Captives of war: British prisoners of War in Europe in the Second World War

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationBook/Film/Article review


Postwar generations have viewed the fate of British prisoners of war in Germany in the Second World War through the prism of what has been labelled ‘the Colditz Myth’, that is, tales of bold defiance and escape. That is certainly true of popular film and literature – one need only think of movies such as The Great Escape, Von Ryan’s Express or The Wooden Horse– but it also applies to a large extent to scholarly investigation of the POW experience in WW2. British scholar Clare Makepeace with her new book Captives of War takes the study of the POW experience into new territory. The focus here is not on events-driven narratives of capture and escape; rather, the book addresses the question of what it was like for British servicemen to be prisoners of the Germans, and how they set about creating an understanding of their lives in captivity.
Original languageEnglish
Specialist publicationSabretache
PublisherCambridge University Press
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2017


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