at Slade Bks Oxford!!!

    1st Buckinghmashire BN..(TA) .OBLI ...MAY 26 - 30TH 1940....
    Deceased Sir Rupert Barry MBE (Colditz) was C Company

    But as you research you will see all these old WW2 hero's ...where not the hero you read about.....

    Read and Research and ye will find out!!!!!