The not so Great Escape: It's seen as the epitome of British heroism thanks to THAT film. But a new book says it was a futile suicide mission - driven by one man's towering ego | Mail Online " New book says escape was a futile suicide mission driven by Roger Bushells towering ego " My father was in Stalag Luft III for 4 years .According to him , everyone in the camp idolised Roger Bushell , including the half of the camp not involved in escapes . This bloke Walters forgets a number of things . All the participants and helpers , over 300 in all , were willing volunteers . This whole escape took years , people had plenty of time to reconsider and the escape was oversubscribed .Applicants had to have helped in the preparation and the least likely candidates ( eg non German speakers ) were chosen by drawing lots as they had so many willing to go . These were young men in the prime of their lives , locked up half starved in a depressing pine forest with no idea if or when they would ever be released so they were prepared to do anything to get out , even knowing that most would get caught The recently captured had already told them about lynchings . These were blokes who had bailed out of burning aeroplanes who had already seen many of their friends and colleague on their squadrons killed or missing .They weren't exactly risk averse . The aim was to continue the war by other means , not just an attempt to get people home . Everyone knew and accepted that . He concludes by saying that 50 lives were too high a price to pay . The raid on Berlin that night that caused the lights to go out in the tunnel cost more than 50 lives , as did just about every RAF bombing raid of the war . Maybe Walters forgets that 55,000 Bomber Command aircrew were killed between 1939-45 , and that most of those raids could be considered futile suicide missions . Rant over .