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The Last Escaper by Peter Tunstall
  

Sue Baker's view...

Peter Tunstall, WWII bomber pilot and - after being shot down, he became renowned as a determined tormentor of his German captors and also one of the most determined escapers. The last of the Colditz survivors tells his story.

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Synopsis

The Last Escaper by Peter Tunstall

'When I began my operational career, I had precisely two hours and ten minutes' worth of experience as pilot in command of a bomber at night' The product of a lifetime's reflection, The Last Escaper is Peter Tunstall's unforgettable memoir of his days in the RAF and as one of the most celebrated of all British POWs. Tunstall was an infamous tormentor of his German captors dubbed the 'cooler king' (on account of his long spells in 'solitary'), but also a highly skilled pilot, loyal friend and trusted colleague. 'Single-mindedness is often the key to success in most things and, if what I am told is true - that I was to chalk up the all-comers British record number of escape attempts during the next twelve months - I attribute this entirely to that state of mind' Without false pride or bitterness, Tunstall recounts the high jinks of training to be a pilot, terrifying bombing raids in his Hampden and of elaborate escape attempts at once hilarious and deadly serious - all part of a poignant and human war story superbly told by a natural raconteur. ' - we had established that one could get away with using German uniform. After that, it became a regular stunt and my own speciality' The Last Escaper is a charming and hugely informative last testament written by 'the last man standing' from the Colditz generation who risked their lives in the Second World War. It will take its place as one of the classic first-hand accounts of that momentous conflict.

Reviews

A remarkable memoir of a British lad's salad days flying bombers against the Nazis and then repeatedly escaping their prison camps . . . An engrossing valediction to the tough, imaginative generation forged by the war. * Kirkus Reviews * [T]he historical account of behind-the-scenes drama makes this a valuable addition to the period literature. * Publishers Weekly * The story is not sugar coated to make things lighter than they were. The stark reality of war is ever present in his detailed accounting of life as a prisoner of war. We are taken through the highs and lows of not only each failed attempt but the psychological effects of imprisonment on himself, others in the camps and ultimately how it changed each person involved. * Pittsburgh Post-Gazette *


About the Author

Peter Tunstall joined the RAF in 1937 and flew numerous combat missions before his capture off the Dutch coast. After spells in several German POW camps including Spangenberg Castle, and many audacious and imaginative escape attempts, he arrived in Colditz where he was imprisoned alongside other celebrated POW legends including Douglas Bader, Pat Reid and Airey Neave. In 1945 he returned to Britain, subsequently working as an actor and in civil aviation. He has only recently died aged 95. This is the first and only book in which his unique and compelling story is told.

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Book Info

Publication date

25th September 2014

Author

Peter Tunstall

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Publisher

Gerald Duckworth & Co Ltd an imprint of Duckworth Overlook

Format

Hardback
328 pages

Categories

Biography / Autobiography
History

Autobiography: historical, political & military
Second World War

20th century history: c 1900 to c 2000
Air forces & warfare

ISBN

9780715649237

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