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Cheating Hitler (Hardback)

Allied Airmen Who Evaded Capture in WW2

Aviation > WWII Military > Prisoners of War WWII

By Martin W Bowman
Imprint: Air World
Pages: 224
ISBN: 9781399073257
Published: 12th May 2023


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For most, and particularly the injured and the wounded, being shot down over Occupied Europe during the Second World War meant that capture was immediate, that imprisonment was almost inevitable. For some, evasion was possible, but rarely for long. For a relative handful, however, their evasion saw them eventually reach home once again.

In this fascinating insight into how some Allied aircrew achieved the almost impossible and evade capture, the renowned aviation historian Martin W. Bowman has drawn together a set of tales of just some of these individuals. They are stories that illustrate the bravery and resourcefulness that characterized their experiences. British, American, Canadian and other Allied testimonies all feature to provide an authentic sense of the times at hand and the reality of life as an evader during this tumultuous and incredibly dangerous time.

The stories of some Allied airmen, faced with sudden leaps into that dangerous unknown and their subsequent attempts at evasion, are retold here, many for the first time. Those who successfully evaded and were ‘free to fight again’ were few. Some were forced to remain in hiding under the guiding hands of the likes of the French Resistance or the patriots of the Comète Line – a few of the many who risked their lives helping Allied airmen, either to escape or to remain hidden until liberation, on pain of imprisonment, torture and death by their Nazi oppressors.

Despite the threat of such retaliation, it has been said that as many as 100,000 people may have assisted evaders on one or more occasions before the war in Europe was brought to an end.

This series of intoxicating chapters of evasion and life under the constant threat of recapture by the Nazis goes one step further in the drama of the war fought in the skies over the Third Reich and the subjugated countries of France, Belgium and Holland, revealing the constant nagging, and very real, fear that was endured by evaders and rescuers alike.

"The reader anxious or merely curious to know what it was like to flee under the threat of being shot or capture will experience it all here."


An interesting read on how allied pilots escaped being captured after being shot down during WW2. The heroics of the resistance fighters and villagers who risked their lives to save and help the pilots was inspiring. This was a truly interesting read. I recommend it highly.

NetGalley, Ron Baumer

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

What is it about those who are downed and work to keep from being captured in wartime. This is a heroic tale of many men who have done it.

NetGalley, Mike Michelsen

About Martin W Bowman

With well over 100 published books, MARTIN W. BOWMAN is one of Britain’s best-known aviation historians and authors. Specialising in Second World War history and post-war aviation, Martin’s interest in these subjects was driven by the prolific number of RAF and USAAF air bases that were established in his native East Anglia. His previous books have included works such as Legend of the LancasterConfounding the ReichDuxford and the Big Wings, as well as numerous titles in the exhaustive Air War series, which, between them, provide extensive coverage of operations carried out on D-Day and during the Market Garden offensive at Arnhem.

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