The Escape Artists: A Band of Daredevil Pilots and the Greatest Prison Break of the Great War
“Bascomb has unearthed a remarkable piece of hidden history, and told it perfectly. The story brims with adventure, suspense, daring, and heroism.”
—David Grann, New York Times bestselling author of Killers of the Flower Moon
Neal Bascomb, New York Times best-selling author, delivers the spellbinding story of the downed Allied airmen who masterminded the remarkably cour
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You are a beloved hero, adored and respected on one side of the fence/wall, and you are a villain, hated and tortured on the other side...
Your face is idolized on one side and you are beheaded on the other...
Strange and weird are the ways we, humans, create divide and hate among ourselves!
This thoroughly researched and well written collection of World War I breakout memoirs is about the struggles, hardships, adventures, determination, perse ...more
One of the fascinating things learned in the book was the reciprocal agreement between the Germans and the allied troops (primarily English) that if an officer was caught trying to escape, he would just be assigned to another prison camp, unlike the enlisted who were summarily executed. Fascinating stories surrounding the “escape artists” and their b ...more
As most of these were pilots, readers get a vivid account of what life was like for those early pilots, as warfare made its shift skyward. The attrition rate was as terrible as it became in QQ II, but these guys still were willing to risk it. Some even relished the risk.
They brought the same attitude toward trying to escape, though conditions in prisoner of war camps were a ...more
For my full review: https://paulspicks.blog/2018/08/20/th...
For all my reviews: https://paulspicks ...more
The story follows several British military men during WWI as they make several attempts to escape POW Camps in Germany. I wish I would've written down the main chara ...more
When you ‘re down and out and feeling blue (is that a song?), you need a book such as Neal Bascomb’s “The Escape Artists” to get you rejuvenated. It’s the story of heroes who never give up. The horrors of German prison camps are, once again, presented in miserable detail but there’s something different. There’s optimism, courage, ingenuity, persistence, and humor that overcome the bleakness experienced by most captives.
During the war the sky over Germany rained paper, wire, and wood as thousands ...more
World War I was a harrowing war, but is not covered as frequently as World War II. This is a shame, since there are so many facets of the war that have not been covered. For instance, I had forgotten that the Hague Conventions laid out very clear and extensive rules about how prisoners of war should be treated. During WWI, the Germans violated these on multiple occasions. The Grand Escape tells how prisoners at Holzminden were so mistreated that the plan ...more
Why not 5? Having a hard time pinning it down and putting it in to words. It is just more of a feeling that it is a great book, certainly well worth the read, interesting and engaging and if you are at all familiar with later escapes say in WWII -- you will see where a lot of those lessons were learned (and later taught).
Alas, still can't give it that 5. But please do not let that detract you. This one is worth the time investment if you are at ...more
A fascinating read for young historians!
World War I brought warfare into a brutal, modern era. The trenches, the gas, the aerial dogfights were new and terrible rea ...more
When I picked thi ...more
Bascomb’s well-researched tale The Escape Artists is divided into four major sections. In the first, “Capture,” he provides a glimpse into the personalities and lives of some of the maj ...more
British pilots of rudimentary airplanes are captured by Germans during WWI. As prisoners of war, they are shuffled to various prisons and subject to brutal conditions. Lack of food, clean water, adequate shelter, and cruelty on the part of the prisons’ commanders’ force many officers to plan elaborate escapes. These plans, if they fail, will yield corporal punishment, solitary confinement, military court martial, and possibly death.
Yet the P ...more
The British entered the war with enthusiasm and with the confiden ...more
This is what you should expect when reading this amazing piece of literature.
This book follows military soldiers during World War 1 who have to endure terrible conditions at Holzminden right under the nos ...more
Born in Colorado and raised in St. Louis, he is the product of public ...more