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The Flame Keepers: The True Story of an American Soldier's Survival Inside Stalag 17by Edward Handy
Synopses & Reviews
Ned Handy was captured by Germans in April 1944, after his B-24 was shot down. Sent to Stalag 17, the infamous Nazi prison camp, Handy soon led an escape team determined to tunnel to freedom. Along with the unforgettable comrades he vividly describes, Handy worked relentlessly for months on a tunnel that was to prove instrumental in saving the lives of four fugitives sought by the Gestapo. One of those fugitives would become the only American ever to escape permanently from Stalag 17.
The Flame Keepers is a vivid first-hand account of an American soldier's experience as a prisoner of war in Nazi Germany and a poignant portrait of the POWs who worked to survive within the wire and their German captors. Illustrated with original photographs taken inside the camp from a smuggled camera and published for the first time in the trade press, The Flame Keepers recounts one of World War II's great untold stories.
"[A] fascinating and smoothly written account....Illustrated with photos taken inside the camp with a smuggled camera, this is a remarkable and compelling book." Library Journal
This is a fascinating first-person account of a World War II soldier's capture and imprisonment in Stalag 17, one of Germany's most notorious prisoner-of-war compounds, where he led an escape team determined to tunnel to freedom.
Starting all over, for Ned Handy, meant capture and imprisonment in Stalag 17, one of Nazi Germany's most notorious prisoner-of-war compounds. In April 1994, Handy, a 21-year-old B-24 top-turret gunner on his fourth bombing mission, saw the darkness that was Germany passing beneath his squadron. He would remember the guns of the Luftwaffe and the second his plane burst into flames. He would remember an even darker country in the rich soil below the prison barracks of Stalag 17. As the chief digger for a planned escape that involved the coordination of 143 American airmen, Handy worked relentlessly on a tunnel that would save the lives of five key Allied fugitives pursued by the Gestapo. In the last wild days of the war, however, while making his way across the German countryside towards France and freedom, Handy faced the darkest terrain of all: the behavior of decent men caught in the primal struggle to survive.
About the Author
Ned Handy enlisted at age 19, four months after Pearl Harbor. Shot down on his bomb group's ninth mission against the Nazis, he survived a year in Stalag 17. At war's end, the GI Bill put him through MIT. Now Senior Vice Commander of the Stalag 17 Association, he lives with his wife in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Kemp Battle, author of two books, is an occasional contributor to the Today show. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Academy of American Poets and lives in Princeton, New Jersey.
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