Physical description

Index, ill, maps, p.224.

Publication type



On June 23 1943 Lieutenant Jack Champ of the 2nd/6th Australian Infantry Battalion was marched into one of the most famous prisoner-of-war camps in Germany. Known then as Oflag IVC, it is now better know as Colditz. By the end of the war there were nineteen Australians in Colditz, and this is the first book to look at life there specifically from their point of view. It was a very special camp. It was designed to retain under escape-proof conditions, a select group of Allied prisoners who had already escaped from other camps and who had been recaptured whilst still in occupied territory. Having seen action in the Western Desert and in Greece, Jack Champ had been captured by the Germans in 1941. He was, however, a reluctant prisoner and took part in two escapes from different POW camps, one of which was a mass break-out of sixty officers through a tunnel that had taken weeks to make. Although the guards frequently outnumbered prisoners, there were more escapes from Colditz than from any other prison of comparable size during both World Wars. In this vivid book Jack Champ and Colin Burgess explain what it was like to be a prisoner in Nazi Germany. It is a curious blend of brutality and humanity, of routines and dreams, and occasional and dramatic excitement as men tried to turn those dreams into the reality of freedom.