Operation Swallow is the story of how a small group of American soldiers, led by a charismatic but reluctant leader, tried to save hundreds of fellow servicemen from a diabolical Nazi plan to turn US prisoners-of-war into concentration camp slaves. It is a story that begins in the dark forests of the Ardennes during Christmas 1944 and progresses through the 'worst POW camp of the war' to the secret Berga Concentration Camp, ending at the charnel house that was Buchenwald Concentration Camp in spring 1945. It is the remarkable battle of wills between a young GI who is thrust into a leadership position he didn’t want and an evil SS officer who will stop at nothing to complete his diabolical orders. It morphs into a daring escape story replete with courage, sacrifice, torture, despair and salvation as the American leader is faced with certain execution. Even more remarkably, it is a story that has barely been told before, an appalling chapter of US military history that the American government tried to suppress for decades and a truly uplifting Holocaust story that deserves to be widely known and understood. Written from personal testimonies and official documents, it is a narrative non-fiction story replete with high adventure, strong and compelling characters, human drama, tragedy and eventual salvation.
Being born in the army garrison town of Colchester in 1974, it was perhaps inevitable that Mark Felton should develop an interest in military history. After university and a stint in the civil service he later gained a master’s degree and a PhD at the University of Essex.
After working as a university lecturer he moved with his wife to China in 2005 where he continued to teach.
He has authored over a dozen books, many receiving national and international attention and also writes regularly for several major history magazines on both sides of the Atlantic.
After living and wor...
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