Detectives are hunting for the attackers, and have released CCTV from a neighbouring house in an effort to identify them.
The victim, who has not been named, said: “I was a prisoner of war in 1943 and believed I was going to be shot, but I was not as afraid then as I now feel in my own home.”
The intruders broke into his home in the Yardley area of Birmingham at 2am on 17 February as the man watched television.
They also disconnected the phone line during the raid on his house.
One of the two burglars pinned down the man as the other searched the house and stole jewellery, watches and cash.
The pair are believed to have climbed over a wall in the back garden and broke in through a window.
DC Laura Halpin, who is leading the investigation, said: “This would be an absolutely terrifying ordeal for anyone to endure, let alone a defenceless 96-year-old man inside his own home.
“I’d ask people who may know who is responsible to think about how frightening this would have been for this man and do the right thing – get in touch with us.
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“Any information you have, no matter how small or insignificant you think it is could be vital to our investigation.”
:: Anyone with information can contact West Midlands Police on 101. Alternatively Crimestoppers can be contacted anonymously on 0800 555 111. Please quote crime number 20BE/38098B/18.