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Mark Felton - Author

About the Author

Mark Felton has written over a dozen books on prisoners of war, Japanese war crimes and Nazi war criminals, and writes regularly for magazines such as Military History Monthly and World War II. He is the author of Today is a Good Day to Fight, an acclaimed history of the American west, and Japan's Gestapo (named 'Best Book of 2009' by The Japan Times). His most recent book is China Station: The British Military in the Middle Kingdom, 1839-1997. Originally from Colchester, Dr Felton has returned to the UK after living for almost a decade in Shanghai, China. He is married with one son.

Featured books by Mark Felton

Zero Night The Untold Story of the Second World War's Most Daring Great Escape

Zero Night The Untold Story of the Second World War's Most Daring Great Escape

Author: Mark Felton Format: Hardback Release Date: 02/10/2014

Oflag VI-B, Warburg, Germany: On the night of 30 August 1942 - 'Zero Night' - 40 officers from Britain, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa staged the most audacious mass escape of the Second World War. It was the first 'Great Escape' - but instead of tunnelling, the escapers boldly went over the huge perimeter fences using wooden scaling contraptions. This was the notorious 'Warburg Wire Job', described by fellow prisoner and fighter ace Douglas Bader as 'the most brilliant escape conception of this war'. Months of meticulous planning and secret training hung in the balance during three minutes of mayhem as prisoners charged the camp's double perimeter fences. Telling this remarkable story in full for the first time, historian Mark Felton brilliantly evokes the suspense of the escape itself and the adventures of those who eluded the Germans, as well as the courage of the civilians who risked their lives to help them in enemy territory. Fantastically intimate and told with a novelist's eye for drama and detail, this is a rip-roaring adventure story, all the more thrilling for being true.

ebook of the month

Other books by Mark Felton

Operation Swallow

Operation Swallow

Author: Mark Felton Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 06/08/2020

Operation Swallow is the true story of how a small group of American soldiers, inspired by a charismatic but reluctant leader named Hans Kasten, worked to save hundreds of fellow servicemen from a Nazi plan to turn Jewish prisoners of war into concentration camp slaves. It begins in the snowy forests of the Ardennes during Christmas 1944 and ends at the charnel house of Buchenwald concentration camp in spring 1945. It is a remarkable battle of wills between a young GI thrust into a leadership position he didn't want and an SS officer who will stop at nothing to complete his orders. Written from personal testimonies and official documents, it is an escape story replete with courage, sacrifice, torture, despair and salvation. Even more remarkably, it is a story that has barely been told before, a chapter of US military history that the American government tried to suppress for decades - and an uplifting story that deserves to be widely known.

Guarding Hitler

Guarding Hitler

Author: Mark Felton Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 28/07/2020

Based on intelligence documents, personal testimonies, memoirs and official histories, including material only declassified in 2010, Guarding Hitler provides the reader with a fascinating inside look at the secret world of Hitlers security and domestic arrangements. The book focuses in particular on both the official and private life of Hitler during the latter part of the war, at the Wolfs Lair at Rastenburg, and Hitlers private residence at Berchtesgaden, the Berghof. Guarding Hitler manages to offer fresh insights into the life and routine of the Fuhrer, and most importantly the often indiscreet opinions, observations and activities of the little people who surrounded Hitler but whose stories have been overshadowed by the great affairs of state. It covers not only the plots against Hitlers life but the way security developed as a result. His use of doubles is examined as is security whilst travelling by land or air. As little has been written about the security and domestic life of Adolf Hitler, Guarding Hitler allows the reader to delve deeper into this previously overlooked but nonetheless fascinating aspect of the worlds most infamous man.

Never Surrender: Dramatic Escapes From Japanese Prison Camps

Never Surrender: Dramatic Escapes From Japanese Prison Camps

Author: Mark Felton Format: Hardback Release Date: 26/11/2019

While there have been many fine books covering escapes from German POW camps (The Wooden Horse, Great Escape, Colditz etc), the exploits of those POWs in Japanese captivity have been strangely neglected - until now. Of the tens of thousands of Allied personnel captured by the victorious Japanese during late 1941 and early 1942 only a small number of brave souls attempted to escape to freedom rather than suffer brutality, starvation and very possibly death as POWs. Escapers faced challenges far more daunting than those in German hands. They were Westerners in an alien, hostile land; the terrain and climate were extreme; disease was rife; their physical condition was weak; there was every chance of starvation and betrayal and, if captured, execution was a near certainty and the harshest punishment inevitable. The author draws on escape attempts from Hong Kong, Thailand, the Philippines, Borneo, China by officers and men of the British, Commonwealth and US armed forces. Few ended in freedom but all are examples of outstanding, desperate courage. This is an inspiring and uplifting book that demonstrates the best and worst of human spirit.

