BEHIND THE WIRE
Philip Kaplan presents us here with a riveting account of the Allied experience behind enemy lines, detailing the trials and tribulations experienced by the British and American airmen who were shot down in European skies during World War Two, to be incarcerated 'behind the wire' in enemy camps. With eloquence and a clear enthusiasm for the subject at hand, the author describes how various individuals adjusted to their incarceration. Whilst some set their minds resolutely on escape, and dreamt up plots and plans to achieve this end, others retreated, away from their comrades and into them selves as the grim reality of their predicament pushed them ever deeper into debilitating depression. Others were determined that they would not waste their time; affected by the quick and brutal deaths they had witnessed during their wartime careers, they were unwilling to sit idle. Theatres, recreational areas, and other camp facilities were designed and built – a creative spur that made their time behind the wire, and the quality of life of their fellow comrades, infinitely more bearable.
These small acts of enterprising heroism, alongside the harrowing tales of those who crumpled under the weight of their prison reality, combine to create a complete picture of this collective experience. The stories seep from behind the wire, and illuminate this area of World War Two history. Kaplan's skill lies in informing the reader of the facts of this history with both honesty and reverence.
Limited edition signed bookplate by
Flight Lieutenant Alan Bryett
Penguin and stooge in The Great Escape
Flying officer Leonard Hall
Meteorologist in The Great Escape
Squadron Leader Dennis Armitage AFC
Voulter in the Wooden Horse Escape
Group Captain Charles Hobgen
Sent to Stalag Luft 111 shortly after The Great Escape