Unshackled Spirit

Prisoners of War and the Secret Spitfire

Colin Pateman

Date Published :
March 2015
Publisher :
Fonthill Media
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Hardback
ISBN : 9781781551912
Pages : 320
Dimensions : 9 X 6 inches
Stock Status : In stock


Unshackled Spirit was a Supermarine Spitfire purchased by British prisoners of war whilst imprisoned in Germany. The book title is appropriate to the content that is formulated from original YMCA personal note books issued to Allied prisoners of war in 1944. YMCA logbooks are always unique, compiled by individual prisoners of war. Unshackled Spirit draws out the story of each aviator, how they became to be a prisoner of war and their story in the various camps across occupied Europe. Extensive and amazingly detailed pieces of artwork are held in the books, the balance of fact and inspired drawings makes for an impressive and visual book. The hardship of prisoner of war life is touched upon, but more importantly the aspect of how agencies helped by supplying all manner of equipment to the thousands of men. The role of MI9 in exploring those agencies in an effort to smuggle escape material into the prisoner of war camps without breaching the Geneva Convention. The Spitfire was purchased by a redirect of funds as a gift via the Red Cross. Coded letters were passed between one camp to a minister in London (Duncan Sandys, Parliamentary Sec to the Ministry of Supply). A fund was set up 'Duncan Sandys Welfare Fund'. The Germans obviously did not know the concept to buy a Spitfire!

About The Author

Colin Pateman lives in the South of England having spent his working life as a Police Officer, retiring after 32 years’ service. His key roles were as a handler of specialist search dogs, a Home Office qualified instructor and later trained by the Royal Engineers to qualify as a Police Search Advisor. Colin is an avid collector of aviation memorabilia and gains great satisfaction from gathering and preserving personal accounts of pilots and aircrews of the Second World War. His other aviation related publications by Fonthill include ‘Goldfish Caterpillars and Guinea pigs’, ‘Unwanted Hero’, ‘Unshackled Spirit’ and ‘Glorious in Solitude’.

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