Unshackled Spirit: Prisoners of War and The Secret Spitfire

Unshackled Spirit: Prisoners of War and The Secret Spitfire

Product no.: 978-1-78155-191-2
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Only those who have been prisoners have any concept of the horrors of being a prisoner, or the ineffable joy of release, of the terrible rise and fall of spirit.

In mid-1943, a British pilot imprisoned in Germany commenced cryptic communication back to England. He had just one goal in mind: to establish a secret trust fund that prisoners of war could use in order to purchase their very own spitfire to soar above them in the skies over occupied Europe. The Spitfire was to be named Unshackled Spirit, and this aircraft, along with this man's selfless act, epitomised the courage and strength of the thousands of men experiencing the horror of the Second World War.

Alongside the story of this unique Spitfire, Colin Pateman records the lives of many prisoners of war, detailing their repeated escape attempts, the strain of daily life in the PoW camps, and the hardships endured during their organised moves across Europe. Pateman's study of these experiences is supported by extracts from prisoners’ treasured wartime logs, including poems, artwork, letters home and personal thoughts, and an examination of the vital committees and institutions that strove to support the plight of these men.

At times heartbreaking, inspirational, and uplifting, Unshackled Spirit reveals the hope and bravery of those forced to endure the trauma of the war while never losing sight of freedom.


Colin Pateman grew up in the south of England and spent the majority of his working life as a police officer. His key roles were in handling specialist search dogs and as a police search advisor, having been trained by the Royal Engineers. Pateman is an avid collector of aviation memorabilia, gaining great satisfaction from the gathering and preservation of personal accounts of Second World War pilots and aircrews.

His previous books for Fonthill Media include Unwanted Hero and Goldfish, Caterpillars and Guinea PigsGoldfish, Caterpillars and Guinea Pigs.

Dimensions: 234 x 156 mm
Binding: hardback
Pages: 320
Illustrations: 30 b/w photographs

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