In March and April of 1944, Gestapo gunmen killed fifty POWs—a brutal act in defiance of international law and the Geneva Conventions. This is the true story of the men who hunted them down.
The mass breakout of seventy-six Allied airmen from the infamous Stalag Luft III became one of the greatest tales of World War II, immortalized in the film The Great Escape. But where Hollywood’s depiction fades to black, another incredible story begins . . .
Not long after the escape, fifty of the recaptured airmen were taken to killing fields throughout Germany and shot on the direct orders of Hitler. When the nature of these killings came to light, Churchill’s government swore to pursue justice at any cost. A revolving team of military police, led by squadron leader Francis P. McKenna, was dispatched to pick up a trail long gone cold.
Amid the chaos of postwar Germany, divided between American, British, French, and Russian occupiers, McKenna led a three-year manhunt that brought twenty-one Gestapo killers to justice. In Human Game, Simon Read delivers a clear-eyed and meticulously researched account of this often overlooked saga of hard-won justice.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
In the early to mid-1970s American Midwest, there was a certain type of motion picture that was bound to appeal to young males such as myself: the Big War Movie. Just like my friends, I never missed the chance to see TV replays of Kelly's Heroes, The Dirty Dozen, The Longest Day, The Guns of Navarone or -- perhaps the greatest of them all -- The Great Escape.
So fascinated was I by the World War II story of the escape of seventy-six Allied prisoners of war from a German camp, I also read Paul Brickhill's classic book with the same title. I recall it was the first time I ever experienced the disappointment of seeing some of what made a book so great lost in the translation to the big screen (key point: Steve McQueen's ultra-hip Cooler Kid character was totally fabricated; there were no American airmen in the North Compound at Stalag Luft III where the tunnels were dug).
The movie had big name stars like McQueen, stirring music, epic visuals, and memorable set...
Author Simon Read has written an interesting account of British captives who engineered an escape from their Stalag Luft III prison camp and then executed a few at a time by the Germans when captured shortly after. The prisoners didn't know they were to be executed when "taken for a ride" and then were to relieve themselves off the roadway prior to receiving a bullet in the back or in the back of the head. Those involved in the execution claimed they were only following orders and if they didn't do as told they or their family members would pay the price. One executioner, Johannes Post, went out and dined over a fine meal after doing his dark deed. Another part of the book details the efforts to track down those responsible for these cold-blooded murders.
The book is 330 pages long but the potential purchaser should be aware the text itself is only 235 pages. The rest is made up of source notes, an index, bibliography, and two appendixes.
This book is about the accounting of the NAZI Gestapo, Kripo's, and SS who shot the British Airmen who escaped from their Luftstalag III prison camp. Over 150 British Airmen wre able to escape beyond the wire, however only 3 were successful in finding their way back to Great Britain. The rest of these men were captured by the German Wehrmacht and Luftwaffe and returned back to the Luftstalag or if they were captured by the SS, Gestapo, or Kripo's they were likely shot and killed. Simon Read's book is about how justice was done to those murdere's who were caught after World War II. Some were caught by the British, American, or French. However, those caught by the Soviet's either "disappeared" or were reported shot after trial inside the USSR. Read begins with the night the Airmen escaped their POW Camp. German forces were put on high alert and over 100,000 Germans were on the lookout to capture the escapee's. Adolf Hitler became furious and ordered that those caught by the...
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