The Jail Busters
By Robert Lyman
In the new year of 1944 the French Resistance in northern France was on its knees. Relentless attacks on its diverse and disorganised networks by the Gestapo and the Abwehr had put many of its best operatives in prison, or worse. But in the lead up to Operation Overlord, 'D Day', the Resistance had never been more important to the Allied war effort, and many groups were in the pay of Britain's Secret Intelligence Service, MI6. One such was organised by a patriot called Dominic Ponchardier. For months he had watched helplessly as his friends and colleagues had been swept up by the Nazi drag net, and cast into the old prison on the eastern outskirts of Amiens. In desperation he asked his MI6 handlers for help, and once London agreed it led to one of the most daring missions of the war. On the morning of 18 February 1944, nineteen Mosquito bombers flew at low level across the channel, skimming just above the ground to drop their bombs on sections of the walls of Amiens Prison. Hundreds escaped, scores of whom evaded recapture to continue the fight against Nazi repression. It was an epic of precision bombing, in which one of the most notable RAF heroes of the war, Group Captain Charles Pickard, lost his life. Robert Lyman's book reveals, from previously unseen sources, the full truth of MI6's involvement in the French Resistance, and narrates in vivid detail a stirring tale of courage and skill.
Judy: A Dog in a Million
By Damien Lewis
The impossibly moving story of how Judy, World War Two's only animal POW, brought hope in the midst of hell.Judy, a beautiful liver and white English pointer, and the only animal POW of WWII, truly was a dog in a million, cherished and adored by the British, Australian, American and other Allied servicemen who fought to survive alongside her. Viewed largely as human by those who shared her extraordinary life, Judy's uncanny ability to sense danger, matched with her quick-thinking and impossible daring saved countless lives. She was a close companion to men who became like a family to her, sharing in both the tragedies and joys they faced. It was in recognition of the extraordinary friendship and protection she offered amidst the unforgiving and savage environment of a Japanese prison camp in Indonesia that she gained her formal status as a POW. Judy's unique combination of courage, kindness and fun repaid that honour a thousand times over and her incredible story is one of the most heartwarming and inspiring tales you will ever read.
By Kevin Wilson
The final, climactic volume of Wilson's acclaimed bomber war trilogy. In February 1945, British and American bombers rained down thousands of tons of incendiaries on the city of Dresden, creating one of the greatest firestorms in history. Their bombs killed an estimated 25,000 people, and wiped one of the most beautiful cities in Europe from the map. The controversy that erupted shortly afterwards, and which continues to this day, has long overshadowed the other events of the bomber war, and blighted the memory of the young men who gave their lives to fight in the skies over Germany.This book neither condemns the bombing of Dresden, nor excuses it, but simply puts it in its proper context as a devastating set of raids in a much larger campaign. To the crews who flew over Germany night after night there were other much more pressing worries: the V2 rockets that threatened their loved ones at home, the brand new German jet fighters that could strike them at speeds of over 600mph, the deadly flak over the cities of the Ruhr Valley. The bomber war had entered its final unforgiving months, and no quarter was given on either side. Kevin Wilson has interviewed over a hundred people for this book, some of whom flew on the Dresden raids, and many more who experienced other aspects of bombing, both in the air and on the ground. JOURNEY'S END chronicles the brutal endgame of a conflict that caused devastation and tragedy on both sides.