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Flight from Colditz (Kindle)

Would the Second World War’s Most Audacious Escape Plan Have Succeeded?

WWII All Frontline eBooks Prisoners Of War

By Anthony Hoskins
Frontline Books
File Size: 13.4 MB (.prc)
Pages: 168
ISBN: 9781473848566
Published: 11th April 2016

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Colditz Castle was one of the most famous Prisoner of War camps of the Second World War. It was there that the Germans interred their most troublesome or important prisoners. Hundreds of ingenious escape attempts were made but the most ambitious of all was to build a glider and fly to freedom.

Though the glider was built, the war ended before it could be used, and it was subsequently destroyed. Using the original plans and materials used by the prisoners, in March 2012 a replica of the glider was constructed in a bid to see if the escape attempt would have succeeded. The glider was then launched from the roof of the castle roof.

Anthony Hoskins is the man who built, and helped launch, the glider. As well as examining the story behind the building of the original glider, he details the construction of the replica and the nail-biting excitement as the ‘Colditz Cock’ finally took to the skies.

Packed with photos of the glider and its flight over Colditz, this is the inside story of the recreation of one of the most intriguing episodes of the Second World War.

The supposedly escape-proof Colditz Castle, home to the most problematic Allied prisoners of war, was nevertheless famous for audacious escapes, but perhaps the most astonishing of them all was a plan to fly a glider off its roof. This beautifully presented book, lavishly decorated with photographs, is divided into two parts. The first describes the castle, the various personalities involved in the project, and the methods they used to design and build the glider, as well as the incredible feat of keeping it concealed from the ever-vigilant guards. The castle was liberated by Allied troops before the glider could be launched, but the question remained of whether the "Colditz Cock" would have worked. In 2011, as a supplier to the modern glider industry, the author's company became involved in a television documentary to construct a replica based on the original plans, before launching it from the castle roof. The second part of the book follows this remarkable enterprise and the final preparations leading up to a successful albeit unmanned "flight from Colditz".

Pegasus Archive, Mark Hickman

As featured on...

OCAD Militaria Collectors Resources

As featured on ARRSE.

ARRSE

Enraptured by the story, the author built and launched a replica and so we know whether this most extraordinary of escapes would have succeeded. As to the answer, well turn to this book and follow the enthralling story.

Military History Society

Hoskins presents an exciting account of an escape plan put into action by the Allied prisoners of war held at Colditz Castle in Germany during World War II.
The plan involved the construction of a glider, which would launch off the roof of the castle; unfortunately, while the prisoners succeeded in building the glider, they were caught before they were able to escape, and the glider was destroyed. In March of 2012, Hoskins led a team in the reconstruction of the glider, using the original plans of the prisoners and the same materials. This book details the research process, reconstruction, and launch of the glider over a period of fourteen days, while also providing an engaging narrative look into the past.

Protoview

This book celebrates one of the most iconic episodes of the second world war. As famous as the "Great Escape", and Douglas Bader's part in WW2, the various attempts to escape from the infamous Castle Colditz are showcased in this brilliant memoir which reads like something straight out of Boys' Own Paper. It helps, having one of the actual prisoners, Anthony Hoskins, telling the story, of course. Fantastic and inspirational at the same time.

Books Monthly, reviewed by Paul Norman

Thanks to the project being made into a TV programme, there are a good selection of still colour photos in the book to illustrate the story. Great to see a team of enthusiasts carry out a project like this, one of the stories from the legend that was Colditz which thoroughly deserved to be tried out and tested. A team was looking for answers to an unanswered question, and this books provides a great account of finding the answer.

Read the full review here!

Military Modelling, Robin Buckland

Over the years the pages of 'The Eagle' have carried some dramatic glider-borne stories, however the story of the Colditz glider really is a unique one. This book tells the remarkable story of a plan to escape from the infamous castle prison using a glider build in secret within the fortress walls. However, the war was over before the daring escape plan could be attempted. Even more remarkable is the modern attempt to recreate the wartime escape glider and prove that it could fly! Worth the read to find out whether or not the Colditz Glider would have flown the nest.

The Eagle Vol. 14

This has to be the ultimate POW escape story and the ultimate aviation restoration/replication story. It has been nicely written and well-illustrated. The big surprise, beyond the actual flight, is that there are now several replicas of the Colditz Cock glider. This has to appeal strongly to aviation enthusiasts, replica builders, historians, and WWII enthusiasts, but the readership is likely to be much wider because its a great story of triumph against the odds and the indefatigably of the human spirit, very highly recommended.

Read the full review here!

Firetrench

As featured in

West Sussex Gazette

As featured in

Airscape Magazine, June 2016 - David Foxx

Gripping read. I can heartily recommend!

Mel Saggers

About Anthony Hoskins

Anthony started learning to glide in 1994 at the Oxford Gliding Club, RAF Weston-on-the-Green, and, alongside his flying training, soon began assisting the club's maintenance team looking after the training fleet. In 2009 he formed his own company, South East Aircraft Services, to serve the gliding industry, through maintenance, modifications and repairs.

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