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The introduction to this collection of first-hand accounts re-examines that fateful chain of events in 1940 and reassesses some of the myths that have grown up in the intervening years. Among the contributors are Angus Campbell from Lewis and Donald John MacDonald from South Uist, both traditional Gaelic bards who can give a poet's perspective on the experience. These vivid accounts bring alive the chaos and horror of war and the grim deprivation of the camps and forced marches which so many endured. Yet, these personal stories resound with the spirit, humour and sense of comradeship which enabled men to fight on in desperate situations and refuse to be cowed by their captors.