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The experiences of Australian prisoners of war (POWs) or Kriegsgefangeners held captive in Germany have been largely forgotten or ignored, overshadowed by the horrid stories of Australians imprisoned by the Japanese during World War Two. Yet, as David Coombes makes known, the stories are interesting and significant, not only providing an account of what those young Australian soldiers experienced, and the spirit they showed in responding to captivity but also for the insight it provided into Germany in the last eighteen months of the war.
Coombes draws upon previous inaccessible records, private papers and unpublished manuscripts. He paints a vivid picture of young soldiers who survived the trauma of battle, only to find themselves facing an unknown fate at the hands of an often vindictive and cruel enemy. The typical Australian sense of humour and the sheer will to live that marked these men emerge in the pages of these amazingly detailed accounts.
Above all, they determined to be free and to return once more to their families that ensured their survival, often against overwhelming odds. (back cover)