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Von Ryan's Express (1964)
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Wikipedia in English
Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0451025660, Mass Market Paperback)A thousand British and American POWs learn to hate the American colonel who singlehandedly shapes them up. His strict discipline brings order to the camp; it also earns him a derisive "von." When Italy surrenders, German guards herd the men into boxcars for shipment to the Reich. Ryan has other ideas. He reckons to take the train to Switzerland...and freedom.
"A taut, exciting and well-keyed war novel...Ryan is a difficult hero to like, but he is a hero nonetheless. An exciting, authentic book." (Book Week)
(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:46:00 -0400)
Set in an Italian POW camp at the height of World War II, it has a hero who acts like a villain for much of the story, an arrogant, by-the-book American colonel who manages to save the men in his charge after very nearly assuring their doom. David Westheimer's novel captures the gritty oblivion of POW life, while the suspense builds as the prisoners plot their way to freedom.
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