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The True Story of the Great Escape: Stalag Luft III, March 1944

The True Story of the Great Escape: Stalag Luft III, March 1944


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'It shows the variety and depth of the men sent into harms way during World War II, something emphasized by the population of Stalag Luft III. Most of the Allied POWs were flyers, with all the technical, tactical and planning skills that profession requires. Such men are independent thinkers, craving open air and wide-open spaces, which meant than an obsession with escape was almost inevitable' - John D Gresham

Between dusk and dawn on the night of March 24th - 25th 1944, a small army of Allied soldiers crawled through tunnels in Germany in a covert operation the likes of which the Third Reich had never seen before.

The prison break from Stalag Luft III in eastern Germany was the largest of its kind in World War II. Seventy-nine Allied soldiers and airmen made it outside the wire - but only three made it outside Nazi Germany. Fifty were executed by the Gestapo.

Jonathan Vance tells the incredible story that was made famous by the 1963 film, The Great Escape. The escape 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 their first days in Stalag Luft III and the forming of bonds key to such exploits, 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.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781784384388
Publisher: Pen and Sword
Publication date: 05/16/2019
Pages: 392
Sales rank: 203,805
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 7.90(h) x (d)

About the Author

Professor Jonathan Vance teaches military history and Canadian history at Western University, Canada. He is the author of more than 10 acclaimed works.

Table of Contents

Glossary and Guide to Abbreviations ix

Maps xii

Foreword xvii

Prologue xxi

1 The First to Fall 1

2 Learning the Escaping Game 15

3 The Dulag Luft Tunnel 35

4 They Came to Sagan 43

5 Through the Wire 61

6 An International Community 74

7 The Plan is Hatched 92

8 North Compound Opens 110

9 Sinking the Traps 130

10 The Delousing Party 147

11 Tunnel Success and Failure 176

12 X Organization Regroups 193

13 Travel Plans are Made 214

14 The Ferrets Strike 233

15 Beyond the Wire 252

16 Battling the Elements 268

17 The Train Travelers 288

18 Götterdämmerung 307

19 'The Air Ministry Regrets …' 339

Epilogue 359

Suggested Reading 366

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