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The True Story Of The Great Escape Stalag Luft ...

"Harry" was finally ready in March 1944. By then the Americans, some of whom had worked on "Tom", had been moved away; despite the portrayal of three in the Hollywood film, only one American, Major Johnnie Dodge, participated in the "Great Escape", and he had become a British citizen. Previously, the attempt had been planned for the summer for its good weather, but in early 1944 the Gestapo visited the camp and ordered increased effort to detect escapes. Rather than risk waiting and having their tunnel discovered, Bushell ordered the attempt be made as soon as it was ready. Many Germans willingly helped in the escape itself. The film suggests that the forgers were able to make near-exact replicas of just about any pass that was used in Nazi Germany. In reality, the forgers received a great deal of assistance from Germans who lived many hundreds of miles away on the other side of the country. Several German guards, who were openly anti-Nazi, also willingly gave the prisoners items and assistance of any kind to aid their escape.[27]

The True Story of the Great Escape Stalag Luft ...


In their plan, of the 600 who had worked on the tunnels only 200 would be able to escape. The prisoners were separated into two groups. The first group of 100, called "serial offenders," were guaranteed a place and included 30 who spoke German well or had a history of escapes, and an additional 70 considered to have put in the most work on the tunnels. The second group, considered to have much less chance of success, was chosen by drawing lots; called "hard-arsers", they would have to travel by night as they spoke little or no German and were only equipped with the most basic fake papers and equipment.[3]

Paul Brickhill was an Australian-born Spitfire pilot, shot down in 1943 over Tunisia to become a prisoner of war. While imprisoned at Stalag Luft III, he was involved in the escape attempt. He did not take part in tunnelling but was in charge of "stooges", the relay teams who would alert prisoners that German search teams had entered the camp. He was originally scheduled to be an early escapee but when it was discovered he suffered from claustrophobia, he was dropped down to the bottom of the list. He later said that this probably saved his life. After the war, Brickhill co-wrote Escape to Danger (with Conrad Norton, and original artwork: London: Faber and Faber, 1946). Later Brickhill wrote a larger study and the first major account of the escape in The Great Escape (1950), bringing the incident to a wide public attention. This book became the basis of the film (1963). The film was based on the real events but with numerous compromises for its commercial appeal, such as including Americans among the escapees (none of whom were actually American). While some characters were fictitious, many were amalgams of and some based on real people. There were no actual escapes by motorcycle or aircraft (the sequence involving an escape in a German trainer may have been inspired by Bob Hoover's escape from Stalag Luft I in a FW 190[86]), nor were the recaptured prisoners executed in one place at the same time. The film has resulted in the story and the memory of the fifty executed airmen remaining widely known, if in a distorted form.[87]

On March 24 1944, one of the most audacious projects carried out during WW2 occurred. It was the mass escape of Allied soldiers from the German prisoner of war camp Stalag Luft III, the story of which was forever immortalised in the 1963 film The Great Escape, starring Steve McQueen.

The area itself, however, was certainly populated by seamen; and they lookedlike seamen. Small cafes were open; small, sordid hotels did business. They hada meal and paid for a room in one of the hotels. They had taken part in one ofthe most momentous escapes in history; they'd taken their chances and gottenaway with it. They were already asleep as their heads fell towards the pillows,and did not wake until four o'clock the following afternoon. Müller lookedacross at Bergsland and grinned. "Another visit to 17 Klein Oder Strasse, Ithink."

In 1963, a heavily fictionalized retelling of the events at Stalag Luft III was released. Titled The Great Escape, it featured a star-studded cast as its main characters. Among the aspects of the story that were changed to better fit American audiences was the role of the US personnel imprisoned at the POW camp. Despite being moved seven months prior to the escape attempt, they are depicted in the film as having a much larger role, thus erasing the impact of the Canadian soldiers held there.

One of the most frequent criticisms regarding the accuracy of "The Great Escape" is how much the screenwriters overstate the involvement of American officers. While some were initially involved as lookouts, they were shipped out to another camp several months before the escape took place (via Sky History). One exception was American-born British Army officer Johnnie Dodge, who had previously escaped Stalag Luft I with Roger Bushell. Conversely, the film totally fails to mention the 150 Canadian officers who, like real-life Tunnel King Wally Floody, were instrumental in the escape.

