Castle of the Eagles (Hardcover)

Escape from Mussolini's Colditz

By Mark Felton

St. Martin's Press, 9781250095855, 320pp.

Publication Date: July 18, 2017

List Price: 26.99*
* Individual store prices may vary.


Vincigliata Castle, a menacing medieval fortress set in the beautiful Tuscan hills, has become a very special prisoner of war camp on Benito Mussolini’s personal order. Within are some of the most senior officers of the Allied army, guarded by almost two hundred Italian soldiers and a vicious fascist commando who answers directly to “Il Duce” Mussolini himself. Their unbelievable escape, told by Mark Felton in Castle of the Eagles, is a little-known marvel of World War II.

By March 1943, the plan is ready: this extraordinary assemblage of middle-aged POWs has crafted civilian clothes, forged identity papers, gathered rations, and even constructed dummies to place in their beds, all in preparation for the moment they step into the tunnel they have been digging for six months.

How they got to this point and what happens after is a story that reads like fiction, supported by an eccentric cast of characters, but is nonetheless true to its core.

About the Author

Mark Felton has written over a dozen books on prisoners of war, Japanese war crimes and Nazi war criminals, and writes regularly for magazines such as Military History Monthly and World War II including China Station: The British Military in the Middle Kingdom, 1839-1997. After almost a decade teaching in Shanghai he has returned to Colechester, England where he lives with his wife and son.

Praise For Castle of the Eagles: Escape from Mussolini's Colditz

"Compelling...another excellent example of the author's growing library of sensational true war stories." —Soldier Magazine

"Recreated in the form of a novel, but with dialogue sequences based on the real words of veterans, written sources, diaries and spoken interviews, Felton really brings this taleof incredible wartime daring and heroism to life." —FamilyTree

“Mark Felton has given us an interesting look at little-known escapes from a formidable Axis prison by senior Allied officers, some of whom were far from youngsters. It is further proof, if we needed it, that while many plucky POWs attempted escape during World War II, few succeeded in making it home as a result.” —Stephen Dando-Collins, author of The Big Break: The Greatest American WWII POW Escape Story Never Told