Title: Colditz – Containing Two Classics : The Colditz Story & The Latter Days

Author: Reid, P R

Condition: Very Good

Edition: 1st Edition

Publication Date: 1962


Cover: Hard Cover with Dust Jacket – 622  pages

Comments: ‘Just about the best of the many escape books of World War II,’ commented Time when P.R. Reid’s The Colditz Story was published.

Here, in one volume is a reissue of the Colditz Story, Reid’s personal memoir until his own escape in 1942, and Men of Colditz, the story of the prisoners Reid left behind.

After the outbreak of World War II the castle was converted into a high security prisoner-of-war camp for officers who had become security or escape risks or who were regarded as particularly dangerous. Since the castle is situated on a rocky outcrop above the Mulde river, the Germans believed it to be an ideal site for a high security prison.

The larger outer courtyard, known as the Kommandantur, had only two exits and housed a large German garrison. The prisoners lived in an adjacent courtyard in a 90 ft (27 m) tall building. Outside, the flat terraces which surrounded the prisoners’ accommodation were constantly watched by armed sentries and surrounded by barbed wire. Although known as Colditz Castle to the locals, its official German designation was Oflag IV-C and it was under Wehrmacht control.

Although it was considered a high security prison, it boasted one of the highest records of successful escape attempts. This could be owing to the general nature of the prisoners that were sent there; most of them had attempted escape previously from other prisons and were transferred to Colditz because the Germans had thought the castle escape-proof. One lavish scheme even included a glider that was kept in a remote portion of the castle’s attic, although it was never used because Germany surrendered to the Allies before the scheduled date of the planned escape.

In April 1945, US troops entered Colditz town and, after a two-day fight, captured the castle on April 16.

Ex Library Copy