The Escape Artists: A Band of Daredevil Pilots and the Greatest Prison Breakout of WWI (Hardback)Neal Bascomb (author)
- Not available
Summer, 1918: twenty-nine officers crawled into a 16 inch high, 55 metre tunnel dug only with spoons. This was the culmination of 9 months gruelling toil in oxygen-starved darkness. Of the twenty-nine escapees, just ten would make their way back to Britain.
When captured Royal Flying Corps pilots Captain David Gray, Captain Caspar Kennard and 2nd Lieutenant Cecil Blain had arrived at Holzminden - or 'Hellminden' as its occupants called it - the Germans' highest-security prison complex had seemed impregnable. 'The Black Hole' was ruled by the iron fist of Camp Commandant Carl Niemayer, under whose brutal temper prisoners were known to be shot and beaten to death. Not least the breakout artists.
After five unsuccessful attempts from different camps in one year, the obsessive Captain Gray was personally determined to orchestrate the building of a tunnel directly under the feet of their one hundred armed guards. With an improvised oxygen piping system, stolen disguises and astonishing courage, this handful of the Kaiser's 2.3 million prisoners would succeed in making their way to neutral Holland and eventually back to Britain - for a private audience at Windsor Palace. The most unlikely escape of the Great War, their derring-do became military legend and the inspiration for the subsequent great escapes of the Second World War.
Publisher: John Murray Press
Number of pages: 336
Weight: 592 g
Dimensions: 241 x 159 x 34 mm
Fascinating * Daily Express *
Terrific . . . [a] stirring story * Mail on Sunday *
A remarkable piece of hidden history, told perfectly . . . brims with adventure, suspense, daring, and heroism * David Grann, author of Killers of the Flower Moon *
It's riveting reading, but more than that, it's inspiring * Candice Millard, author of Hero of the Empire *
Absorbing * Choice Magazine *
Terrific ... [a] stirring story * Mail on Sunday *
'Brims with adventure, suspense, daring, and heroism' * David Grann, author of 'Killers of the Flower Moon' *
Through careful research and unusual insight, Bascomb takes his readers inside not just the terrors of an infamous World War I POW camp but the minds of the men who were determined to think their way out of it. It's riveting reading, but more than that, it's inspiring. * Candice Millard, author of 'Hero of the Empire: The Making of Winston Churchill' *
You may also be interested in...
Would you like to proceed to the App store to download the Waterstones App?
Alternatively, for multiple items you may find it easier to add to basket, then pay online and collect in as little as 2 hours, subject to availability.