BEYOND THE TUMULT by Barry Winchester


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The adventures of three pilots captured by the Germans during World War I who, after many false starts, escaped with 25 fellow prisoners from Holzminden camp. The construction of the escape tunnel required great ingenuity; on the other hand, camp conditions were remarkably slack despite the harshness of the commander. Once free, two of the escapees pretended to be escorting the third, who posed as a lunatic, and thus they made their way to Holland. The book is cheerful in an almost schoolboyish way as it accumulates circumstantialities; in its earnestness it thankfully omits contrived nostalgia for the Sopwith Camel era. On the other hand it marginally romanticizes the relations between the ranks though its title is oddly accurate -- these men had a far better time of it than those at the front. The hilarity and suspense and universal camaraderie and good-and-bad Huns are all sufficiently convincing for devotees of the genre.

Pub Date: March 1st, 1972
Publisher: Scribners