Top positive review
An Epic Story of Captured Airmen in WW2 Germany
Reviewed in the United States on May 21, 2017
I just read this amazing book by an airman who was also in Camp 3 Sagan, as Dad was, and then did the Death march to Stalag Luft VIII .
It certainly pulls together Dad’s many experiences as he recounted them to us, from Dec 31, 1944 when Dad's P47 was shot down and he bailed from his low burning plane, getting 3rd degree burns on his eyes, and slamming down from his wildly swinging parachute on his head, to being captured by villagers, to his Dulag Stalag interrogation, his snow storm march and cattle car transit just 4 weeks and Death March to Stalag Luft VIII where he escaped and reentered his camp on the first tank in, with Patton’s 14th armored division, to liberate 120,000 allied POWs.
Because Dad spoke Russian, he told much more of the story of the Russian compound. He said that when the Russians entered the camp, 12 orthodox priests were shot. With 27 Russian generals there, Stalin had the Russian officers shot and the other Russian men were shipped to the Gulags because Stalin considered POWs to be traitors. I loved all the timeline of the liberation events which are included in Kenneth Simmmons' telling of this epic story.
Even the bridge at Reimagen is in the story, where the Rhine river was finally crossed- the last major stop to end the War in Europe. In my family story, it is there that Donny Wasson was killed leading his men on the battle at the bridge at Reimagen. Donny had been Great Aunt Jess’s stable boy and cleaned the stables just to be able to ride horses. We have a photo of Donny jumping a horse over a tall car. He rode her horses to many awards. This was his last great leap, as the Americans finally leaped across the Rhine to take Germany.
Kenneth Simmons is an amazing author with such attention to authentic detail.
My Dad, Andy Chasko, named his driveway 'Chasko's Last Ditch' after the war. We were so happy that he came home alive. This book tells the story of these airmen and their experiences and return home.
Thank you, Kenneth.