During the Second World War, the British lost 100,000 troops to desertion, and the Americans 40,000. Commonwealth forces from Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Britain's colonial empire also left the ranks in their thousands. The overwhelming majority of deserters from all armies were front-line infantry troops; without them, the war was harder to win. Many of these men were captured and court martialled, while others were never apprehended. Some remain wanted to this day. Why did these men decide to flee their ranks?
In DESERTER, veteran reporter and historian Charles Glass follows a group of British and American deserters into the heat of battle and explores what motivated them to take their fateful decision to run away. The result is a highly emotional and engaging study of an under-explored area of World War II history.