In a forbidding Gothic castle on a hilltop in the heart of Nazi Germany, an unlikely band of British officers spent the Second World War plotting daring escapes from their Nazi captors. Or so the story of Colditz has gone, unchallenged for 70 years. But that tale contains only part of the truth. The astonishing inside story, revealed for the first time by bestselling historian Ben Macintyre, is a tale of the indomitable human spirit, but also one of class conflict, homosexuality, espionage, insanity and farce. Through an astonishing range of material, Macintyre reveals a remarkable cast of characters, wider than previously seen and hitherto hidden from history, taking in prisoners and captors who were living cheek-by-jowl in a thrilling game of cat and mouse. From the Indian doctor whose hunger strike and eventual escape reads like a thriller, to America’s oldest paratrooper and least successful secret agent, the soldier-prisoners of Colditz were astonishingly imaginative in their escape attempts; but there were many other ways to survive while awaiting their unknown fate. Deeply researched and full of incredible colour, this is the definitive book on one of the greatest war stories ever told.