P R Reid

04 February 2021
416 pages


Daring escapes, ingenious plans and heroic feats are revealed in Major Pat Reid’s classic Second World War history of Colditz, the infamous prisoner-of-war camp.

The great fortress was supposed to be escape-proof and Reid was one of only a few men who successfully broke out. Now, in Colditz: The Full Story, he draws on extensive research to evoke life in the German camp. He recounts how prisoners from the British Commonwealth, America, Belgium, France, Holland, Czechoslovakia, Germany and Poland were incarcerated in suffocating intimacy – and yet, amongst them, loyalty and generosity thrived. As did plots to escape, most of which were unsuccessful.

From his own experience as one of the first captives to be imprisoned in the camp, he reveals the code systems between the War Office and Colditz; shows how he obtained information on Germany’s secret weapons; and investigates the existence of traitors and the situation of non-collaborators. This is a vivid and fascinating account that pays tribute to the bravery of the men living under enemy control who refused to give up the fight.

‘Highly recommended reading’ New York Times

[T]his book is highly recommended reading