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From Calais to Colditz (ePub)

A Rifleman’s Memoir of Captivity and Escape

Military > Memoirs Military > Prisoners of War WWII

By Philip Pardoe
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
File Size: 17.1 MB (.epub)
Pages: 192
ISBN: 9781473875418
Published: 16th May 2016


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From Calais to Colditz has never been published before but readers will surely agree that the wait has been worthwhile.

The author was a young platoon commander when his battalion were ordered by Prime Minister Winston Churchill to defend Calais to the last man and so distract German attention from the evacuation of the BEF at Dunkirk.

After an intense four day battle, the survivors were subjected to a gruelling twelve day march towards Germany. There followed incarceration in a succession of POW camps during which the author succeeded in escaping twice, both over the wire and by tunnelling, remaining at large on one occasion for twelve days. These exploits qualified him for a place in the notorious Colditz Castle, the supposed escape-proof camp. The descriptions of his colourful fellow prisoners, their captors and their extraordinary experiences are as good as any of the previous accounts and in many respects more revealing.

How fortunate it is that From Calais to Colditz can now be read by a wide audience.

This is a gripping account and we are indebted to Harry Pardoe for his part in bringing his father's memoirs to a publisher with the skill and interest to publish them, together with some very interesting illustration.

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A true tale of courage and resourcefulness.

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Books Monthly

For anyone with an interest in the stories of life in a German Prison Camp in WW2, including the infamous Colditz Castle, this is great to read, with how it felt to experience the long time in captivity from capture in 1940 until their liberation in 1945. A fine addition to the history of British POWs in WW2 and Colditz in particular.

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Military Model Scene, Robin Buckland

Concise, detailed, rich in anecdote and best of all, names are named so in terms of the old maxim that every grave in every cemetery has a story to tell Philip Pardoe produced a gem.

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WW2 Talk

I thoroughly recommend this book and thank his relatives for getting it published - a fitting tribute to another very brave Man.

Amazon Reviewer

As featured on ARRSE.


As featured on WWII Today

WWII Today

This is an excellent memoir covering battle and confinement. The explanation of the action to hold Calais is very well done and if anybody has walked the 1940 battle sites at Calais this story adds much important detail. The second part detailing the author’s time as a PoW and his many attempts at escape that eventually saw him end up in Colditz, ia a rattling good read. It is well written and a real ‘page turner’.

Michael McCarthy. Battlefield Guide

Michael McCarthy

About Philip Pardoe

Philip Pardoe was educated at Horris Hill and at Eton. He was commissioned into the 60th Rifles and his war service is the subject of this book.
After the War, he continued his military career in the Green Jackets (now subsumed into The Rifles) and, among his appointments, was Military Attaché in Washington DC and, later, Buenos Aires. On his retirement as a colonel, he returned to his home near Winchester. He became a member of the Gentlemen at Arms, which gave him great pleasure.
Released from Colditz in May 1945 he married Rolline Kavanagh the following month. They had two children, Caroline and Harry.
Philip loved all field sports and tragically died in a fishing accident on the River Lochy in 1987.

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