Only 1 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Gift-wrap available.
The Colditz Myth: British... has been added to your Cart
+ CDN$ 6.49 shipping
Used: Acceptable | Details
Sold by powellsbooks
Condition: Used: Acceptable
Comment: Ships from US; Please allow 14-21 business days for your book to arrive in Canada. Reliable customer service and no-hassle return policy.
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

The Colditz Myth: British and Commonwealth Prisoners of War in Nazi Germany Paperback – Sep 27 2006

See all 4 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price
New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
"Please retry"
CDN$ 78.95
CDN$ 42.99 CDN$ 15.69

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
click to open popover

No Kindle device required. Download one of the Free Kindle apps to start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, and computer.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 450 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1 edition (Sept. 27 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199203075
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199203079
  • Product Dimensions: 22.9 x 3 x 14.7 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 680 g
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,161,391 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  •  Would you like to update product info, give feedback on images, or tell us about a lower price?

  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description


`This book presents a solid, sensible account.' Sunday Telegraph

`MacKenzie's study is a fine piece of research and clearly reflects a historian deeply engaged with his subject. His approach is broad and yet detailed at the same time, and this book has increased our knowledge of the treatment of prisoners of was significantly' Mark Connelly, Twentieth Century British History

From the Publisher

29 halftone plates, 1 map

See all Product Description

Customer Reviews

There are no customer reviews yet on
5 star
4 star
3 star
2 star
1 star

Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0xa4079b28) out of 5 stars 3 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa4086378) out of 5 stars POW Experience Was Brutal but Not Short April 6 2015
By D. Chandler - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Let's get one thing straight right up front. The title is a misnomer, as this book isn't really about the POW camp at Colditz but is rather a broad overview of the German POW system as it pertained to British and Commonwealth prisoners. The author contends that we have been misled by books and movies like The Colditz Story and The Great Escape into believing that being a British POW in Nazi Germany was sort of a boy's frolic, an extended camping trip where mischievous British lads took turns frustrating their plodding Teutonic captors. He might just as well have called it The Hogan's Heroes Myth.
Author Mackenzie has a good point. Being a POW was a miserable experience, even for British and American officers (Soviet and other Eastern European prisoners all too often found it to be an un-survivable hell). While the Germans did attempt to follow the Geneva convention to a surprising extent, living conditions were hard, the enlisted men were required to work (often in deplorable conditions in outside work camps) and the food supply was grossly insufficient (when the Red Cross began importing food parcels to supplement the POW ration the Germans took the opportunity to slash their own contribution by a third). Overcrowding, boredom, lack of medical care, lack of female companionship, and the pervasive uncertainty of what the future held (would the SS execute the prisoners as the Allied armies approached?) all conspired to make the Kriegie experience a terrible memory for millions of young men in what should have been the prime of their lives.
By the way, this is one of the few books that attempt to discuss the sexual experiences of the prisoners. Having grown up watching Colonel Hogan seducing (and being seduced) by gorgeous Russian spies and voluptuous Bavarian barmaids (who secretly assisted the Resistance, naturally) I was disappointed to learn that such assignations were fiction. The typical Kriegie (German slang for Prisoner of War) had no sex life at all during his years of captivity (malnutrition helped take your mind off it); those who did found their solace in the same way as other incarcerated young men have done over the centuries.
Mackenzie does a very good job at covering the typical experience from the moment of capture to ultimate release, without bogging down in too many personal stories. I would have rated this book a 5 but for a few quibbles: A) he doesn't seem to use or even mention what I consider the best reference on one part of the subject, the semi-official British government work Escape From Germany by Crawley, and B) Like most of the best books on the POWs available in English, he concentrates almost entirely on the British experience. The only comparable American book I can think of off the top of my head is the excellent Stalag Luft III by Arthur A. Durand.
Overall a very good addition for anyone concerned with World War Two history.
HASH(0xa5136ad4) out of 5 stars This book gives the shocking and at times heroic truth of the British PoW experience July 29 2016
By Kiwiwriter - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
When most people think of the British PoW experience in World War II, their instant thoughts are either of the "Great Escape" or the Colditz fortress. They think of high-spirited officers playing pranks on humorless squareheaded guards, to cover daring escape attempts that wind up with the hero making it to Switzerland and freedom (or being shot in the John Sturges movie).

The reality was far different. Most of the British Commonwealth PoWs did not spend their captivity in a state of Harrow or G.W. Henty schoolboy adventures -- they starved, they suffered from illnesses and psychological trauma, they froze in unheated barracks, worked on farms if they were "Other Ranks," or spent days in stupefying boredom if they were officers. Their experience was not as horrific as those in Japanese captivity, but it was destructive enough. Many suffered from the illnesses caused by their captivity, including PTSD.

(Personal note: One of my relatives, a Fleet Air Arm aviator, had an interesting reaction to his captivity: after the war, offered a senior British European Airways position in Germany, he refused it -- he said he'd spent enough time as a guest of the German)

This book gives the shocking and at times heroic truth of the British PoW experience, as well as exploring the roots of how the popular myth of Colditz and the other camps came into existence. It is a great and needed revision of World War II history, but it only adds to the credit, honor, and valor of those unhappy Commonwealth fighting men who, usually by no fault of their own, became prisoners of the Germans, and defined courage through resilience and endurance. Highly recommended.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa40fa4ec) out of 5 stars I've read parts of it, not all of it ... Sept. 28 2014
By John Gerecht - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I've read parts of it, not all of it at this point. Very dense read. Not at all what I expected. it's about POWs in Germany in general. Not just about Colditz.