Operation Swallow

Operation Swallow

Author: Mark Felton Format: Hardback Release Date: 07/11/2019

Operation Swallow is the true story of how a small group of American soldiers, inspired by a charismatic but reluctant leader named Hans Kasten, worked to save hundreds of fellow servicemen from a Nazi plan to turn Jewish prisoners of war into concentration camp slaves. It begins in the snowy forests of the Ardennes during Christmas 1944 and ends at the charnel house of Buchenwald concentration camp in spring 1945. It is a remarkable battle of wills between a young GI thrust into a leadership position he didn't want and an SS officer who will stop at nothing to complete his orders. Written from personal testimonies and official documents, it is an escape story replete with courage, sacrifice, torture, despair and salvation. Even more remarkably, it is a story that has barely been told before, a chapter of US military history that the American government tried to suppress for decades - and an uplifting story that deserves to be widely known.

Slaughter at Sea

Slaughter at Sea

Author: Mark Felton Format: Hardback Release Date: 27/10/2019

Even the most knowledgeable reader will be shocked by the extent of the crimes committed against servicemen and civilians revealed in this chilling new study. From the regular execution of POWs to the abandonment of survivors, Mark Felton takes a detailed look at this dark chapter in the history of the Japanese navy in World War II. Prior to this account, Japanese war crimes at sea have received relatively little attention compared to coverage of the Japanese army's barbaric conduct. Written by a longtime resident of the Far East, this new work takes into account the culture that led to such appalling atrocities. Upon publication in the UK, the book drew major news coverage.

Holocaust Heroes

Holocaust Heroes

Author: Mark Felton Format: Hardback Release Date: 20/10/2019

Holocaust Heroes is an inspiring book that examines the incredible--yet tragic--examples of Jewish resistance in ghettos and concentration camps during the days of the Nazis' Final Solution. The Warsaw Uprising during the spring of 1944 is the most infamous rebellion, but there were other occasions of Jews and other prisoners fighting back--often with stunning results--against their murderers via the armed Jewish resistance. Destroying gas chambers, efforts to take over camps, and escaping en masse were just some of the brave methods attempted to stop the machinery of the Holocaust throughout Poland and the Ukraine. In virtually every case, the brave men and women who rebelled against their captors, paid dearly with their lives. Holocaust Heroes recounts the stories of these individuals who fought against victimization and acted with bravery, resourcefulness, and resistance to fight against their tragic fate. An important and original addition to the bibliography of the Holocaust, these stories are uplifting, inspiring, and profoundly moving.

Japan's Gestapo: Murder, Mayhem and Torture in Wartime Asia

Japan's Gestapo: Murder, Mayhem and Torture in Wartime Asia

Author: Mark Felton Format: Hardback Release Date: 20/10/2019

The book opens by explaining the origins, organisation and roles of the Kempetai apparatus, which exercised virtually unlimited power throughout the Japanese Empire. The author reveals their criminal and collaborationist networks, which extorted huge sums of money from hapless citizens and business. They ran the Allied POW gulag system which treated captives with brutality and a complete lack of mercy.Other Kempetai activities included biological and chemical experiments on live subjects, slave labour, including 'Comfort Women' drawn from all races.Their record of reprisals against military and civilians was unrelenting. For example Colonel Doolittle's raid on Tokyo in 1942 resulted in a campaign of revenge not just against captured airmen but thousands of Chinese civilians. Their actions amounted to genocide on a grand scale. Of particular distaste is the revelation of the Maruta vivisection campaign.The author backs up his text with first hand testimonies from those survivors who suffered at the hands of this evil organization. He examines how the guilty were bought to justice and the resulting claims for compensation.

