Discovering More About The Long March Scroll down for books, Accounts by POWs, Videos/DVDs, Websites and Wikipedia.
The Last Escape:
The Untold Story of Allied Prisoners
of War in Europe
by John Nichol and Tony Rennell
The most informative source of information available about the Long March of 1945.
As the Second World War approached its end, thousands of soldiers from the United Kingdom, other Commonwealth countries and the USA, languished in German POW camps. With the Soviet Army closing in from the east and Allied troops advancing from the west, the Germans evacuated many of their camps westwards away from the Soviets. Over the next several months these prisoners were forced to walk more than 500 miles through the severest of winter conditions, and hundreds died from exhaustion, disease, and starvation. This book provides a thorough analysis of why and how this all took place, including evidence based on interviews with the POWs who survived, as well as their diaries and letters, that bring this astonishing tale of endurance and courage to life. This book is the most informative source of information available about the Long March of 1945 and is highly recommended.
A Timeline World History Documentary (1 hour 10 minutes)
This Canadian documentary tells the story of this amazing test of endurance through the eyes of Robert Buckham, a bomber pilot and artist who produced countless sketches and watercolours of prison camp life, as well as one of the only chronicles of the forced march itself. Interviews with Buckham and other POWs accentuate the sketches of camp life and the march as well as the few actual photographs of the march known to exist.
A documentary directed by Stephen Saunders (2 hours 45 minutes) Synopsis Episode One – Capture Veterans reveal the real reasons they joined the fighting forces. They tell of inadequate training, of meeting the enemy, and the shocking reality of combat and capture. Transported under terrible conditions, they arrive at the Stalags where they now adjust to the inevitability of a life behind wire. Their war is over. They now confront hardship and despair as they face the long years of captivity.
Episode Two – Captivity Ex-Prisoners of War tell of their time in captivity. It is a story of stark contrasts. Of everyday existence and clandestine diversions. And the terrors of forced labour. Whether planning escapes, distilling elicit booze or forced working for the enemy, hopes of freedom are raised as liberating forces are heard closing in on the camps. But instead of freedom, a final, sudden, unexpected and agonising ordeal is about to be thrust upon the already weakened prisoners.
Episode Three – Freedom After years of captivity, Allied POW’s prepare for liberation. But the German High Command has other ideas. In the early hours of the bitter winter of January 1945, prisoners are ordered out of their camps at gunpoint. It is the beginning of the Long March. Survivors tell harrowing stories of survival, of an aimless journey, of famine, cruelty and sudden indifferent death, seeing friends dying beside them, desperately enduring all in the fast fading hope of deliverance. Until finally, along with those who survive, we experience the exhilaration of liberation, homecoming and the eventual return to family and the world of a hard won peace. The memories still haunt them to this day.
This document was prepared by Rick Catt as part of the POW75 project 2020. It lists information about the Royal Australian Air Force POWs who were accommodated in Hut 18A at Stalag VIIIB/344 Lamsdorf, and their participation in the Long March of 1945, and published in the book 'The RAF POWs of Lamsdorf'.