July, 1918. The most heavily guarded POW camp in the world. Surrounded by steel palisades and barbed-wire fences, patrolled by ferocious dogs and armed guards with orders to shoot to kill, Holzminden was a brutal punishment camp.
To escape would take boundless ingenuity and nerves of steel. Many tried. Prisoners used sardine-tin openers to pick locks, forged documents, sent messages using milk as an invisible ink, and created fake uniforms and elaborate disguises.
Every attempt failed, leading only to ever-tighter defences. But on the night of 23 July 1918, twenty-nine undaunted Allied prisoners achieved the impossible.
They had spent nine months using cutlery to move tonnes of earth, clay and stone, digging a tunnel over 150 feet long under the walls and barbed-wire fences, to the farmland beyond.
This is the fascinating story of how they did it - and of the many who had failed before them.
Neil Hanson provides a rare insight into the minds of these prisoners of war, revealing their resourcefulness, courage and persistence - and inexhaustible good humour.
- Format: Paperback / softback
- Pages: 416 pages
- Publisher: Transworld Publishers Ltd
- Publication Date: 10/05/2012
- Category: European history
- ISBN: 9780552155496