Author(s): Stephen Dando-Collins
The story opens in the stinking latrines of the Schubin camp as an American and a Canadian lead the digging of a tunnel which enabled a break involving 36 prisoners of war (POWs). The Germans then converted the camp to Of lag 64, to exclusively hold US Army officers, with more than 1500 Americans ultimately housed there. Plucky Americans attempted a variety of escapes until January, 1945, only to be thwarted every time. Then, with the Red Army advancing closer every day, camp commandant Colonel Fritz Schneider received orders from Berlin to march his prisoners west. Game on! Over the next few days, 250 US Army officers would succeed in escaping east to link up with the Russians - although they would prove almost as dangerous as the Nazis - only to be ordered once they arrived back in the United States not to talk about their adventures. Within months, General Patton would launch a bloody bid to rescue the remaining Schubin Americans. In The Big Break, this previously untold story follows POWs including General Eisenhower's personal aide, General Patton's son-in-law, and Ernest Hemingway's eldest son as they struggled to be free. Military historian and Paul Brickhill biographer Stephen Dando-Collins expertly chronicles this gripping story of Americans determined to be free, brave Poles risking their lives to help them, and dogmatic Nazis determined to stop them.
In the tradition of Paul Brickhill's bestselling The Great Escape, the amazing true story of the the most successful mass Allied escape of World War II from Schubin, Poland.
"Stephen Dando-Collins brilliantly illuminates the Shubin break of 1945, both the largest breakout by US prisoners-of-war in history and the biggest Allied escape of World War II. He skillfully traces the irrepressible desire for freedom that bound the more than 250 escapees from Oflag 64 as they hit home runs for their liberty, often with the help of the Polish resistance. With a cast of names that includes Hemingway, Eisenhower, and Patton, Dando-Collins gripping narrative ranks with the best literature on the triumph of the human spirit over seemingly unbeatable odds." Professor Philip Samponaro, Department of History, The University of Texas, Rio Grande Valley"Stephen Dando-Collins The Big Break weaves an engrossing account of a mass escape by American POWs from Nazi incarceration at the end of WWII and recounts their journeys through enemy territory to reach the safety of American and allied lines. A well researched and enthralling story particularly for WWII buffs." David P Colley, author of Decision At Strasbourg"Stephen Dando-Collins is a Cornelius Ryan, a Stephen Ambrose for a new generation, bringing alive the daring deeds of World War Two! The Big Breakis a wonderful book, letting us know that there are still great tales to be told from this era, and great authors to rise the challenge. For those of us who grew up with The Great Escape movie and book (and yes, maybe even the TV show Hogan s Heroes), The Big Break is a masterful Volume Two to that story. For those who are new to this genre, The Big Break is an engrossing and enthralling introduction to the courage, ingenuity, and tenacity of our POWs in World War Two. Rejoice, history readers! There is a new literary giant in the land!" Lt. Col. Dave Grossman, author of On Combat and On Killing So well written, so comprehensive, and so personal to me - I have known some of these men and their families. Stephen Dando-Collins has done his homework. Elodie Caldwell, daughter of escapee Reid F. Ellsworth"
STEPHEN DANDO-COLLINS is an award-winning military historian and biographer with numerous highly praised books ranging from imperial Rome to World War II to the American West including Legions of Rome, Operation Chowhound, and Tycoon's War. His books appear in many languages in many countries including the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Poland, Albania, Russia and Korea.