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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

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 American Soldiers' Remarkable Escape From Berga Concentration Camp

Operation Swallow American Soldiers' Remarkable Escape From Berga Concentration Camp

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.

Today is a Good Day to Fight The Indian Wars and the Conquest of the West

Today is a Good Day to Fight The Indian Wars and the Conquest of the West

Author: Mark Felton Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 31/10/2019

Blood, guts, dust and hatred: the real history of the American West. Today is a Good Day to Fight covers the period from the initial penetration of the region by settlers and prospectors in the 1840s until the end of the Indian Wars in the 1890s. It explains the history of white-Indian conflict from the military point of view, showing how the United States used its army to wage terrible wars of conquest upon Native American peoples in order to take the land from them and enrich the growing nation, and how the Indians never really stood a chance in trying to defend their homelands. Highlighting the fractious and bitter relations between tribes unable and unwilling to unite in time to stave off their common enemy, it portrays the utter bitterness of the conflict between white and Indian, and how both sides resorted to increasingly foul acts of war and slaughter as the conflict progressed. A dirty, underhanded and scrappy conflict, the outrages committed by both sides fuelled bitterness and resentment that still exists in America today.

Slaughter at Sea War Crimes of the Imperial Japanese Navy

Slaughter at Sea War Crimes of the Imperial Japanese Navy

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 Resistance to Hitler's Final Solution

Holocaust Heroes Resistance to Hitler's Final Solution

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 Operation Cowboy, the World War Two Mission to Save the World's Finest Horses

Ghost Riders Operation Cowboy, the World War Two Mission to Save the World's Finest Horses

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 Operation Cowboy, the World War Two Mission to Save the World's Finest Horses

Ghost Riders Operation Cowboy, the World War Two Mission to Save the World's Finest Horses

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 Escape from Mussolini's Colditz

Castle of the Eagles Escape from Mussolini's Colditz

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

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 Escape from Mussolini's Colditz

Castle of the Eagles Escape from Mussolini's Colditz

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

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.

Holocaust Heroes : Resistance to Hitler's Final Solution

Holocaust Heroes : Resistance to Hitler's Final Solution

Author: Mark Felton Format: Hardback Release Date: 30/06/2016

This inspiring book examines the often incredible and nearly always tragic examples of Jewish resistance in ghettos and concentration camps during the Nazis 'Final Solution'. It shows that the Warsaw Uprising in Poland during April to May 1944 was not the only occasion of defiant opposition. Throughout the Nazis' extermination programme Jews and other prisoners fought back against their murderers, often with stunning results. The Germans were nearly always taken by surprise by the sudden emergence of armed Jewish resistance and often paid dearly. This happened in ghettos and concentration campos (including Treblinka, Auschwitz, Syrels and Sobibor) throughout Poland and the Ukraine. Some Jews tried to stop the machinery of the Holocaust by rising up and destroying the gas chambers while others bravely tried to take over an extermination camp and escape en masse. In virtually every case the brave men and women who volunteered to fight back paid with their lives. Importantly these men and women are not just portrayed as victims but also as brave and resourceful fighters and resisters against their tragic fate.These are stories that are uplifting, inspiring and often profoundly moving.

The Sea Devils Operation Struggle and the Last Great Raid of World War Two

The Sea Devils Operation Struggle and the Last Great Raid of World War Two

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 Operation Struggle and the Last Great Raid of World War Two

The Sea Devils Operation Struggle and the Last Great Raid of World War Two

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 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: Paperback / softback Release Date: 07/05/2015

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.

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

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