The Truth Behind The Movie..

#1
and a good cause in itself..

http://www.thegreatescapememorialproject.com


Even though the film is a good'un as war films go, its so full of crap historically that it makes what really happened all that more unbelievable... No matter how good Steve McQueen was on a motorbike even he couldn't have 'escaped' through three feet of snow in mid-winter...

Collected more than a few dollars in a bar in Buffalo when I ' proved' that there were no Americans in Stalag Luft III to escape, even if they wanted to..another Hollywood ' rewrite ' of history...
 
#2
Read 'Behind the Wire' by William Ash. (ISBN0-593-05408-3 Bantham Press)
The REAL story of a RCAF Spitfire pilot,shot down in 1942 over Pas De Calais. He escaped over 12 times & was the original 'cooler king'.
This book is'nt fiction but a account of his time as a POW.
 
#4
Just to give 't'other side their due..should read about the exploits of Oberleutnant Franz Von Warra, German prisoner of war in Canada. Escaped from a prison train in Smith Falls, Ontario and made it all the way back to Europe.. Only man ever to do that..quite the bit of determined effort...

Imagine the boys in the pub in Berlin being told that story by ol' Franz...bet he fot a German equivilent of " Walt " for that story quite a bit...
 
#5
Rocketeer said:
Just to give 't'other side their due..should read about the exploits of Oberleutnant Franz Von Warra, German prisoner of war in Canada. Escaped from a prison train in Smith Falls, Ontario and made it all the way back to Europe.. Only man ever to do that..quite the bit of determined effort...

Imagine the boys in the pub in Berlin being told that story by ol' Franz...bet he fot a German equivilent of " Walt " for that story quite a bit...
Was'nt that made into a film ? AND for the life of me,I can't remember it's name!
Spike
 
#6
spike7451 said:
Rocketeer said:
Just to give 't'other side their due..should read about the exploits of Oberleutnant Franz Von Warra, German prisoner of war in Canada. Escaped from a prison train in Smith Falls, Ontario and made it all the way back to Europe.. Only man ever to do that..quite the bit of determined effort...

Imagine the boys in the pub in Berlin being told that story by ol' Franz...bet he fot a German equivilent of " Walt " for that story quite a bit...
Was'nt that made into a film ? AND for the life of me,I can't remember it's name!
Spike
Hardy Kruger starring:

"The One That Got Away"
 
#7
Made it all the way home and then went and put a fw190 into the drink and that was the end of him . least he might have helped
allied pows get better treatment as he supposedly after seeing how the germans kept our guys said the brits treated the germans better .
 
#8
naguere said:
spike7451 said:
Rocketeer said:
Just to give 't'other side their due..should read about the exploits of Oberleutnant Franz Von Warra, German prisoner of war in Canada. Escaped from a prison train in Smith Falls, Ontario and made it all the way back to Europe.. Only man ever to do that..quite the bit of determined effort...

Imagine the boys in the pub in Berlin being told that story by ol' Franz...bet he fot a German equivilent of " Walt " for that story quite a bit...
Was'nt that made into a film ? AND for the life of me,I can't remember it's name!
Spike
Hardy Kruger starring:

"The One That Got Away"
Cheers for that.It was bugging me!
 
#9
Read the book by Paul Brickhill.
My grandfather was in stalugluft III, and although I know the film is bollocks, I still love it.
'Danny' was a made up character, the real tunnel king being an engineer called Wally Floody. No americans.
However what is true, is that all the escapees were killed except the 3 that made it home.
 
#10
In fairness, those Septics present had been involved but were all moved to a camp of their own 2-3 months before the break. However, massive play-up by Hollywood of their rôle in the affair.
 
#11
Not a british escape but check out the distance he E and E'd over 14,000km! On leaving for the eastern front he promised to get home for christmas. Good man never specified which one though.

http://www.soweitdiefuessetragen.de/frameset.shtml

SYNOPSIS AS FAR AS MY FEET WILL CARRY ME

Never, ever, underestimate the sheer power of the human spirit and the force of will when it is inspired by love. That`s the message of AS FAR AS MY FEET WILL CARRY ME.

Based on Josef Martin Bauer`s novel, this true story is the incredible journey undertaken by German soldier Clemens Forell in his dramatic escape from a Siberian labour camp.

