Throughout the Second World War there had been a potentially lethal Trojan horse inside Britain; from Comrie in Northern Scotland, down to Devizes in Wiltshire, in every city, in every race course of any note, in every football ground, were German POWs. Nearly a quarter of a million of them in fact; fit, virile young men, and a goodly number of them fanatical National Socialists. Now what would these young men do if they were armed and given a plan which transcended merely escaping? What if these desperate young men, were given the promise of an airborne landing by German forces in Britain: the vital support they needed to capture their main objective – London? This is the gripping story of their abortive mass escape plan and the covert operations that went with it.
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Born in the Bootham area of York, England, he was a pupil at the prestigious Nunthorpe Grammar School, leaving at the age of 16 to join the British Army by lying about his age. Keen to be in on the wartime action, Whiting was attached to the 52nd Reconnaissance Regiment and by the age of 18 saw duty as a sergeant in France, Holland, Belgium and Germany in the latter stages of World War II. While still a soldier, he observed conflicts between the highest-ranking British and American generals which he would write about extensively in later years. After the war, he stayed on in Germany completing his A-levels via correspondence course and teaching English before being enrolled at Leeds University reading History and German Language. As an undergraduate he was afforded opportunities for study at several European universities and, after gaining his degree, would go on to become an assistant professor of history. Elsewhere, Whiting held a variety of jobs which included working as a translator for a German chemical factory and spells as a publicist, a correspondent for The Times and feature writer for such diverse magazines as International Review of Linguistics, Soldier and Playboy. His first novel was written while still an undergraduate, was published in 1954 and by 1958 had been followed by three wartime thrillers. Between 1960 and 2007 Charles went on to write over 350 titles, including 70 non-fiction titles covering varied topics from the Nazi intelligence service to British Regiments during World War II. Charles Henry Whiting, author and military historian died on July 24 2007, leaving his wife and son.
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