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Edited by Megan Hutching

The Second World War saw over 8000 New Zealander military personnel - one in 200 of the country's population at the time- incarcerated by enemy forces. The prisoners were captured mainly by the Germans and Italians, though some were held by the Japanese. Far from being safe, prisoners of war had to endure privations nearly as demanding as those they faced when engaged in active fighting.

In INSIDE STORIES 16 POW's recall their experiences behind the barbed wire of enemy compounds. Many tell of their shock and disbelief at being taken prisoner, and their fear of violent action by their captors. Once interned, thoughts generally turned to the possibility of escape, and a number of men featured describe their bids for freedom. For most POW's, the days would drag on interminably; the battle they now fought was against boredom. Concert parties, lectures, card games and sports all helped pass the time, and in some cases divert the guards' attention from tunnelling and other escape activities. As the war drew to a close, the challenges facing POW's increased and several soldiers; tell of forced marches under the change of jittery guards, as prisoners were moved away from approaching Allied troops. Lack of Food and bitterly cold conditions pressed many POWs to the limits of their resolve.

Together with Ian McGibbon's astute overview of the POWs role in the Second World War, these personal stories preserve a sometimes forgotten aspect of this global conflict. They stand testament to the courage of all who faced the war from behind enemy lines.

Softcover - 282 pages

Published 2002

Excellent condition
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  • Seller location: Hamilton, Waikato, NZ

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