Australians from every field of conflict in WW2 found themselves as prisoners in Hitler's notorious Stalags, or prisoner of war camps. Whether captured merchant seamen, bomber crews or soldiers taken in North Africa or the disastrous Greek and Cretan campaigns, they were to see out the war in the heart of Hitler's Europe, their fortunes intimately connected to the fortunes of the Reich.
Most were forced to labour in factories, down mines or on the land – often in conditions of enormous privation and hardship. All suffered from shortages, overcrowding and the mental strain of imprisonment. Some tried to escape, a few successfully, a few paying with their lives. The experiences of Australian POWs in Germany has long been overshadowed by the horrors of Japanese imprisonment, yet their stories of courage, stoicism, suffering and endurance deserve to be told.
Peter Monteath's fascinating narrative history is exhaustively researched, and compelling in its detailed evocation.