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Captives Courageous, South African Prisoners of War, World War II

Discussion in 'Book Reviews' started by ColHessler, Aug 18, 2016.

  1. ColHessler

    ColHessler Member

    Dec 5, 2010
    Likes Received:
    The author is Maxwell Leigh

    Length of book: 333 pages, counting the index.

    This is a great record of the hidden chapter of WWII, dealing with the men of the South African forces who were captured and held by the Germans and Italians. Most of them were captured at Tobruk and Sidi Rezegh and had to endure long marches in the heat to captivity, so called "Thirst Marches." There was also a chapter on the sinking of a prison ship the Italians were transporting prisoners on by a British sub, and the lives lost. There were others who were interned in Germany, and had to endure hard labor and few rations.

    The first half of the book also deals with camp life, and how these men had sports and studies to keep them occupied. The second half of the book, for me the more exciting part, dealt with escape attempts, and there is a chapter devoted to Roger Bushell, "Big X" from the real Great Escape from Stalag Luft III. South Africa should be proud of him. They also talk about how Italian peasants sheltered escapees at great personal risk and the gratitude shown them by the South Africans they helped.

    At the end, they talk about the forced marches the Germans had the POW's undertake from Silesia to the west to escape the Russians, and how the men had to endure the winter conditions to reach the west.

    I definitely recommend this as an aid in understanding in this facet of WWII.
    Charlie Company likes this.

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