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Length: 357 pages5 hours


1943— Obersturmbannführer Lt. Colonel Carl von Glasow and his fellow battle-weary officers of Rommel’s 15th Panzer Division, Afrika Corps, have endured the humiliation of surrendering to the Allies in Tunisia. Resigned to riding out the war in a North African prisoner of war camp they are surprised to learn they are being shipped instead to a U.S. Army POW camp in America. Nothing prepares them for the vivid contrast between the burning sands of the Tunisian desert and the murderous tank wars they waged there and the small, peaceful and idyllic Georgia coastal island town of Sorrel Island.

During the summer the population swells as mainlanders from nearby Savannah alight from the daily Central of Georgia trains or drive over the causeway in their Ford Deluxe Fordors and Chrysler 66s. Vacationers flock to the pristine beaches, revel in the cool saltwater breezes, and enjoy the amusement pier with its Ferris wheel and the music pavilion that host traveling big band tours.
Referred to as the “Nazi camp” by the locals, and Nazilager by the inmates who still proudly wear their sand-colored desert fighting uniforms their presence incites disturbing emotions. The coastal islanders are nervous about sharing their idyllic community with prisoners of war. Though they couldn’t feel further away from the ravages of the far away war they are not immune from it. The persistent chatter on the beaches and in the hotels and rooming houses is now the likelihood of a prisoner escape.

When on the first day a German escapee is shot in broad daylight a groundswell of opposition and fear from vacationers and year-around residents erupts. Young first-term town council president and mayor Connie Hopkins does her best to assuage their fears all the while confronting her own feelings when Major Bill Ferguson, the camp’s assistant commandant, launches a campaign to seduce her.

Meanwhile behind the fences and guard towers, and inside their wooden barracks and mess halls, several renegade Nazi officers embark on a plan to escape to neutral Argentina. And when Lt. Colonel von Glasow learns of the plan his mettle is tested as he makes the most fateful decision of his life.

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