Gunther Pluschow: Airman, Escaper, Explorer, Anton Rippon

Gunther Plüschow: Airman, Escaper, Explorer, Anton Rippon

Plüschow had a short but adventurous life. After joining the Germany Navy he became involved in naval aviation, and in 1914 was posted to the German colony at Tsingtao in China. Plüschow managed to escape from the colony just before it fell to the Japanese, and attempted to make his way back to Germany. This first effort failed, and he ended up as a prisoner of war in Britain, where he gained fame as the first and only German POW to escape from Britain during the two World Wars.

What makes this book so fascinating is that it provides a view of some familiar events but from a completely novel perspective. We are all used to POW escape stories, but they inevitably involved Allied prisoners attempting to escape from Nazi Germany. Here many of the same elements are present - the attempt to avoid being missed at role-call, the dangers of travelling by rail in a hostile country, the difficulties involved in getting onto a neutral ship - all familiar, but the locations are all British - Castle Donington, Derby and London - and the final barriers are at the Port of London rather than Hamburg or the Swiss border.

The same is true for the siege of Tsingtao, a story that is known, if at all, from the Allied perspective. Here we are inside the besieged colony, under attack from a combined Anglo-Japanese force (mainly Japanese). This alternative perspective gives a fresh feel to a familiar subject, and makes this an entertaining read.

1 - Fulfil This Goal
2 - China Station
3 - Dove of War
4 - A Place in the Sun
5 - Tsingtao Again
6 - Fighting Talk
7 - War Footing
8 - Under Siege
9 - Crash Landing
10 - Mr McGarvin
11 - American Journey
12 - England
13 - Welcome to Donington Hall
14 - How Far is Derby?
15 - Breakout
16 - A Flame of Righteous Anger
17 - Hero's Return
18 - Restless Feet
19 - Incredible and Savage Beauty
20 - Final Flight

Author: Anton Rippon
Edition: Hardcover
Pages: 194
Publisher: Pen & Sword Military
Year: 2009

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