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The Last Escape: The Untold Story of Allied Prisoners of War in Germany 1944-1945 Paperback – 4 Sep 2003


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The Last Escape: The Untold Story of Allied Prisoners of War in Germany 1944-1945 + Home Run: Escape from Nazi Europe + Where The Hell Have You Been?
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Product details

  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin; New Ed edition (4 Sept. 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 014100388X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141003887
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 3 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 131,534 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

Flight Lieutenant John Nichol - Biography

www.johnnichol.com

During 15 years service in the Royal Air Force John Nichol served as a technician and, after being commissioned from the ranks, as a Tornado Navigator in both the Air Defence and Ground Attack roles. On active duty in the Gulf he was shot down on the first low-level, daylight raid of the first Gulf War. Captured and tortured, he was paraded on television provoking worldwide condemnation and leaving one of the enduring images of the conflict. He returned to active duty and was involved in policing the exclusion zone as part of the UN force maintaining the fragile peace in Bosnia. He has served around the world from the Nevada Desert to the Middle East and Norway to the Falkland Islands.

John is the best-selling author of Tornado Down, five novels, and the highly acclaimed WWII history books, The Last Escape, Tail-End Charlies and Home Run. He is in demand to give motivational lectures and after-dinner speeches and has worked with wide variety of businesses including BT, Shell, Lloyds Bank and The Stockholm School of Economics.

He has written for The Times, The Mail on Sunday and The Observer and is a widely quoted commentator on military affairs. He has also been a consultant and presenter for Newsnight, BBC, Sky & ITV News, World in Action, CNN and Cutting Edge. He devised and presented 2 series of Survivors, interviewing newsmakers who have been through life changing experiences. He recently wrote two major series for the Sunday Express, Heroes and Survivors. John's latest book, Medic!, charts the astonishing and deeply moving story of military medics from the WW2 beaches of Dunkirk to the desert towns of Afghanistan today.

John is a member of The Royal British Legion's Gulf War Group helping veterans with Gulf War Syndrome and a patron of the British Ex-service Wheelchair Sports Association. He is also a very poor golfer.

Find out more at www.johnnichol.com

Product Description

About the Author

John Nichol is a former RAF flight lieutenant whose Tornado fighter was shot down on a mission over Iraq during the Gulf War. He was captured and became a prisoner of war. He is the bestselling author of TORNADO DOWN and five other novels. He livesin Hertfordshire.

Tony Rennell is the author of LAST DAYS OF GLORY for Viking, and WHEN DADDY CAME HOME. He lives in London NW3.


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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

32 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Andrew Munro on 26 Oct. 2003
Format: Paperback
Astonshing and humbling account of heroism, immaculately researchred. You can no longer consider McQueen and Pat Reid as the POWs of WW2. Considering that this was so recent our kids should know what happened, so that they can understand the origins of what is occurring on our continent today.
Read this book and count the number of times you shake your head in disbelief at how so many ordinary men dealt with the extremes of cruelty, bad luck and bloody ill-fortune.
Not only that it is just really, really good reading
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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful By I K Ridland on 26 Nov. 2003
Format: Paperback
This book tells in graphic detail the horrors undergone by thousands of British, Commonwealth and American POW's in the prison camps and on forced marches as the Second World War ground to a close. As well as telling the hitherto untold story of their experiences, it also uses extracts from a number of their memoirs. The descriptions of theor forced marches and the hell they underwent leave nothing to the imagination, and the events after their liberation also show how unready the allied command was for dealing with the thousands of displaced POW's. The book is very well written and many of the descriptions bring a lump to your throat when you realise just how badly most of our POW' wre treated in the camps.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 29 Dec. 2002
Format: Hardcover
This is a truly excellent book. It reveals how POWs braved shocking conditions with bravery and fortitude. It shows that most POWs rose to the challenge of captivity but the authors do not shy away from exposing ccowards and n'eer do wells. The authors also show how the Allied governments could have done more to help POWs but did not. Most Germans do not emerge with credit but some do. If there is a moral here in what is a many sided book it is this: being a POW is often as hard as being a combatant.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By "christhomas18" on 23 Dec. 2003
Format: Hardcover
This is quite simply one of the best and most moving books I have ever had the pleasure of reading. It is the often overlooked story of the marches forced upon the British, Commonwealth and American Prisoners of war as the Germans began to walk them from areas of Russia and Poland back towards Berlin after it became apparent that the war was coming to an end.
What these men went through (and largely survived) has to be read to be belived and 'humbling' doesn't begin to describe the feelings you are left with after reading the story of these forgotton hero's.
A beautiful, hard back, book which would be a bargain at twice the price!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Keith Durrant on 5 April 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"The Last Escape"A book brought to my attention by my wife, who in turn had it loaned to her by an old gentleman whom she looks after. He is a veteran of the 2nd world war,at 96 he is living history. Ex RAF aircrew. He obviously had some knowledge of this tragic story of POW evacuation from east to west as the allies closed in at the beginning of 1945.
As the Russian army advanced into Germany in the worst winter for many years, allied POW were without warning moved from camps in the east, westwards. This was not an act of protection and it is still not clear exactly what the motive was. However with no warning prisoners were assembled sometimes in the middle of the night and marched out of the camps in their thousands. They were totally unprepared. Thus started a trail of suffering that covered many hundreds of miles. The suffering and privations these men suffered was horrific.
The last months of the war as the allies advanced is well documented. The fate of Pow as Germany began to collapse is not well known but should be known. Acts of comradeship and compassion unsurpassed. Anyone remotely interested in that world changing time should read this. The authors John Nichol & Tony Rennel have done these men and us, a great service in telling about this largely unknown period of history still in living memory.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By HuddyBolly on 4 Sept. 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Over the years I have read many books about WW2 including POW and escape stories, but I; and I would imagine most people, were unaware of the sheer brutality and neglect that the Allied prisoners of the German POW camp system were subjected to from the time that the camps were about to be over-run by the Red Army, until the very last days(and in some cases after)of the European war.
One must wonder how it is that the facts of what occurred have been kept so quiet for so long. It is; shamefully, one of the last, and worst stories to emerge, albeit 60 years on, about the final chaotic months of the European war.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 8 Dec. 2002
Format: Hardcover
This is an excellent and thought provoking book. It shows that many POWs were as heroic as men on the front line and it reveals how POWs were often callously abandoned in the interests of the realpolitik of the countries they served. A smashing book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Alison on 27 Nov. 2011
Format: Paperback
I finished reading this book last night. It was extremely well written and researched, it managed to be moving and yet very academic too, in that it didn't just give the story of the prisoners, it gave a wider picture and researched War Office records and the policies of the British and American governments with regards to POWs. I particularly like the fact that the book didn't finish with the end of the marches, but carried on to say how they were repatriated, and the actual homecoming of some of the men. We'd seen what brave, tough men they were throughout the book, by showing their homecoming it shows us another side to the men, the fact that they were someone's son or husband, and often just very young men forced to grow up fast. It wasn't always an easy read, the hardships that the men had to endure, the stupidity of bureaucracy back home, and I found the parts where dogs and horses were eaten a bit hard to read, but the fact that it's at times a painful read shouldn't put you off, this is an enlightening and important book. We shouldn't forget what the people of that generation endured, they deserve more respect than they are given.
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