Stalag Luft III (Hardback)
An Official History of the ‘Great Escape’ PoW Camp
Book of the Month!
Chosen as the Forces War Records’ April 2017 Book of the Month
Opened in March 1942 to house captured Allied airmen, particularly officers, Stammlager Luft III at Sagan was built to make escape particularly difficult, especially tunnelling. This did not stop the prisoners who dug through more than 100 yards of loose sand, enabling seventy-six men to escape. All but three of the men were recaptured, however, and fifty were executed by the Germans.
This Official History of the camp was prepared for the War Office but was never released to the general public. It explains the German administration and running of the camp, the food and conditions the prisoners endured, and the means by which morale was maintained under such trying circumstances. Inevitably considerable space is devoted to the escapes and their careful preparation as well as the anti-escape measures undertaken by the guards. There is also a chapter detailing the punishments meted out for attempting to escape, and lists the number of shooting incidents.
This account provides the reader with an accurate and unprecedented insight into life in a German PoW camp in the latter years of the Second World War.
It isn't something written to be read as a novel or individual story, but a collective look at what life was like in a POW camp, and what lessons might be learnt for the future, how support from outside could have best helped the inmates.Military Model Scene, Robin Buckland
All in all an incredible level of detail covering life in the camp which saw two of the most famous escape stories that came out of WW2. A fascinating addition to the history and one of those documents which is so good to now have publicly available.
Read the full review here.
As featured inBritain at War, April 2017
The film 'The Great Escape' was great entertainment, but with re-written history. This overdue account is a warts and allFiretrench
commentary of the events at and related to German PoW camp Stalag Luft III. Every bit as entertaining as the film, but its also a stirring and poinient account of downed airmen not prepared to give up. Strongly Recommended.
Read the full review here.
Of all the daring PoW escape stories that have come to light in the last 100 years and immortalized by Steve McQueen in the film The Great Escape, the story of J.L. Hardy has to be one of the most remarkable. A PoW for three-and-a-half years, Hardy made no less than twelve escape attempts while imprisoned by the Germans in the First World War, five of which being successful. In early 1915 he attempted to escape from Halle Camp, near Leipzig, by breaking through a brick wall into an adjacent ammunition factory. After five-months work the project proved impracticable. In the summer of 1915 he was…By Captain Alan Bott MC
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