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The Colditz story (Classics of World War II)
by P. R Reid
ISBN 0809487330 / 9780809487332 / 0-8094-8733-0
Publisher Time-Life Books
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Colditz was the last stop for prisoners of war in the Second World War. It was to this impregnable fortress that the Germans sent all those prisoners who persisted in escaping from other camps, such as Stalag Luft III (of THE GREAT ESCAPE FAME). Once within the walls of Colditz, the Germans reasoned, escape was impossible. And yet during the four-year period when the castle was used as a prison over 300 men escaped, 31 of whom managed to complete the hazardous journey home through Germany. Prisoners from 10 different countries formed a truly international escape academy. Skeleton keys were made, German passes forged, maps drafted, and all manner of tools and machinery constructed out of whatever the prisoners had to hand. The ingenuity of the escape artists knew no bounds: the tried everything from tunnelling, to hiding in rubbish sacks, disguising themselves as German officers, and leaping acrobatically from the castle walls. [via]