By Peter Green
During the final days of the Second World War, for 900 Allied officers, held by the Germans in Oflag IX A/H and Oflag IX A/Z, freedom was still a world away. Marched east by their captors, away from the liberating American forces, March and April 1945 was a time of great trials, at the mercy of vengeful Nazis and Allied air raids. Amongst their number were many men whose names would become well known - Desmond Llewellyn, 'Q' in the Bond films, Frederick Corfield, a cabinet minister under Margaret Thatcher and Major Bruce Shand, father of Camilla Parker Bowles.
The March East 1945 draws on official and eyewitness accounts from British, Commonwealth, American and German records, as well as over 30 diaries and memoirs. It reveals the human story that unfolded over two weeks in Hesse, Thuringia and Saxony, and explains how the prisoners lived until their final liberation. Complemented by 100 photographs and illustrations taken and drawn by PoWs, as well as the German instructions for camp evacuation published for the first time in English, this book provides a fascinating insight into the last days of the Second World War.