(an) excellent study of British and colonial prisoners of war..... What makes The War Behind the Wire important, however is John Lewis-Stempel's destruction of two widely held beliefs. First, he reveals that some 90% of the 420 successful escapers were not elite officers. Second and even more importantly, Lewis-Stempel proves that the Germans were animated more by the Kriegsbrauch (which allowed for the killing of POWs), than by the humanitarian values of the Hague Convention...
...an entertaining read, and one characterised by the authenticity of the prisoners' own testimony.
[Lewis-Stempel] has performed a notable service by telling the story of the 1914-18's prisoners, a sad but significant epic.
A vivid study of the lost heroes of the First World War: the British PoWs who made valiant bids for freedom.
During the First World War, the Germans held 171,299 British PoWs in often appalling conditions. Humour helped: "Hun-baiting" was popular. And 573 prisoners managed to escape- using methods including tunnelling and impersonation of German officers.
Lewis-Stempel describes our prisoners as the lost men of the Great War... In writing this moving, harrowing account he has done them a noble service.
Lewis-Stempel's book is fantastically well-written, thoroughly researched and full of surprising facts.
Stempel recreated life behind the wire for British servicemen, looking at how they kept their sanity, maintained their health, and sought to survive an often very grim existence. Readable and absorbing.
The author's enthralling narrative describes the new horror of the First World War as well as any account from the frontliners.