Alex Kerr's Wellington, a twin-engine bomber, was shot down over Germany in 1941. At first hospitalized with hopes of repatriation, he unexpectedly found himself a prisoner in a German POW camp. Throughout those trying four years he was held captive, Alex kept a secret diary. This book reproduces his diary entries in a fascinating account of all aspects of life in a wartime prison.
He describes being part of the infamous ‘Long March’ during which he and his comrades were strafed by Allied aircraft; 60 POWs were killed and 100 wounded. Alex escaped the march with a mate, passing through the front lines between the British and German forces to commandeer a German mayor’s car and drive back to Brussels to take the next aircraft to freedom.
Alex’s charm and optimistic outlook will buoy the reader throughout, and the camaraderie between he and his captive comrades is always entertaining. This is an authentic Second World War adventure from being shot out of the sky, to incarceration and the ultimate triumph of escape and the end of the war.
|Publisher:||Pen & Sword Books Limited|
|Product dimensions:||6.30(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.00(d)|
About the Author
During his time as a prisoner, Alex Kerr was involved in three escape attempts, one of which included the construction of a ‘record breaking’ tunnel. He succeeded on his third attempt.
After his escape Alex returned to the United Kingdom, before embarking for Australia in August 1945, and arriving in Sydney the following month. Returning to civilian life, Alex married and had five children. He pursued an academic career, ultimately becoming a Professor and Deputy Vice Chancellor of Murdoch University in Western Australia. Alex is a member of the RSL.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 Antiquity 3
Chapter 2 Childhood, 1921-1929 7
Chapter 3 Pre-war, 1929-1939 17
Chapter 4 Off to War, 1940 23
Chapter 5 The Pacific and Canada, 1940 28
Chapter 6 England at War, 1941 32
Chapter 7 On Operations, 1941 37
Chapter 8 A Fire in the Sky, 1941 44
Chapter 9 Hospitalised in Germany, 1941 52
Chapter 10 Convalescence, 1941 58
Chapter 11 Off to Prison Camp, 1941 65
Chapter 12 Stalag IIIE: Kirchain, Germany, 1941 71
Chapter 13 Settling into Prison Life, 1941 78
Chapter 14 First Christmas in Prison, 1941 84
Chapter 15 A Dismal Year, 1942 89
Chapter 16 The Tunnel, 1942 99
Chapter 17 On the Loose, 1942 103
Chapter 18 Recaptured, 1942 110
Chapter 19 Stalag Luft III: Sagan, Poland, 1942 116
Chapter 20 Sports and Escapes, 1942 124
Chapter 21 Second Christmas in Prison, 1942 131
Chapter 22 Turn of the Tide, 1943 138
Chapter 23 Stalag Luft VI: Heydekrug, East Prussia, 1943 145
Chapter 24 Third Christmas in Prison, 1943 152
Chapter 25 The Invasion, 1944 157
Chapter 26 Stalag 357 Thorn: Poland, 1944 163
Chapter 27 Fourth Christmas in Prison: Fallingbostel, Germany, 1944 169
Chapter 28 The Long March: Germany, 1945 174
Chapter 29 Freedom, 1945 181
Chapter 30 Home Sweet Home, 1945 186
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
My Father was a POW. His B17 shot down by ME-109, the ball turrent his position. We never heard much about camp life until his later years, when one day he finally put some of it on paper. God Bless each and everyone for their sacrifice in the fight for Freedom!