60 Years Ago
The war in Europe was over, and yet for many Allied PoWs their suffering was only just starting to come to an end. In December 1944, some 270,000 American, British, and Commonwealth prisoners were sent on the road so they wouldn't be liberated by the advancing Russians. One in ten died. After the war their horrors were dwarfed by the Japanese atrocities and the image of PoWs in Germany was set by the "Escape" films. My father was one of those PoWs and only ever spoke briefly of it so I can recommend this book as an excellent eye-opening account.
Nichol (himself a PoW during the first Gulf War) and Rennell have dug out the stories of these men, who were marched for hundreds of miles through one of the worst winters Germany has ever experienced--half frozen, generally unfed, racked with dysentery, and apt at any moment to be shot by a German guard or strafed by Allied aircraft who had no idea who they were. Afterwards, their ordeal was forgotten by all but themselves. An excellent account of an unknown atrocity, which left thousands dead and other thousands crippled for life.