Prisoners of the Castle by Ben Macintyre

Prisoners of the Castle by Ben Macintyre

Brendan’s Alternate Tagline for Prisoners of the Castle:

Life is so much more civilized without Nazis.

Quick synopsis:

The story of Colditz Castle and the prisoners and guards placed there in World War II.

Fun Fact Non-History People Will Like:

“Augustus the Strong” lived in Colditz where he played “fox-tossing” (yes, it’s what you think it is) and had over 365 children.

Fun Fact for History Nerds:

1.8 million Frenchmen were taken prisoner during the Battle of France which was about 10% of the male population.

My Take on Prisoners of the Castle:

If Ben Macintyre wrote the phone book I would pre-order it. He’s that good at finding the most interesting aspects of a story and Prisoners of the Castle is no different.

Admittedly, the story of Colditz in World War II gives him a lot to work with. Macintyre slowly builds out the entire world of the prison without losing the main narrative around this small little story in the midst of a world war. There are multitudes of tales that are funny, serious, heartbreaking, but always human. Macintyre also doesn’t shy away from a huge nuance that is often ignored in World War II stories. Not all German soldiers were murderous Nazis.

This book is great from beginning to end and I highly recommend it even if you are not a World War II buff.


A great book for anyone. Read it. Buy it here!

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