Synopses & Reviews
In March and April of 1944, Gestapo gunmen killed fifty POWsa brutal act in defiance of international law and the Geneva Conventions. This is the true story of the men who hunted them down.
The mass breakout of seventy-six Allied airmen from the infamous Stalag Luft III became one of the greatest tales of World War II, immortalized in the film The Great Escape. But where Hollywoods depiction fades to black, another incredible story begins . . .
Not long after the escape, fifty of the recaptured airmen were taken to killing fields throughout Germany and shot on the direct orders of Hitler. When the nature of these killings came to light, Churchills government swore to pursue justice at any cost. A revolving team of military police, led by squadron leader Francis P. McKenna, was dispatched to pick up a trail long gone cold.
Amid the chaos of postwar Germany, divided between American, British, French, and Russian occupiers, McKenna led a three-year manhunt that brought twenty-one Gestapo killers to justice. In Human Game, Simon Read delivers a clear-eyed and meticulously researched account of this often overlooked saga of hard-won justice.
“In the summer of 1945, British investigator Francis McKenna and his team began a trek across post-war Europe to pursue the men who murdered British POWs in cold blood following the famous Great Escape from Stalag Luft III in March 1944. Simon Read details the hunt in a book that is one part detective story and one part morality play, striking themes that will resonate in the present day. Remarkably, many of the Germans who witnessed or were tangentially involved in the atrocity retained an active sense of guilt and helped the investigators, even when it put them at risk for retribution from both sides. Simon Read has done an impressive job stitching together a highly readable and informative story from various sources, and making it live again.”—Jim DeFelice, bestselling author of Rangers at Dieppe
, Omar Bradley: General at War
, and American Sniper
“A gut-wrenching account of World War IIs Great Escape and its brutal aftermath. Simon Reads riveting tale of the Royal Air Forces manhunt for the Gestapo perpetrators of the cold-blooded murder of fifty unarmed Allied escapees will touch your soul and increase your admiration for the ‘Greatest Generation. Whether justice ultimately triumphed over evil can be found in Reads engrossing narrative.”—Colonel Cole C. Kingseed, USA (Ret.), New York Times bestselling coauthor of Beyond Band of Brothers
"Fast-paced, clearly written account of how justice was served in a difficult wartime case"—Kirkus
About the Author
Simon Read was an award-winning journalist before he became a nonfiction author. Read graduated from California State University, Northridge, and he resides in California with his wife and son.