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Stalag Luft III (Paperback)

The German POW Camp that Inspired The Great Escape

Military > Greenhill Books > Greenhill: WWII Military > Prisoners of War Photographic Books WWII > Great Escape WWII > Photographic Books

By Charles Messenger
Greenhill Books
Series: Images of War
Pages: 144
Illustrations: 150
ISBN: 9781784384463
Published: 4th March 2019



National publicity!

As seen in the Daily Mail, February 2019: 'How the Great Escape tunnels were built: German soldiers show how brave British prisoners carried out their famous bid for freedom in never-before-seen photographs.'

As featured in the Daily Express, February 2019.

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In early 1942 the Third Reich opened a maximum security Prisoner Of War camp in Lower Silesia for captured Allied airmen. Called Stalag Luft III, the camp soon came to contain some of the most inventive escapers ever known.

The escapers were led by Squadron Leader Roger Bushell, code-named 'Big X'. In March 1944, Bushell masterminded an attempt to smuggle hundreds of POWs down a tunnel build right under the noses of their guards. In fact, only 79 Allied airmen clambered into the tunnel and only three made successful escapes.

This remarkable escape would be immortalised in the famous Hollywood film THE GREAT ESCAPE, in which the bravery of the men was rightly celebrated.

Behind the scenes photographs from the film are included in this definitive pictorial work on the most famous POW camp of World War II.

This book, from the "Images Of War" series, is a small gem that shows us the places of one of the most exciting events that happened during the Second World War.

Read the full Italian review here

Old Barbed Wire Blog

An unusual and interesting visual mix.

Read the full Spanish review here

Miniaturas JM

Stalag Luft III will always be remembered as the camp from which the Great Escape was made, and this book of course dwells on that remarkable achievement and its tragic aftermath, when 50 of those recaptured were murdered by the Gestapo. Alongside diagrams and maps, it includes some excellent photographs of the tunnel and the apparatus used in the escape, yet this was just one small incident in the history of a camp which spanned three years, and it is with this wider story that the book is chiefly concerned. Large photographs and detailed notes are used to describe the daily routine, showing typical barrack room scenes, as well as roll calls, the food on offer, entertainment including sports and theatrical performances, and profiles of a number of key personalities. The book closes with a series of grim images from early 1945, when the men of Stalag Luft III and the surrounding camps were evacuated from the path of the Russian advance and embarked on the Long March west in dreadful winter conditions with very little food. A number ended up at Stalag VIIA at Moosburg, and the final pages deal with their liberation and voyage home.

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Pegasus Archive

The images are, as always in this series, of the highest quality. Here they depict all of the aspects of POW life in German camps and of the inmates of Stalag Luft III in particular. – Highly Recommended

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Amazing photographs of the inmates of Stalag Lufy III, the POW camp that inspired the story of the Great Escape.

Books Monthly

As featured on WW2 Today

WW2 Today

An excellent addition to this series and fascinating for anyone interested in the 2 films and the history of the POW camps in Germany during the war.

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Military Model Scene, Robin Buckland

It's really worth a read, even as a companion book... it has so much information in this book that rounds out the story perfectly, I can't recommend it highly enough.

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The View From The Turret Vlog

I really enjoyed this book and will be valuable as a reference when reading some of the first-hand accounts which have been published recently. Another excellent volume from a wonderful author and a welcome addition to the book shelf!

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Amazon Customer

Article 'The Great Escape in rare photos' as featured by

History of War, issue 66

As featured by

The Armourer, April 2019

As featured in

Daily Express 14/2/19

As featured in

Daily Mail 14/2/19
 Charles Messenger

About Charles Messenger

CHARLES MESSENGER is a renowned historian, who served 21 years with the British Royal Tank Regiment and 13 with the British Territorial Army.

Perfect Partner

Escape from Stalag Luft III The True Story Of My Successful Great Escape (Hardback)

'A born raconteur, his escapes, his operations as a Spitfire pilot, his experiences as a prisoner-of-war, and his incredible escape crossing the Pyrenees – all are described in a breathtaking manner which made me read his book through in one sitting.' Prof Dr L de Jong, Founder/Director of the Dutch Institute for War Documentation 'Such a modest man, such a dramatic story – you’ll be pulled into this absorbing account.' Jonathan Vance, The True Story of the Great Escape "Quickly, I climbed up to the surface and immediately found the rope . . . I felt no signal, so it was not safe yet. Then…

By Bram Vanderstok MBE, Simon Pearson, Robert Vanderstok

Click here to buy both titles for £39.99
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