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.

Other books by Mark Felton

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.

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 Release Date: 01/05/2018

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.

Castle of the Eagles Escape from Mussolini's Colditz

Castle of the Eagles Escape from Mussolini's Colditz

Author: Mark Felton Format: Paperback 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 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 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 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.

Guarding Hitler The Secret World of the Fuhrer

Guarding Hitler The Secret World of the Fuhrer

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.

China Station The British Military in the Middle Kingdom 1839 - 1997

China Station The British Military in the Middle Kingdom 1839 - 1997

Author: Mark Felton Format: Hardback Release Date: 19/09/2013

The Author, who lives in Shanghai, sets out to demonstrate that the British military has been at the forefront of many of the great changes that have swept China over the last two centuries. He devotes chapters to the various wars, military adventures and rebellions that regularly punctuated Sino/British relationships since the 1st Opium War 1839-1842. This classic example of Imperial intervention saw the establishment of Hong Kong and Shanghai as key trading centres. The Second Opium War and the Taiping and Boxer Rebellions saw the advancement of British influence despite determined but unsuccessful efforts by the Chinese to loosen the grip of Western domination. The Royal Navy's might ensured that, by 'gunboat diplomacy', trading rights and new posts were established and great fortunes made. But in the 1940s the British grossly underestimated Japanese military might and intentions with disastrous results. After the Second World War the British returned to find that the Americans had supplanted them. The Communists' victory in the Civil War sealed British and Western fates and, while Hong Kong remained under British control until 1997, the end of British rule was almost inevitable. But the handover was a masterly piece of pragmatic capitalism and the former Colony remains an economic powerhouse with strong British influence.

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

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

Author: Mark Felton Format: Paperback Release Date: 15/03/2012

This disturbing book reveals the extent of the truly shocking activities of the Kempeitai, Japan's feared military and secret police. The book opens by explaining the origins, organization and roles of the Kempeitai 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 businesses. They ran the Allied POW gulag system which treated captives with merciless and murderous brutality. Other Kempeitai activities included biological and chemical experiments on live subjects, the Maruta vivisection campaign and widespread 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.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 brought to justice and the resulting claims for compensation. As a result Japan's Gestapo provides comprehensive evidence of the ruthlessness of the Kempeitai against the white and Asian peoples under their control.

The Devil's Doctors Japanese Human Experiments on Allied Prisoners of War

The Devil's Doctors Japanese Human Experiments on Allied Prisoners of War

Author: Mark Felton Format: Hardback Release Date: 16/02/2012

The brutal Japanese treatment of Allied POWs in WW2 has been well documented. The experiences of British, Australian and American POWs on the Burma Railway, in the mines of Formosa and in camps across the Far East, were bad enough. But the mis-treatment of those used as guinea pigs in medical experiments was in a different league. The author reveals distressing evidence of Unit 731 experiments involving US prisoners and the use of British as control groups in Northern China, Hainau Island, New Guinea and in Japan. These resulted in loss of life and extreme suffering. Perhaps equally shocking is the documentary evidence of British Government use of the results of these experiments at Porton Down in the Cold War era in concert with the US who had captured Unit 731 scientists and protected them from war crime prosecution in return for their cooperation. The author's in-depth research revealed that, not surprisingly, archives have been 'combed' of much incriminating material but enough remains to paint a thoroughly disturbing story.

The Real Tenko Extraordinary True Stories of Women Prisoners of the Japanese

The Real Tenko Extraordinary True Stories of Women Prisoners of the Japanese

Author: Mark Felton Format: Paperback Release Date: 21/07/2011

The mistreatment and captivity of women by the Japanese is a little known and poorly documented aspect of the Second World War. In The Real Tenko, Mark Felton, who has a fast growing reputation as an authority and author on the war in the Far East, redresses this omission with a typically well researched yet necessarily gruesome account of the plight of Allied service-women, female civilians and local women in Japanese hands.Among the atrocities shamefully committed by the Emperor's forces were numerous massacres of nurses; that at Alexandra Hospital, Singapore being perhaps the best known. The lack of respect for their defeated enemies extended in full measure to both European and Asian women and their vulnerability was all too often shockingly exploited. Those who found themselves imprisoned fared little better and suffered appalling indignities and starvation. Also covered are the hardships of gruelling marches under extreme conditions. Whereas the sexual enslavement of so called 'Comfort Women' has been regarded as affecting only Asiatic women, it transpires that this horror was experienced by whites as well.The Real Tenko is a disturbing and shocking testimony both to the callous and cruel behaviour of the Japanese and to the courage and fortitude of those who suffered at their hands.

The Final Betrayal Mountbatten, MacArthur and the Tragedy of Japanese POWs

The Final Betrayal Mountbatten, MacArthur and the Tragedy of Japanese POWs

Author: Mark Felton Format: Hardback Release Date: 30/06/2010

This book examines the period between the unconditional surrender of Japan on 14 August 1945 and the arrival of Allied liberation forces in Japanese-occupied territories after 2 September 1945. The delay handed the Japanese a golden opportunity to set their house in order before Allied war crimes investigators arrived. After 14 August groups of Allied POWs were brutally murdered. Vast amounts of documentation concerning crimes were burned ahead of the arrival of Allied forces. POW facilities and medical experimentation installations were either abandoned or destroyed. Perhaps the greatest crimes were continuing deaths of Allied POWs from starvation, disease and ill-treatment after the Japanese surrender.The blame rests with the American authorities, and particularly General MacArthur, Supreme Allied Commander in the Pacific. MacArthur expressly forbade any Allied forces from liberating Japanese occupied territories before he had personally taken the formal Japanese surrender aboard the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay on 2 September 1945. Vice Admiral Lord Mountbatten, Commanding Allied forces in Southeast Asia, protested against this policy, believing that pandering to MacArthur's vanity and ego would mean condemning many starving and sick prisoners to death. Deaths among British and Commonwealth POWs were significant as opposed to American POWs who were already largely liberated in the Philippines and elsewhere.MacArthur's and the American leadership's obsession with sidelining the British in Asia cost hundreds of British and Commonwealth lives, hundreds and hundreds of lives, that otherwise would have been saved if Mountbatten had been permitted to proceed with his liberation plans.

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