February 23rd 2019


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Articles from this issue:

COVER STORY Something rotten led to fish-kill: perhaps fishy environmentalism

EDITORIAL Resistance grows to Beijing's soft-power push

CANBERRA OBSERVED Climate change: deadly ... to political leaders

TECHNOLOGY Electric cars: UK taxpayers subsidise rich greenies

BANKING ROYAL COMMISSION A step too small?

CYBER SECURITY Chinese smartphone threat extends way beyond Huawei

SOCIETY Such grandeur of spirit

POLITICS John Hewson should have as sturdy a Constitution

FINANCE Hayne royal commission sets agenda for bank reform

FAMILY RELATIONS Dad: a girl's first and most influential love

COMMENTARY Words gone feral: rights and equality

MEDICINE AND CULTURE Book captures tragedy of falling foul of a fanatic

SOCIETY AND CULTURE A dog's life: reflections of a grey nomad

HUMOUR

MUSIC Serialism a killer: Ideas tend to get in the way

CINEMA Cold Pursuit: Revenge served up manic

BOOK REVIEW Why the West and nowhere else

BOOK REVIEW The escalation of horror and atrocity

LETTERS

Books promotion page

THE REAL GREAT ESCAPE:
 The Story of the First World War's Most Daring Mass Breakout

Jacqueline Cook

$34.95


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(Sydney: Vintage Books, 2013)
Paperback: 320 pages
ISBN: 9780857981141
Price: AUD$34.95

 

Book description

Bigger than the World War II movie, The Great Escape, this is the story of the first successful mass tunnel escape from a prisoner-of-war (POW) camp in First World War Germany.

Situated in Lower Saxony, Germany, Holzminden swung open its barbed wire gates to welcome its first guests in September 1917. It was here that the transient population of officers and orderlies from Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, South Africa, India and Argentina found themselves at the mercy of the despotic Kommandant, Karl Niemeyer, who prided himself on his unblemished breakout record. Serial escapees who had attempted multiple escapes from other camps were sent here for containment.

A group of intrepid officers hatched a daring breakout plan that was to become the blueprint for escape attempts in subsequent wars. Under the feet of their German captors, the officers dug a 55m long tunnel through concrete foundations, rock and packed earth with little more than ingenuity and kitchen cutlery.

Nine months later, 29 officers emerged from the exit hole in a nearby rye field and melted into the darkness of the German countryside. Running the gamut of a furious kommandant, search parties and townspeople eager to claim the reward for their recapture, 10 escapees managed to reach neutral Holland — and ultimately the safety of England.

To write this extraordinary book, Jacqueline Cook called for contributions from descendants of Holzminden POWs, who opened their treasure chests to offer personal anecdotes, wartime journals, unpublished photographs and artwork.

The Real Great Escape illuminates the amazing lives of a group of courageous men, from the victorious to the tragic.

 

About the author

Brisbane-based Jacqueline Cook is a screenwriter with several films in development, including a supernatural thriller, a World War I drama and a UK drama which tells the story of the little-known friendship and rivalry between the world’s most beloved fantasy writers, J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis.

Jacqueline's alarming addiction to screenwriting kicked in many years ago. She has heeded the siren's call ever since, battling a condition called cacoethes scribendi, which, roughly translated from Latin, means an insatiable urge to write.


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