THE INSTANT SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER
‘A master at setting the pulse racing’ Daily Mail
‘A fine feat of storytelling . . . will surely become the last word on the subject’ Telegraph
THE INCREDIBLE TRUE STORY OF THE MOST INFAMOUS PRISON IN HISTORY — FROM THE BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF SAS: ROGUE HEROES AND THE SPY AND THE TRAITOR
In a forbidding Gothic castle on a hilltop in the heart of Nazi Germany, an unlikely band of British officers spent the Second World War plotting daring escapes from their German captors. Or so the story of Colditz has gone, unchallenged for 70 years. But that tale contains only part of the truth.
The astonishing inside story, revealed for the first time in this new book by bestselling historian Ben Macintyre, is a tale of the indomitable human spirit, but also one of snobbery, class conflict, homosexuality, bullying, espionage, boredom, insanity and farce. With access to an astonishing range of material, Macintyre reveals a remarkable cast of characters of multiple nationalities hitherto hidden from history, with captors and prisoners living for years cheek-by-jowl in a thrilling game of cat and mouse.
From the elitist members of the Colditz Bullingdon Club to America’s oldest paratrooper and least successful secret agent, the soldier-prisoners of Colditz were courageous and resilient as well as vulnerable and fearful — and astonishingly imaginative in their desperate escape attempts. Deeply researched and full of incredible human stories, this is the definitive book on Colditz.
‘Macintyre produces a highly nuanced and often disturbing tale of men struggling to get along in captivity . . .The Colditz story is told with sensitivity and insight, with an eye for telling detail’ The Times BOOK OF THE WEEK
‘Like watching a black-and-white photograph being colourised . . . Macintyre has thrown fresh light on Colditz and aligned the scratches left on its walls into another compelling narrative’ Spectator
‘Every Ben Macintyre book is a treat’ The Tablet