Great Escapes of the First World War

Great Escapes of the First World War

by Rachel Bilton


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Just how far would you go to escape? Would you bury yourself under the floor? Would you board a boat with a rotten bottom? Would you tunnel underground? Contained within this book are the daring true stories of fifteen soldiers and their escapes from prison camps during the Great War. What makes these tales special is that they are first-hand accounts, written at the time when the experiences were still fresh in the soldiers’ minds. Shocking, moving, exhilarating, humorous, dark. There is not an emotion left unexplored in this selection of accounts, where a group of brave individuals risked all they had to escape and get back to their own country. The adventures span everything from unexpected alliances and remarkable kindness to exceptional ingenuity and considerable danger to foolhardy audacity and, quite frankly, jammy luck.Included in the text are rarely seen images, maps and plans of the escapes, along with biographical information on each soldier about their time during the war.This book pays tribute to the men who, although captured and incarcerated during World War One, still somehow found it in themselves to break out of prison and make their way back to fight again. Their story is a remarkable account of determination, tenacity and will to keep going; a perfect illustration of the extraordinary courage that can overcome us when we are desperate to return home to our loved ones.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781473887732
Publisher: Pen and Sword
Publication date: 04/05/2019
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.25(h) x (d)

About the Author

Rachel Bilton recently graduated from University College London in French and is now working in editorial and marketing in London. She has always been interested in history, particularly the more deadly parts, and is trying to find the answer to why so many men wanted to kill complete strangers for four years.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations vii

Maps and Plans ix

Publishers' Note xi

The Authors xiii

Introduction The Grim Game of Escape xvii

1 Trapped in Belgium 1

2 Beginners 13

3 Tunnelling to Freedom 37

4 Exploits of the Escaping Club 47

5 Inveterate Escapers 59

6 A Winter's Tale 71

7 Fugitives in Germany 79

8 What a Skeleton Key Will Do 89

9 Through the Bathroom Floor 103

10 A Game of Bluff 115

11 An Unconducted Tour of England 129

12 Outwitting the Turk 143

13 Hide-and-Seek in Eastern Seas 155

14 Through the Camp Sewer 167

15 Escaping from England 175

16 Rendezvous With a Submarine 191

17 Hazards of Escape 199

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