Finally Ker-Ramsay climbs down to the base of the shaft from where he will control operations. Up above, Henry Lamond stands by the trap to help those escapees unfamiliar with the tunnel to position themselves on the ladder. By 2100 hours everyone is in position, ready to launch what Bushell hopes will be the biggest mass escape in prisoner-of-war history.

Everyone knows the story of The Great Escape. Forever enshrined in cinematic history, the iconic movie tells the tale of a group of prisoners-of-war digging a tunnel underneath their containment camp and escaping their German captors. But is that really the true story? History tells us a different tale.

Jens Müller was one of only three men who successfully escaped from Stalag Luft III in March 1944 - the break that later became the basis for the famous film The Great Escape. In this vivid, informative memoir, Müller details what life in the camp was like, how the escapes were planned and executed, and the story of his personal breakout and success reaching the RAF Leuchars base in Scotland.

Here, in his own words, is the true story of America's wildest flying hero, of his extraordinary heroism, and of his greatest battle of all-the fight to survive. The World War II air war in the Pacific needed tough men like Colonel Pappy Boyington and his Black Sheep Squadron. The legendary Marine Corps officer and his bunch of misfits, outcasts, and daredevils gave a new definition to "hell-raising" - on the ground and in the skies.

In this book Jonathan Vance tells the incredible story that was made famous by the 1963 film The Great Escape. It is a classic tale of prisoners and their wardens in a battle of wits and wills. The brilliantly conceived escape plan is overshadowed only by the colorful, daring (and sometimes very funny) crew who executed it - literally under the noses of German guards. From the men's first days in Stalag Luft III and the forming of bonds among them, to the tunnel building, amazing escape, and eventual capture, Vance's history is a vivid, compelling look at one of the greatest "exfiltration" missions of all time.

In this gripping narrative, Ben Macintyre tackles one of the most famous prison stories in history and makes it utterly his own. During World War II, the German army used the towering Colditz Castle to hold the most defiant Allied prisoners. For four years, these prisoners of the castle tested its walls and its guards with ingenious escape attempts that would become legend. But as Macintyre shows, the story of Colditz was about much more than escape.

It was not the largest escape in the annals of military history, nor was it the most successful. There were more audacious breakouts, and ones that presented more significant engineering challenges. But no plan was more ambitious, and none was carried through in the face of such overwhelming odds. No other escape had such an impact on the Second World War, and few took such a toll in lives.

Bram (Bob) Vanderstok, MBE, was born on 13th October 1915 in Sumatra in the Dutch East Indies. he was a world war ii fighter pilot and still holds the record as the most decorated aviator in Dutch history. after the war he studied and practiced medicine as well as working with the us coast guard auxiliary, participating in 162 rescues. he died in February 1993. Simon Pearson is _The Times_ newspaper obituaries editor and author of TThe Great Escaper: The Life and Death of Roger Bushell 'the mastermind behind the great escape'_ (Hodder).

You will visit Stalag Luft III, a prisoner-of-war camp run bythe Luftwaffe which held Allied air force personnel. It becamefamous in 1963 thanks to the film The Great Escape, starring SteveMcQueen. Guy will impart the true story of the Great Escape, andlead you on a tour of the camp as well as show you the routes takenby those who escaped.

You will also spend a day at the imposing Renaissancestronghold, Colditz Castle, which during was converted into a highsecurity prison during the war. The story of castle is a movingexample of the plight and courage of the prisoners of war, who werelauded for their daring escape plans.

"I am REALLY looking forward to returning to Colditz and StalagLuft III. It's hard to think of two more iconic locationsassociated with Second World War heroism and plucky inventiveness,and during the course of the tour I shall really be bringing thestories of the prisoners-of-war to life. As well as talking aboutthe escapes and all the exciting bits, I think it's important thatwe remind ourselves just how tough life was for these poor men, whowere trapped behind castle walls and barbed wire for many years. Icannot wait to see you there, and I promise we shall have a greattime, not only immersing ourselves in the history, but also in finefood and drink - and great company!" -Guy Walters 041b061a72


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