Eleven Months to Freedom: A German POW's Unlikely Escape from Siberia in 1915 [Messiner]

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Eleven Months to Freedom recounts the daring World War I escape of German midshipman Erich Killinger. Falsely accused of bombing a railway station after crashing his plane at sea, he was sentenced to life in the Sakhalin coal mines.

Shipped by rail with several other POWs across Russia, Killinger was determined to return home. In order to do this, though, he needed to jump from the train, cross Siberia, and make it to a German-run escape pipeline in China--all while braving bandits, subzero temperatures, threats of starvation, the risk of capture by Japanese and Russian troops, and possible internment by the Chinese. Once he made it to China, Killinger used money and fake identity papers to survive along the 800 miles to Shanghai.

Improbably playing the role of a dashing French blade, Killinger lived the high life on one ship, then later served as a humble deckhand on another. Risking discovery by the British, he made a bold and risky move as his final destination neared.