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Voices in Flight: Escaping Soldiers and Airmen of World War I (Hardback)

Aviation WWI Prisoners Of War Great War POWs

By Martin Bowman
Imprint: Pen & Sword Aviation
Pages: 256
ISBN: 9781473863224
Published: 2nd August 2017


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This thrilling new volume from Martin Bowman focusses on British, Canadian, Australian and German soldiers and airmen who were captured during the First World War. Determined that they wouldn’t spend the rest of the conflict incarcerated uselessly behind bars, they endeavoured to escape. These are their stories.

All aspects of prison life are covered here, and the author examines the various escape tactics that were employed by British soldiers and airmen held in PoW camps all over Germany and Turkey. In order to provide a balanced account, the author has also uncovered stories of German navy and army escapees who attempted to flee from England.

Each chapter is preceded by an account which explains the types of camps used in Britain and Germany, the numbers involved, the food, the camp money system for worker prisoners and a general appreciation of the conditions and chronology. First-hand accounts from the prisoners themselves are then woven into the picture, creating an authentic sense of the PoW experience.

The emphasis of this unique book is placed on the human story of the main characters, the unparalleled action on the Western Front and the interaction and camaraderie experienced between soldiers and airmen held in prison camps in England, Germany and Turkey during the First World War.

I think this book would be enjoyed by a relatively wide audience, although convincing the wider audience of that would be a challenge. If you're not interested in military history then nothing on the cover suggests that a person that only reads biographies would also enjoy it. The book's focus is on individuals and their personal stories in which they are, to me at least, doing amazing things. It's not a historic retelling of the tactics or strategies of WWI but focuses right down at the lowest, human level. In our time, these gentlemen would be celebrities in their own right and lauded for their courage, tenacity and skill. The reader is free to draw their own conclusions to how the majority of today's 'stars' stack up in comparison.

Read the complete review here.

A Wargamers Needful things

The author is well-known for his aviation histories and this book is an interesting departure from his main work, albeit not far from it. As usual, this is a well-researched study of a subject that has received far less than its deserved attention. The two photo-plate sections are well selected – Most Highly Recommended.

Read the complete review here.


About Martin Bowman

Martin Bowman is one of Britain’s foremost aviation historians and has written many books and articles.

He lives in Norwich .

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