ISBN 978-1-908291-13-4

First published 1953

This edition published 2011

© James Leasor & Kendal Burt 1953, 2011


On his return to Germany, Franz von Werra dictated an account of his adventures as a prisoner-of-war. It was never published, for reasons that we explain, and as far as we know, only one complete copy of the typescript survived the war. We found it and obtained permission to make full use of it for the present work. We acknowledge our indebtedness to it, for it is the unique key to von Werra's mind and character. However, his interpretation of events was subjective; by the time the manuscript came into our possession, we had already obtained the British side of the story through contacting most of the people concerned in it, and we have preferred to use their more objective, if less colourful, reminiscences in this book. The help they have given us will be apparent to the reader, and we thank them for the generous way they revealed the part they played, sometimes unwittingly, in the adventures of Franz von Werra. We also gratefully acknowledge the less obvious but not less invaluable help we have received from numerous individuals, libraries and agencies; the Historical Branch of the Air Ministry, particularly its head, Mr J C Nerney, and Mr L A Jackets, Head of the Foreign Documents Section, for their interest and encouragement; the Police, to the detailed nature of whose records we pay a special tribute; the Rolls-Royce Company; the BBC Monitoring Service, and specialist libraries extending from Washington to Vienna.

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