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on 13 February 2008
The 2nd of Reid's books specifically on Colditz does not disappoint. The story follows on in time from where the first book left off. Reid and his 3 companions have escaped but life in Oflag IVC goes on. Reid uses accounts by Howe (the 2nd Escape Officer - and longer serving one) and several other former POWs to build up a vivid and extremely descriptive account of life at the POW camp. The men continue to try to go under, though and over walls as well as out of the front door dressed as Germans. Reid accurately captures the triumph of hope over adversity in a thrilling and compelling way. If you could not put down The Colditz Story then you will read this in a day or two. A gripping read.
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on 8 November 2010
As the title suggests this is a second book about the pow's imprissioned at colditz and the escape attempts, all of which take place after author Pat Reid had already made his awe insiring and successful escape back to britain. These books, both the latter days and the original "The Story of Colditz" by the same author are wonderfully well written and so enjoyable that even my 11 year old son was enthralled, thats not to say the're childish or fancifully written, not at all, but the development of the escape attempts and the people involved provides fascinating reading and exclamations of "Oh my god, HOW did they get away with that!" Read it please, this book will thrill and enthrall even now, 65 years on.
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on 21 September 2016
My interest in Colditz was sparked by several things: firstly, three years ago, driving from Dresden to Leipzig we passed within 11 km of Colditz and if time had permitted we would have loved to visit. Secondly, among the books we found in our apartment in Spain was a copy of Airey Neave's book 'They Have Their Exits', which attracted my attention because in the town I grew up in there was a chap called Neave, who I understand is a relative of Airey Neave. I loved the book, so when I came across 'The Colditz Story' by Pat Reid in a charity shop, I didn't hesitate to buy it and read it. I was crying with laughter at some of the descriptions Pat Reid gave of the antics he and his fellow POW's got up to at Colditz. Which is why I bought this book. It is equally good and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I am just sorry I wasn't living in the UK when the Colditz series was shown on the television, although we've now watched four episodes of series 1 on youtube. I was of course also out of the UK when Airey Neave (who was the first British Officer to escape successfully from Colditz) was murdered.
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on 23 March 2011
A very good read and shows what it was like at Colditz. It would appear that the majority of the contents are obtained from hearsay from prisoners as the author had escaped back to England therefor cannot be first hand information.
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on 3 April 2013
Having read the first book by REID I needed to read The Latter Days.... to find out what happened to the other inmates. The book was more factual and not written as well as the first. Mainly as he had to rely on the 3rd person. I would have also liked to know what happened to some of the German principal characters. This book is an essential read for the Colditz curious.
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on 19 August 2013
This was again a very readable, humorous and engaging book from Mr Reid. The scale, intricacy, ingenuity and persistence of the escapees was - and is hugely impressive and humbling to those of us with no memories of WW2.
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on 6 June 2011
In "The Colditz Story", Pat Reid told the story of his own experiences as a prisoner-of-war in Colditz Castle, Germany's most notorious POW camp, culminating in his own successful escape to Switzerland in October 1942. (The German occupation of Vichy France meant that Reid was unable to return to Britain until the war was over, and he spent the rest of the war years as a military attaché at the British Embassy in Berne). "The Latter Days at Colditz" tells the story of the camp between 1942 and the end of the war.

"The Colditz Story" is notably light-hearted, and indeed often humorous, a patriotic tale of how gallant British officers, together with their French, Dutch, Polish and Belgian allies, managed to carry on the good fight against the enemy despite being incarcerated. There is much of the same in "The Latter Days", and Reid again celebrates the ingenuity of the prisoners in devising escape stratagems. The French dug a tunnel of particularly complex construction, but perhaps the most audacious plan was the British one to escape by launching a glider from the castle ramparts, using a pulley system based on a falling metal bathtub full of concrete. The glider was actually designed and built, hidden in one of the attics under the noses of the Germans, who never succeeded in locating it; only liberation of the camp by the American army in April 1945 prevented its use in an escape attempt.

Nevertheless, "The Latter Days" is, overall, often more serious in tone than its predecessor. In the second half of the war successful escape attempts were less common than they had been during the first half. There were several reasons for this. The Germans were becoming more adept at foiling escapes, especially after listening devices were installed to detect the sound of tunnelling, and each unsuccessful attempt gave them clues as to how future escapes could be prevented. The Nazis were no longer as scrupulous as they once had been in their adherence to the Geneva Convention on the treatment of POWs; the execution of 50 prisoners who had taken part in the "Great Escape" from Stalag Luft III acted as a deterrent to some would-be escapers. (As Nazi propaganda had it; "Escape from prison camps is no longer a sport!") Finally, by 1945 even German censorship could no longer hide from the prisoners the fact that the war was coming to an end, and many prisoners preferred to wait for liberation rather than risking their lives in an escape attempt. There were, in fact, plans for a final mass breakout in case the Gestapo or SS attempted to use the prisoners as hostages, but in the event these were not needed.

Reid also gives more attention to the darker side of prison-camp life, something skated over in "The Colditz Story". In September 1944 Lieutenant Mike Sinclair, known as the "Red Fox", became the only man to be shot dead during an attempt to escape from Colditz. (Reid devotes a whole chapter to Sinclair's exploits; he had made several earlier escape attempts). There is also more attention paid to the mental suffering of those imprisoned, some of whom became mentally ill. Reid criticises the Germans for their reluctance to repatriate such men, perhaps unfairly given that some British officers were not above feigning the symptoms of mental illness in an attempt to secure their release.

Given that Reid was not actually present in Colditz during this period, "The Latter Days" lacks the personal touch of the earlier book. Nevertheless, it is well-researched and is an interesting source of information about this aspect of Second World War history. It is also an inspiring testament to the courage and resourcefulness of the prisoners.
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on 25 December 2013
Many know the story of colditz, but this is taken after Peter Reid escaped, and made his way back to England,
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on 12 February 2017
Very pleased with this; good condition, good price, arrived quickly.
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on 15 November 2015
all good
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