Over the Wire

Over the Wire

A Canadian Pilot's Memoir of War and Survival as A POW

Book - 2011
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A POW's Journey from Hell to Freedom

"His story exemplifies the courage and integrity of the generation that sacrificed so much for the cause of freedom ... The greatest single attribute these men who enlisted possessed was the virtue of high moral character and a willingness to do their duty ... It is my pleasure to recommend this book wholeheartedly. Read it, it will make you proud to be a Canadian."

-T.J. Lawson, Major-General, Assistant Chief of the Air Staff National Defence, Canada

"This is a quiet Victory in Europe story ... Carswell's story of personal liberation in the dying days of World War II, and his harrowing bailout over Germany, reads like an epic."

-Scott Simmie, The Toronto Star

In 1943 RAF Bomber Command was losing planes and aircrew at an alarming rate on its nighttime missions over Germany and occupied Europe. Volunteers across Canada answered the call to duty. This is the story of one of those who served and survived against almost impossible odds.

Andrew Carswell grew up in Toronto and, shortly after his eighteenth birthday, enlisted and began the training that would soon qualify him to fly a Lancaster bomber. On his fourth operational mission his plane was shot down over Germany. Andrew and his crew bailed out of the burning airplane just before it crashed in flames.

Alone and unarmed, but unhurt, Andrew found himself deep in forest on a bitterly cold night. He was taken prisoner, as were four other members of his crew, and spent the next three years as a prisoner of war in German Silesia--noweastern Poland--at Stalag VIIIB.

His account of life in the camp and his two daring escapes from the heart of this fascinating story of a boy sent to do a man's job. He risked death daily yet never gave up and never lost hope. He was finally liberated by Montgomery's Second Army in 1945 and returned to England.

This is Andrew's story, but it is also the story of tens of thousands of Canadians of his generation who were proud to serve their country in its hour of greatest need.

Publisher: Mississauga, Ont. : J. Wiley & Sons Canada, c2011
ISBN: 9781118109694
9781118109687
Branch Call Number: ANF 940.547243 CAR
Characteristics: xiii, 289 p. : ill. (some col.), map ; 24 cm

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ownedbydoxies
Apr 26, 2016

Extremely interesting first-person account of a young man taken prisoner in WW2. What sets this account apart from many others, in my opinion, is the sense of humor, perspective and compassion (towards Germans as well!) that this young man shows. He's able somehow to transcend his circumstances to a degree and see worth and good in certain of those who were on the other side, acknowledging that they too are caught up in something not of their own making.

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