Shot Down and on The Run

Published: October 24th, 2017     
Product Image
Front Cover
Author: Graham Pitchfork
Reviewed by: 
Pablo Bauleo, IPMS# 46363
Company: Osprey Publishing
ISBN #: 978-1-4728-2722-7
Other Publication Information: softbound, 257 pages, B&W period photos
Price: $15.00
Product / Stock #: GNM

Osprey Publishing has recently released a very interesting book covering the history of RAF and Commonwealth aircrews shot down behind enemy lines and their escape stories.

The book is neatly organized in the following chapters

  • The Escape and Evasion Organization
  • North-West Europe
  • Middle East and Mediterranean
  • The Far East

The first chapter describes the whole organization (MI-9) being setup in the early years of the war charged with establishing escape routes and networks for any personal behind enemy lines (not only for aircrews). In addition of setting up escape routes, this organization was in charge to develop escape aides, tools and supplies, which were part of an 'escape kit' provided to armed personnel. Some of the escape aids included miniature compasses, pictures of the themselves (for fake IDs, maps, et).

The next 3 chapters describe the specific differences for escape routes, networks and techniques in each of the main scenarios for the RAF. For instance, in North-West Europe, crews were able to 'blend-in' with the civilian population and to reach out resistance networks. While in the Middle East and Far East, aircrews were not able to 'blend-in' with the locals and had to rely on help from Arab tribes or native tribes, which will hide them until a rendezvous and pick up place could be setup.

The second half of the last 3 chapters has a series of individual stories describing aircrews' harrowing escapes from behind enemy lines. There are no first person stories there, everything is narrated as 3rd person, but so well researched and well written that at times you might feel "like if you were there"

This book is recommended to all history aficionados.

I would like to thank Osprey Publishing and IPMS/USA for the review sample.

  • Sample Pages 1
    Sample Pages 1
  • Sample Pages 2
    Sample Pages 2
  • Sample Pages 3
    Sample Pages 3