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Surviving the Nazi Onslaught (Hardback)

The Defence of Calais to the Death March for Freedom

Military > Prisoners of War WWII

By Carole McEntee-Taylor
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Pages: 213
ISBN: 9781783831067
Published: 2nd July 2014



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Ted Taylor, 1st Battalion, The Rifle Brigade, was sent to France in May 1940 as part of Calais Force. Initially sent to open up supply lines to the rapidly retreating BEF, they soon found themselves defending Calais against the might of the 10th Panzer Division. Outnumbered by at least three to one they held out for 4 days until they ran out of ammunition and were forced to surrender.

For the next five years Ted found himself part of the huge slave labour force in Poland under the administration of Stalag XXA and Stalag XXB. Life in the POW camps bore little resemblance to the cheerful films of the 1950s with casual brutality never far from the surface. As 1945 began and the war entered its final bloody phase, the POWs dared to believe that at last they might be going home. But fate had one more cruel trick to play.

As the Russians approached rapidly from the east, the terrified Germans evacuated the camps and, in temperatures below -25c, began marching the malnourished, poorly-clothed POWs back across Europe. The infamous 'death marches' to freedom across the frozen, chaotic, war ravaged landscape of Eastern Europe had begun.

Author article 'Ted's Story' as featured in

Best of British, February 2018

As mentioned in

Epworth Bells and Crowle Advertiser

This is a story that demanded to be told and deserves to be read.


This new hardback book from Pen & Sword makes for some interesting and thought-provoking reading. ... A heartfelt story of a soldier who had to withstand five years of captivity and then face the re-adjustment to normal life on his return home.

Military Modelling

[Surviving the Nazi Onslaught] is researched well, and written in an easy to read style. ... I have a particular interest in the Defence of Calais in May 1940, so was likely to find this book informative and useful, but I believe it has wider appeal.

British Military History

As seen in the Essex Chronicle.

Essex Chronicle
 Carole McEntee-Taylor

About Carole McEntee-Taylor

Carole McEntee-Taylor is the author of both military history and historical fiction. She worked at the Military Corrective Training Centre in Colchester for nine years up until 2016 and now lives with her husband David in North Lincolnshire and writes full time. 

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