The Great Escape by Nicolas Trudgian features a cutaway drawing of the famous Stag Luft III prison camp.
On 24th March 1944, Stalag Luft III was the scene of one of the most audacious escape attempts of the entire War when a precision planned 'Great Escape' took place. Seventy six men escaped and the large diversion from Germany's war effort that was needed to recapture them so angered Hitler that he ordered 50 of the recaptured escapees to be shot.
Stalag Luft III, located 100 miles southeast of Berlin in what is now Zagan in Poland, was controlled directly by the High Command of Luftwaffe and became one of the most famous prison camps of World War II. The PoW camp was one of six operated by the Luftwaffe, exclusively for the imprisonment of captured RAF aircrew, and compared to many prison of war camps it was model of civilised internment, with the Geneva Convention complied to as much as possible, however it was still a wartime Prisoner of War camp.
Under the direction of the Escape Committee, headed by Chief Escape Officer. Squadron Leader Roger Bushell - known as Big X - a daring and ambitious plan to breakout at least 200 prisoners was conceived which involved digging three tunnels, codenamed 'Tom' 'Dick' and 'Harry'. Aside from the actual tunnelling itself there was a huge logistic operation in force in the camp in order to create the escape. Getting rid of the earth from these tunnels was a problem as it was a different colour to the earth around the camp, however a system was devised where prisoners hid the earth in bags under their trousers and dispersed it around the area - they were known as 'Penguins'. Another problem was the huge amount of wood needed to shore up the tunnels as well as materials needed to forge documents, maps and the civilian clothes needed as disguises. All this had to go on under the noses of the guards and a network of prisoners known as "Stooges" was put in place to assist the forgers and create a system of lookouts to ensure the secrecy of the workshops.
Reproduced from a pencil drawing by Nicolas Trudgian this special edition depicts the construction of Tunnel Harry', the final escape route taken during the Great Escape, March 1944.
The Great Escape by Nicolas Trudgian is signed by:
Squadron leader Ken "Hawkeye" Lee - Flying Hurricanes with 501 Squadron during the Battle of France, Dunkirk and the Battle of Britain he became an Ace early in the war. He was shot down and captured in July 1943 and sent to Stallag Luft III where he was involved as a Penguin and a Stooge during the Great Escape.
The Military Gallery.
14 x 12 inches overall including borders.
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