Set against a backdrop of desolate and inhospitable landscape, beset by danger (from both animals and humans), constantly battling the worst nature can throw at him, Forell makes his way, step by step, kilometre by kilometre, towards Persia and the longed-for freedom.

Three years it takes him. Sometimes riding on trains, sometimes by boat, mostly on foot, he covers more than 14,000 kilometres, knowing that every step brings him closer to his goal but never knowing if his next step will also be his last.

In December, 1952, eight years after he left his family and was sent to fight on the Russian front in a war that was already lost, Forell was finally reunited with his wife and children.
 
#12
Similar to the one by Slavomir Rawicz, a Pole who escaped from Siberia and ended up in India a couple of years later having crossed the Gobi and the Himalayas, and picked up a bird on the way. He wrote a great book about it called The Long Walk.
 
#14
re great escape, i am sure there were 20 odd who werent killed and wre returned to sl3. there had been yanks in the camp but they were moved well prior to the escape.

at the beginning of ice cold in alex the voiceover claimsd it is a true story, does anyone have anything to back this up. i presumed the book it was based on (i read some time ago) was a noovel
 
#15
Rocketeer said:
Just to give 't'other side their due..should read about the exploits of Oberleutnant Franz Von Warra, German prisoner of war in Canada. Escaped from a prison train in Smith Falls, Ontario and made it all the way back to Europe.. Only man ever to do that..quite the bit of determined effort...

Imagine the boys in the pub in Berlin being told that story by ol' Franz...bet he fot a German equivilent of " Walt " for that story quite a bit...
I thought Ulirich Hilper was the one that got away. You learn something new every day.
 
#16
According to the book 'The Great Escape' by Paul Brickhill, Hitler apparently ordered that all the escapees be shot. After objections by Goering (worried about reprisals against Luftwaffe POWs), he changed it to 'more than half'. The selection was based on how 'troublesome' escapees had been. The book also details the successful post war search to bring the killlers to justice.
 
#17
50 were shot. The rest (23) were sent back to Stalag Luft III or other camps.
BTW Donald Pleasance actually was RAF aircrew in the war, was shot down and captured, spent time ina Stalag Luft (not the same one).
 
#18
thought it funny when i met a couple of colditz vets in combat stress. one of them sat there looked at me and said,' brilliant.there i was out the war, safe, in a castle, getting red cross parcels, learning the piano doing a correspondance course, nice and warm, and what did that fecker want to do ?escape?'' pissed myself laughing
 
#19
On a more interesting note the following book recountes the post war investigation of the murders of the escapees by the a total of 5 five officers and 14 NCOs of the RAF Police.

Andrews, A. (1976): Exemplary Justice, Harrap, London.

In all 72 murderers were identified, 69 were accounted for. Appendix V lists the accused, including those denounced, but not formally charged because of death or disappearance.

It is a good read and very good to know that the bastards were hunted down after the war.

Just as an aside it is worth noting that the massacre as depicted in the film did not happen. The airmen were detained in various places throughout German controlled territory and were murdered individually or in small groups based on where they were held. The bodies were then cremated ( a fair few at Dachau). The ashes were returned to Stalagluft III (Sagen, Poland) where they were interned in a stone cairn made by the prisoners. Although there is almost no sign of the camp remaining at the sight the cairn does still exist (as of 2003).
 

AlienFTM

MIA
Book Reviewer
#20
Inf/MP said:
The ashes were returned to Stalagluft III (Sagen, Poland) where they were interned in a stone cairn made by the prisoners. Although there is almost no sign of the camp remaining at the sight the cairn does still exist (as of 2003).
There was a programme on about Stalg Luft 3 a year or two back and how they took a POW or two and a team of archaeologists to Poland to find it.

The camp was entirely made of wood apart from the odd concrete block to mount heaters on (and chip through to tunnel down) and essentially nothing remained. The forest which had been cleared when it was built had regrown over the site.

Yet they still managed to find a datum point and dig down through the sandy soil and they actually hit one of the tunnels - forget which. ISTR it was far too dangerous in these health and safety aware times to go down into the sandy hole to look inside the tunnel, but the fact that they were able to find a tunnel at all had me welling up, never mind the guys who'd escaped through it 60 years previously.
 

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