On capture, British officers and men were routinely told by the Germans, “For you the war is over”. Nothing could have been further from the truth.
In the camps the war was eternal. There was the war against the German military, fought with everything from taunting humour to outright sabotage. British PoWs also battled starvation, disease, Prussian cruelties, boredom, and their own inner demons.
And, of course, they escaped. Then escaped again. It was war with heartbreaking consequences: More than 12,000 PoWs died.
Using contemporary records - from prisoners' diaries to letters home to poetry - John Lewis-Stempel reveals the death, life, and, above all, the glory of Britain's warriors behind the wire.
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