The best of WWII prisoner of war books

Who am I?

I have studied WW2 and prisoners of war during that period for more than 20 years. They're very much the forgotten soldiers of war in my opinion. Few spoke of their treatment and brutality at the hands of the enemy, starvation, and the psychological effects that they lived with for many years afterward. Marriages fell apart, alcoholism was commonplace and many committed suicide, during a time where the term PTSD hadn't been invented. I've selected books that tell the story from several different perspectives. There were good and bad on all sides and for every ten stories of brutality and murder, there were another ten stories of good men and women who did their best to help the POWs survive.


I wrote...

Do the Birds Still Sing in Hell?

By Horace Greasley, Ken Scott,

Book cover of Do the Birds Still Sing in Hell?

What is my book about?

I was fortunate enough to meet and ‘ghost’ Horace's story more than ten years ago. 99% of POWs never talked about their experiences and it wasn’t until Horace was 90 years of age that he decided to talk. He knew he was close to death, he wanted to share his story with the world. This is a unique insight into what camp life was really about and surely one of the greatest love stories of all time.

The books I picked & why

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Judy, A Dog In A Million

By Damien Lewis,

Book cover of Judy, A Dog In A Million

Why this book?

Judy was the only official animal POW, in a Japanese POW camp in the far east, even issued with her own POW number. A brutal tale, yet at the same time a heartwarming story of a truly special animal. Damien Lewis is once again on top form, giving a historically accurate and emotional account of life as a POW both for humans and dogs.


Soldier, Prisoner, Hunter, Gatherer: The Incredible True Story of Kiwi Horrie Woods, and His Battle for Survival During World War II

By Don Woods, Ken Scott,

Book cover of Soldier, Prisoner, Hunter, Gatherer: The Incredible True Story of Kiwi Horrie Woods, and His Battle for Survival During World War II

Why this book?

An epic account of Kiwi soldier, Horrie Woods, fighting the Germans in Greece and Crete to his eventual capture and incarceration in a pow camp in eastern Europe. What makes this book so unique is that the memoir was transcribed by his son Don Woods, from the actual diaries Horrie kept during his four years in captivity. A true story of survival.


Hitler's Last Army: German POWs in Britain

By Robin Quinn,

Book cover of Hitler's Last Army: German POWs in Britain

Why this book?

Not a subject often written about and sometimes we forget that the Allies held POWs too. A fascinating insight into German POWS held on UK soil helped me with another one of my collaborations, the book, The Psychiatrist by John West.

Very well researched and written, at times sad, other times very moving, and some nice tales which reflect the old adage that all wars are futile. One arrives at the clear conclusion that young German men were no different to our own boys, except those who took on the Nazi propaganda and believed it until the bitter end.

Life Can Be Cruel: The Story Of A German P.O.W. In Russia

By H.R.R. Furmanski,

Book cover of Life Can Be Cruel: The Story Of A German P.O.W. In Russia

Why this book?

One of the most heartwrenching stories of POW books you will ever read. This time the author gives an honest yet horrific account of German POWs at the hands of their Russian captors after WWII. Not a book for the faint-hearted and has no happy endings. A story about how cruel mankind can be.


The Long Road Home: An account of the author's experiences as a prisoner-of-war in the hands of the Germans during the Second World War

By Adrian Vincent,

Book cover of The Long Road Home: An account of the author's experiences as a prisoner-of-war in the hands of the Germans during the Second World War

Why this book?

Another prisoner who lost five years of his life to Nazi tyranny. A real honest and at times, brutal account of what it was like in a German POW camp during WWII. It begins with the soldier's capture in Northern France, and the horrendous journey just to get to the camp in Germany. A story that captures the hopes and the hopelessness of these young men, who at first believed it, 'would be all over by Christmas' and endured year after year staring down the barrel of a gun behind barbed wire, wondering where the next meal would come from. 
A very well-written, emotional journey, not for the faint-hearted.

5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in prisoner of war, World War 2, and Germany?

5,888 authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about prisoner of war, World War 2, and Germany.

Prisoner Of War Explore 61 books about prisoner of war
World War 2 Explore 975 books about World War 2
Germany Explore 297 books about Germany

And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

We think you will like Traitor, Judy, and Free As a Running Fox if you like this list.