From Calais to Colditz (Hardback)
A Rifleman’s Memoir of Captivity and Escape
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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.
Of all the daring PoW escape stories that have come to light in the last 100 years and immortalized by Steve McQueen in the film The Great Escape, the story of J.L. Hardy has to be one of the most remarkable. A PoW for three-and-a-half years, Hardy made no less than twelve escape attempts while imprisoned by the Germans in the First World War, five of which being successful. In early 1915 he attempted to escape from Halle Camp, near Leipzig, by breaking through a brick wall into an adjacent ammunition factory. After five-months work the project proved impracticable. In the summer of 1915 he was…By Captain Alan Bott MC
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