The Definitive History
During the Second World War, this medieval fortress served as the only high security camp in Germany. Its massive walls contained every persistent escaper, troublemaker and valuable hostage captured by the Germans. There were as many guards as there were prisoners. Colditz was considered escape proof; it proved to be the very opposite. The prisoners pooled their collected talents to create the greatest escape academy of the war. Over three hundred attempted to escape, and thirty achieved a ‘home run’, returning to their mother country.
This was my first book, and it grew out of a documentary series I had produced for Channel Four. It tells the story of this famous camp, using fifty original interviews recorded with the officers and their guards. Meeting, getting to know, and in some cases taking the veterans back to Colditz to relive their escapes was an absolute delight. They were all into their ninth decade or more but they still possessed that spark of defiance that had sent to Colditz in the first place.
There is a very good audiobook version of this, read by Sean Barrett. Colditz was also serialised in The Daily Mail, who made much of the crossdressing and the madness, causing me no end of trouble with the old boys. Nevertheless, the publicity probably helped it become a minor bestseller.