Ghost Riders

Ghost Riders

Author: Mark Felton Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 06/06/2019

April 1945. As Allied bombs rain down on Europe, a 400-year-old institution looks set to be wiped off the face of the Earth. The famous white Lipizzaner stallions of the Spanish Riding School in Vienna, unique and precious animals representing centuries of careful breeding, are scattered across rural Austria and Czechoslovakia in areas soon to be swallowed up by Soviet forces - there, doubtless, to become rations for the Red Army. Their only hope lies with the Americans: what if a small, highly mobile US task force could be sent deep behind German lines, through fanatical SS troops, to rescue the horses before the Soviets arrive. Just five light tanks, a handful of armoured cars and jeeps, and 300 battle-weary GIs must plunge headlong into the unknown on a rescue mission that could change the course of European history. So begins Operation Cowboy, the greatest Second World War story that has never been fully told. GIs will join forces with surrendered German soldiers and liberated prisoners of war to save the world's finest horses from fanatical SS and the ruthless Red Army in an extraordinary battle during the last few days of the war in Europe.

Ghost Riders

Ghost Riders

Author: Mark Felton Format: eBook Release Date: 02/10/2018

It is April 1945 and the world's most prized horses are about to be slaughtered...As the Red Army closes in on the Third Reich, a German colonel sends an American intelligence officer an unusual report about a POW camp soon to be overrun by the Soviets. Locked up, the report says, are over a thousand horses, including the entire herd of white Lipizzaner's from Vienna's Spanish Riding School, as well as Europe's finest Arabian stallions--stolen to create an equine "e;master race."e; The horses are worth millions and, if the starving Red Army reaches the stables first, they will kill the horses for rations. The Americans, under the command of General George Patton, whose love of horses was legendary, decide to help the Germans save the majestic creatures. So begins "e;Operation Cowboy,"e; as GIs join forces with surrendered German soldiers and liberated prisoners of war to save the world's finest horses from fanatical SS soldiers and the ruthless Red Army in an extraordinary battle during the last few days of the war in Europe. This is an epic untold story from the waning days of World War II.Drawing from newly unearthed archival material, family archives held by descendants of the participants, and interviews with many of the participants published throughout the years, Ghost Riders is the definitive account of this truly unprecedented and moving story of kindness and compassion at the close of humanity's darkest hour.

Ghost Riders

Ghost Riders

Author: Mark Felton Format: Hardback Release Date: 05/07/2018

April 1945. As Allied bombs rain down on Europe, a 400-year-old institution looks set to be wiped off the face of the Earth. The famous white Lipizzaner stallions of the Spanish Riding School in Vienna, unique and precious animals representing centuries of careful breeding, are scattered across rural Austria and Czechoslovakia in areas soon to be swallowed up by Soviet forces - there, doubtless, to become rations for the Red Army. Their only hope lies with the Americans: what if a small, highly mobile US task force could be sent deep behind German lines, through fanatical SS troops, to rescue the horses before the Soviets arrive. Just five light tanks, a handful of armoured cars and jeeps, and 300 battle-weary GIs must plunge headlong into the unknown on a rescue mission that could change the course of European history. So begins Operation Cowboy, the greatest Second World War story that has never been fully told. GIs will join forces with surrendered German soldiers and liberated prisoners of war to save the world's finest horses from fanatical SS and the ruthless Red Army in an extraordinary battle during the last few days of the war in Europe.

Castle of the Eagles

Castle of the Eagles

Author: Mark Felton Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 02/11/2017

'Keeps up the suspense to the end.' The Times Literary Supplement 'An extraordinary, and largely forgotten wartime story -- brought back to life in this Boys' Own account.' The Daily Mail High in the Tuscan hills above Florence, an elaborate medieval castle, converted to a POW camp on Mussolini's personal orders, holds one of the most illustrious groups of prisoners in the history of warfare. The dozen or so British and Commonwealth senior officers includes three knights of the realm and two VCs. The youngest of them is 48, the oldest 63. One is missing a hand and an eye. Another suffers with a gammy hip. Against insuperable odds, these extraordinary middle-aged POWs plan a series of daring escape attempts, culminating in a complex tunnel deep beneath the castle. One rainswept night in March 1943, six men will burst from the earth beyond the castle's curtain wall and slip away. By assorted means, the three Brits, two New Zealanders and a half-Belgian aristocrat will attempt to make it to neutral Switzerland, over 200 miles away.

