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New Book - Human Game: Hunting the 'Great Escape' Murderers

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  • New Book - Human Game: Hunting the 'Great Escape' Murderers

    I hope you'll forgive this shameless self-promotion. Penguin recently released my latest book, Human Game: The True Story of the 'Great Escape' Murders and the Hunt for the Gestapo Gunmen, in the US (the UK edition will hit stores on 7 March 2013).

    Detailing the 50 murders following the 'Great Escape," and the Royal Air Force's manhunt across post-war Europe for the killers, the book is the result of three years researching and writing. It's based primarily on the official case files of the Special Investigating Branch of the RAF Police.



    I hope some of you will read and enjoy it.

    Thanks!

  • #2
    Looks like a great read and this is a subject we should never let be forgotten.
    "Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few."- Sir Winston Churchill, about R.A.F. fighter pilots."
    "It is well that war is so terrible, else we grow to fond of it." - Robert E. Lee

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    • #3
      Thanks for the kind words, Robbie!

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      • #4
        This is the first I've ever heard of an official RAF reaction to the deaths of the 'Great Escape' prisoners. I just thought that the murders were going to be one of those injustices that take place in war without any consequences for those involved. It's hard to get new material out of the Second World War but this sounds like one of those topics.

        I'd ask the author some questions about the original incident and the subsequent investigation but I think it would make me look thick, so I'm better off just reading the book.

        Cheers,
        Dan.
        So long as men worship the Caesars and Napoleons, Caesars and Napoleons will duly rise and make them miserable.

        Aldous Huxley: Ends and Means (1937)

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        • #5
          How about posting some sections?


          Philip
          "The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts." Bertrand Russell

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          • #6
            Looks interesting. Had no idea the RAF went after the killers.

            And the story seems like it would lend itself to a movie adaptation rather easily.
            Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.

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            • #7
              There was a BBC documentary on this a few years ago. They caught some but not all.
              "To be free is better than to be unfree - always."

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Dan M View Post
                This is the first I've ever heard of an official RAF reaction to the deaths of the 'Great Escape' prisoners. I just thought that the murders were going to be one of those injustices that take place in war without any consequences for those involved. It's hard to get new material out of the Second World War but this sounds like one of those topics.

                I'd ask the author some questions about the original incident and the subsequent investigation but I think it would make me look thick, so I'm better off just reading the book.

                Cheers,
                Dan.
                Hey, Dan . . . don't feel shy about asking questions! I'd be more than happy to answer any you may have!

                Cheers,

                Simon

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by PhilipLaos View Post
                  How about posting some sections?


                  Philip
                  Hi Philip,

                  I may be posting some excerpts on my website . . . but I haven't decided just yet! If I post anything, I'll let folks here know about it. The problem with excerpts is you don't always get the full context of the passage . . .

                  Cheers,

                  Simon

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by SimonReadBooks View Post
                    Hi Philip,

                    I may be posting some excerpts on my website . . . but I haven't decided just yet! If I post anything, I'll let folks here know about it. The problem with excerpts is you don't always get the full context of the passage . . .

                    Cheers,

                    Simon
                    I know.

                    But selecting which tempting excepts to present is one of the skills of publicists, authors and publishers.

                    Hope to see some soon.

                    Good luck with the book!


                    Philip
                    "The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts." Bertrand Russell

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      What does the Geneva convention have to say about re-capturing ex POWS on the run in your own country?
                      This may sound harsh but I'm pretty sure no tears would have been shed for any axis POW killed after capture in the UK.
                      I believe that the individuals undertaking an escape in Germany during WW2 knew what they risked and were very brave to go ahead with it, a country simply can't afford to have enemy soldiers running around within its own borders.

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                      • #12
                        IIRC, the point about the Great Escape POWs was that a large number were neither captured nor wounded, but summarily executed.


                        Philip
                        "The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts." Bertrand Russell

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by SimonReadBooks View Post
                          Hey, Dan . . . don't feel shy about asking questions! I'd be more than happy to answer any you may have!
                          Thanks Simon.

                          The only knowledge I have is from the movie. Now I know not to get my history from films, but that's all I have. In the movie there was a large group of POW's shot in a field by the SS. There were also others killed while trying to avoid capture. (David McCallum as Ashley-Pitt was killed on the train tracks doing this.)

                          Do the 50 who were murdered include every POW who was shot, or was there a group of 50 who were killed out of hand by the SS? Were there others over and above those 50 who were killed?

                          Cheers,
                          Dan.
                          So long as men worship the Caesars and Napoleons, Caesars and Napoleons will duly rise and make them miserable.

                          Aldous Huxley: Ends and Means (1937)

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Dan M View Post
                            Thanks Simon.

                            The only knowledge I have is from the movie. Now I know not to get my history from films, but that's all I have. In the movie there was a large group of POW's shot in a field by the SS. There were also others killed while trying to avoid capture. (David McCallum as Ashley-Pitt was killed on the train tracks doing this.)

                            Do the 50 who were murdered include every POW who was shot, or was there a group of 50 who were killed out of hand by the SS? Were there others over and above those 50 who were killed?

                            Cheers,
                            Dan.
                            Hey, Dan . . . good question!

                            The fifty murdered POWs were the only group executed in connection with The Great Escape. In real life, non were shot while trying to avoid recapture. All were killed after they were taken into custody. Unlike the movie, where the fifty are shot in a group, the men--in real life--were executed in killing fields throughout Germany. The method of execution was a bullet to the back of the head. The bodies were then taken to near by crematoriums or concentration camps and destroyed. The ashes were shipped back to Stalag Luft III in urns stamped with the date and place of death.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by SimonReadBooks View Post
                              Hey, Dan . . . good question!

                              The fifty murdered POWs were the only group executed in connection with The Great Escape. In real life, non were shot while trying to avoid recapture. All were killed after they were taken into custody. Unlike the movie, where the fifty are shot in a group, the men--in real life--were executed in killing fields throughout Germany. The method of execution was a bullet to the back of the head. The bodies were then taken to near by crematoriums or concentration camps and destroyed. The ashes were shipped back to Stalag Luft III in urns stamped with the date and place of death.
                              Thanks for the info. Looks like it'll be a good read. I'll put it on my list.

                              Cheers,
                              Dan.
                              So long as men worship the Caesars and Napoleons, Caesars and Napoleons will duly rise and make them miserable.

                              Aldous Huxley: Ends and Means (1937)

                              Comment

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