Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by Sabre, May 10, 2005.

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  1. I know we have all heard of the now infamous Great escape, or even the colditz escape.Which resulted in 'HomeRuns' back to the British shores

    It got me wondering, In the 2nd world war, how many German/Italian home runs were made and were any of these are actually famous for a mass break out?

    Does any one know?
  2. German home runs?

    One - Franz von Werra.
  3. Do you have any detail on how he done it?
  4. I think it was from Canada to the US which was still neutral at that stage. Did him fcuk all good though as he was subsequently killed in Russia. Old film "The One Who Got Away" tells the story.
  5. Seems to have been Franz von Werra. Going off a google search, it looks like he was shot down on 5th Sept 1940. He was sent to Grizedale Hall, from where he tried to escape on the 7th of October, going over a brick wall while the guards were distracted by a fruit cart and the other prisoners during a route march. The local Home Guard got him on the 10th but he promptly escaped again. Eventually a search party picked him up on the 12th and returned him to Grizedale. He got 21 days solitary but was moved to Swanick in Derbyshire on the 3rd of November.

    Once there, he got involved with a group of would-be escapers calling themslves Swanwick Tiefbau A. G. (Swanwick Excavations, Inc.). Yep, they were tunnelling out. Equipped with forged papers and money, they broke out on 20th December, the noise being covered by AA fire and a recital by the camp choir.

    Von Werra, who had brought along his flying suit and was posing as a Dutch RAF pilot called Captain von Lott. He managed to persuade a train driver to take him to the nearest RAF base, then persuaded the clerk at the station that he was genuine and then convinced the local police as well. Unfortunately he didn't manage to convince a Squadron Leader Boniface when he got to RAF Hucknall. Boniface telephoned to confirm von Werra's ID, whereupon the German legged it to a hangar and tried to take a plane, explaining to the mechanic that Boniface had told him to take it up on a test flight. Unfortunately he wasn't quick enough - Boniface was able to arrive and arrest him at gunpoint.

    He was taken back to Swanick, this time under armed guard.

    1941 saw him moved to Canada, along with most PoWs. The camp he was sent to was near Lake on the 21st of January he bailed from the prison train while in transit along with 7 others (all of whom got caught) and made his way into the still-neutral USA. The immigration authorities arrested him on suspicion of illegal entry to the USA, so von Werra naturally got in touch with the German consul. He also got in touch with the press, telling a somewhat exaggerated version of the story. The Canadians took umbrage (and legal advice) and started negotiating Werra's extradition. They should really have put him under lock and key in the meantime, since the German vice-consul got him into Mexico before the negotiations were finished.

    From Mexico, he headed back to Germany via Rio de Janiero, Barcelona and Rome, arriving home on 18th April 1941. Needless to say, he was an instant hero.
  6. There were other escapes, even multi-escapes (not quite 'mass') but all were recaptured and some shot escaping.

    i'll see if i can dig up some details when i'm home as i'm blatantly skiving at work at the mo 8)

    There is however a book about a German soldier who escaped from Soviet captivity after the war. "As far as my feet will carry me"

  7. daz

    daz LE



    CAMP: 198 / Special Camp: XI

    Bridgend, South Wales.

    Multi boxhead breakout, shame they all got caught :lol: :lol:

    They had some big names held there as well, they list on the site (with biog's)

    [align=left]Generalfeldmarschall Gerd von Rundstedt

    Leutnant Hans Gerd von Rundstedt

    Generalfeldmarschall Ewald von Kleist

    Generalfeldmarschall Erich von Manstein

    Generalfeldmarschall Walter von Brauchitsch

    Generalmajor Walter Robert Dornberger

    SS-Gruppenführer und Generalleutnant der Polizei Hermann Behrends

    SS-Obergruppenführer und General der Waffen-SS und Polizei Werner Lorenz (Hermann Behrends' Boss)

    Konteradmiral (Ing.) Hans Voss

    General der Panzertruppe Hasso Von Manteuffel

    Generaloberst Gotthard Heinrici

    General der Panzertruppe Fridolin von Senger und Etterlin

    General der Infanterie Günther Blumentritt

    General der Panzertruppe Heinrich Karl Alfons Willy Eberbach

    Generalleutnant Johann von Ravenstein

    Generalleutnant Karl-Wilhelm von Schlieben

    Vizeadmiral Friedrich Hüffmeier

    SS-Obergruppenführer und General der Waffen-SS Karl-Maria Demelhuber[/align]

  8. Thanx for ya help all