Castle of the Eagles

Castle of the Eagles

Author: Mark Felton Format: Hardback Release Date: 02/02/2017

'Keeps up the suspense to the end.' The Times Literary Supplement 'An extraordinary, and largely forgotten wartime story -- brought back to life in this Boys' Own account.' The Daily Mail High in the Tuscan hills above Florence, an elaborate medieval castle, converted to a POW camp on Mussolini's personal orders, holds one of the most illustrious groups of prisoners in the history of warfare. The dozen or so British and Commonwealth senior officers includes three knights of the realm and two VCs. The youngest of them is 48, the oldest 63. One is missing a hand and an eye. Another suffers with a gammy hip. Against insuperable odds, these extraordinary middle-aged POWs plan a series of daring escape attempts, culminating in a complex tunnel deep beneath the castle. One rainswept night in March 1943, six men will burst from the earth beyond the castle's curtain wall and slip away. By assorted means, the three Brits, two New Zealanders and a half-Belgian aristocrat will attempt to make it to neutral Switzerland, over 200 miles away.

The Sea Devils

The Sea Devils

Author: Mark Felton Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 05/05/2016

July 1945. Eighteen young British, Australian and New Zealand special forces from a top-secret underwater warfare unit prepare to undertake three audacious missions against the Japanese. Using XE-craft midget submarines, the raiders will creep deep behind Japanese lines to sink two huge warships off Singapore and sever two vitally important undersea communications cables. Success will hasten ultimate victory over Japan; but if any of the men are captured they can expect a gruesome execution. Can the Sea Devils overcome Japanese defences, mechanical failures, oxygen poisoning and submarine disasters to fulfil their missions? Mark Felton tells the true story of a band of young men living on raw courage, nerves and adrenalin as they attempt to pull off what could be the last great raid of World War Two.

The Sea Devils

The Sea Devils

Author: Mark Felton Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 29/07/2015

July 1945. Eighteen young British, Australian and New Zealand special forces from a top-secret underwater warfare unit prepare to undertake three audacious missions against the Japanese. Using XE-craft midget submarines, the raiders will creep deep behind Japanese lines to sink two huge warships off Singapore and sever two vitally important undersea communications cables. Success will hasten ultimate victory over Japan; but if any of the men are captured they can expect a gruesome execution. Can the Sea Devils overcome Japanese defences, mechanical failures, oxygen poisoning and submarine disasters to fulfil their missions? Mark Felton tells the true story of a band of young men living on raw courage, nerves and adrenalin as they attempt to pull off what could be the last great raid of World War Two.

Zero Night

Zero Night

Author: Mark Felton Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 07/05/2015

'The story of a lesser known - but perhaps the greatest - escape of Second World War prisoners has been told in a new book.' The Scotsman 'This is undeniably history as it should be told and a thundering good read.' History of War Magazine Oflag VI-B, Warburg, Germany: On the night of 30 August 1942 - 'Zero Night' - 40 officers from Britain, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa staged the most audacious mass escape of the Second World War. It was the first 'Great Escape' - but instead of tunnelling, the escapers boldly went over the huge perimeter fences using wooden scaling contraptions. This was the notorious 'Warburg Wire Job', described by fellow prisoner and fighter ace Douglas Bader as 'the most brilliant escape conception of this war'. Months of meticulous planning and secret training hung in the balance during three minutes of mayhem as prisoners charged the camp's double perimeter fences. Telling this remarkable story in full for the first time, historian Mark Felton brilliantly evokes the suspense of the escape itself and the adventures of those who eluded the Germans, as well as the courage of the civilians who risked their lives to help them in enemy territory. Fantastically intimate and told with a novelist's eye for drama and detail, this is a rip-roaring adventure story, all the more thrilling for being true.

Guarding Hitler

Guarding Hitler

Author: Mark Felton Format: Hardback Release Date: 30/08/2014

Based on intelligence documents, personal testimonies, memoirs and official histories, including material only declassified in 2010, Guarding Hitler provides the reader with a fascinating inside look at the secret world of Hitler's security and domestic arrangements. The book focuses in particular on both the official and private life of Hitler during the latter part of the war, at the Wolfs Lair at Rastenburg, and Hitler's private residence at Berchtesgaden, the Berghof. Guarding Hitler manages to offer fresh insights into the life and routine of the Fuhrer, and most importantly the often indiscreet opinions, observations and activities of the 'little people' who surrounded Hitler but whose stories have been overshadowed by the great affairs of state. It covers not only the plots against Hitler's life but the way security developed as a result. His use of 'doubles' is examined as is security whilst travelling by land or air. As little has been written about the security and domestic life of Adolf Hitler, Guarding Hitler allows the reader to delve deeper into this previously overlooked but nonetheless fascinating aspect of the world's most infamous man.

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