Recording from Guy Walters’s talk “The Great Escape’, for CVHF 2013, Saturday 29th June 2013.
In March 1944, some 80 Allied prisoners of war tunnelled out of a maximum security POW camp in Lower Silesia. Immortalised fifty years ago in the film The Great Escape, the breakout from Stalag Luft III has become a vital – and almost mythological – component of our Second World War story. In his talk, Guy will take a fresh look at the escape, and ask a number of penetrating questions. What was the point of the Great Escape? Did it really open, as is often claimed, a new front within the German Reich? How many POWs actually wanted to escape? How well was it organised? Did RAF officers really have a duty to escape? How much help did the Germans supply? What was the character and motivation of Roger Bushell, the squadron leader who led the escape? And finally, was the Great Escape really all that great? Guy’s talk promises to be both thrilling and controversial as he strips away the myth to uncover the reality.