The Great Escape
Introduced by George Harsh
The thrilling true story of the largest British-led mass-escape of the Second World War.
In 1943, 600 disparate Allied POWs in the notorious Stalag Luft III prison camp plotted an escape unprecedented in its scale and daring. Led by the formidable Squadron Leader Roger Bushell – or ‘Big X’ as he was known on the escape committee – the plan involved the digging of three tunnels (‘Tom’, ‘Dick’ and ‘Harry’) and the disposal of over 100 tonnes of yellow sand, all under the noses of the German ‘ferrets’, or guards.
The tunnels were lit with electric lighting stolen from the goons, shored up with boards from their own beds, traversed on an underground railway and ventilated with home-made bellows crafted from wood, canvas bags and bully-beef tins. But escape was only the beginning: 400 forged passes would be needed, some 200 suits of clothes tailored, maps memorised and languages learnt. If all went well, a staggering 200 prisoners would be freed in the largest British-led breakout of the Second World War.