Summary and book reviews of Zero Night by Mark Felton

Zero Night

The Untold Story of World War Two's Greatest Escape

by Mark Felton

Zero Night by Mark Felton X
Zero Night by Mark Felton
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • Published:
    Aug 2015, 320 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Kim Kovacs

Buy This Book

About this Book

Book Summary

On August 30, 1942 - 'Zero Night' - 40 Allied officers staged the most audacious mass escape of World War II. Told with a novelist's eye for drama and detail, this rip-roaring adventure is all the more thrilling because it really happened.

On August 30, 1942 - 'Zero Night' - 40 Allied officers staged the most audacious mass escape of World War II. Months of meticulous planning and secret training hung in the balance during three minutes of mayhem as the officers boldly stormed the huge double fences at Oflag Prison. Employing wooden ladders and bridges previously disguised as bookshelves, the highly coordinated effort succeeded and set 36 men free into the German countryside. Later known as the 'Warburg Wire Job', fellow prisoner and fighter ace Douglas Bader once described the attempt as 'the most brilliant escape conception of this war'.

The first author to tackle this remarkable story in detail, historian Mark Felton brilliantly evokes the suspense of the escape and the adventures of those escapees who managed to elude the Germans, as well as the courage of the civilians who risked their lives to help them in enemy territory. Fantastically intimate and told with a novelist's eye for drama and detail, this rip-roaring adventure is all the more thrilling because it really happened.

Prologue

A shilling coin jangled insistently inside an empty tin can, followed by someone whispering 'Get out, Doug!' in an urgent hiss. Muttering a stream of oaths under his breath, Doug Crawford quickly reversed out of the narrow tunnel, its wet clay walls lit by a single guttering carbide lamp near the tunnel face.

'Doug, hurry up, the Jerries are on their way!' hissed Captain David Fielding, sitting on the wooden floor of the deserted 'silence hut' next to the camp library. The tunnel was almost finished and Crawford had been working on the vertical shaft below the exit hole when the alarm was given. Somehow, the Germans had found out about the tunnel and were racing towards them across the huge camp, hoping to capture the diggers and their escape hole.

Several other members of the digging team crouched by the tunnel entrance, their faces masks of apprehension. By the window one man was 'stooging', acting as a lookout. Beyond the hut several ...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Reviews

BookBrowse Review

BookBrowse

The book contains a fair amount of dialog, which I always find suspect in a work relaying events occurring many years in the past. Overall Zero Night is engaging and entertaining, and anyone with an interest in WWII will find it worth their while. Felton's account is utterly absorbing and is sure to find a wide audience.   (Reviewed by Kim Kovacs).

Full Review (856 words).

This review is available to non-members for a limited time. For full access become a member today.

Media Reviews

History of War

Fans of the film The Great Escape (and frankly who isn't?) will love this book.

Good Book Guide

Action-packed...a fitting tribute to the ingenuity of the escapees and of the brave civilians who subsequently assisted them.

Military History

A fresh light on the POW escape, focusing on the individual stories and characters to create a real' great escape.

Kirkus Reviews

In this exciting book, Felton has captivatingly captured the bravery of the prisoners

The Daily Mail (UK)

This is undeniably history as it should be told and a thundering good read.

Reader Reviews

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Beyond the Book

The Great Escape

Zero Night relates the story of "The Warburg Wire Job," one of several mass escapes from German POW camps during World War II, the most well-known of which was "The Great Escape" from Stalag Luft III on 24-25 March 1944, made famous by the 1963 movie of the same name.

Stalag Luft III was a large prisoner-of-war camp opened in April 1942 in occupied Poland. It eventually covered approximately 60 acres and housed about 1,800 prisoners at the time of the escape.

The Great Escape, as it later became known, was the brainchild of Squadron Leader Roger Bushell. With multiple attempts under his belt, he began planning his next getaway on his arrival at Stalag Luft III in October 1942 – this time envisioning a much larger and more ...

This "beyond the book" feature is available to non-members for a limited time. Join today for full access.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Readalikes

Readalikes Full readalike results are for members only

If you liked Zero Night, try these:

  • The Narrow Road to the Deep North jacket

    The Narrow Road to the Deep North

    by Richard Flanagan

    Published 2015

    More about this book

    Read Reviews

    Moving deftly from a Japanese POW camp to contemporary Australia, this savagely beautiful novel tells a story of love, death, and family, exploring the many forms of good and evil, war and truth, guilt and transcendence.

  • Unbroken jacket

    Unbroken

    by Laura Hillenbrand

    Published 2014

    More about this book

    Read Reviews

    In her long-awaited new book, Laura Hillenbrand writes with the same rich and vivid narrative voice she displayed in Seabiscuit. Telling an unforgettable story of a man's journey into extremity, Unbroken is a testament to the resilience of the human mind, body, and spirit.

Non-members are limited to two results. Become a member
Search Readalikes again
How we choose readalikes
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten!

Join Today!

Award Winners

  • Book Jacket: La Belle Sauvage
    La Belle Sauvage
    by Philip Pullman
    Voted 2017 Best Young Adult Novel by BookBrowse's Subscribers

    I wasn't quite sure what to expect ...
  • Book Jacket: Killers of the Flower Moon
    Killers of the Flower Moon
    by David Grann
    Voted 2017 Best Nonfiction by BookBrowse's Subscribers

    The long, sorrowful list of injustices done ...
  • Book Jacket: The Dry
    The Dry
    by Jane Harper
    Voted 2017 Best Debut Novel by BookBrowse's Subscribers

    After receiving a letter from his childhood...
  • Book Jacket: Little Fires Everywhere
    Little Fires Everywhere
    by Celeste Ng
    Voted 2017 Best Fiction by BookBrowse's Subscribers

    Small towns, big drama. Acclaimed author ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
History of Wolves by Emily Fridlund

"Electrifying . . . as beautiful and as icy as the Minnesota woods where it's set."
—NPR

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Wonder Valley
    by Ivy Pochoda

    A visionary and masterful portrait of contemporary L.A. from the author of Visitation Street.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win Autumn

Autumn by Ali Smith

One of the New York Times 10 Best Books of the Year, and a Man Booker Prize Finalist

Enter

Word Play

The Big Holiday Wordplay: $400+ in Prizes

Enter Now

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.