Escape from Stalag Luft III – The True Story of My Successful Great Escape Bram VANDERSTOCK Barnsley, Frontline Books 2018 i – xxii 264 pp ISBN 978-1-78438-434-0 (hbk)
The ‘Great Escape’ when a large number of Allied prisoners’-of-war escaped from a German camp called Stalag Luft III has been immortalised in book and film. This is a gripping personal account by one of the three men who managed to complete their escape back to Allied lines.
Bram VANDERSTOCK was from the Netherlands and was serving with the Royal Air Force when he was shot down over France. This is where the book begins, after which we are transported back to his early life before the Second World War. As a personal account, it is moving, fascinating and evocative all in one sentence. There are some excellent maps included, and some photographs in the middle of the book. I have noted other reviewers who suggest that this book is written from memory, and contains errors, which I accept, but I feel it does not distract from the value of this book.
There is not much more to say about the book other than to suggest you read it. Not only does it provide a testimony to the activity at Stalag Luft III, but is also serves as a reminder to readers who are not Dutch about the privations and reality of living under German occupation during the Second World War. Highly recommended.