Great Escape Essay

Topics: Prisoner of war, Bangladesh Air Force, Lieutenant Pages: 3 (1093 words) Published: May 18, 2011
Having wasted enormous resources on recapturing Allied prisoners of war (POWs), the Germans move the most determined to a new, high-security prisoner of war camp. The commandant, Luftwaffe Colonel von Luger, tells the senior British officer, Group Capt Ramsey, "There will be no escapes from this camp." Ramsey replies that it is their duty to try to escape. After several failed escape attempts on the first day, the POWs settle into the prison camp. Gestapo and SS agents bring Squadron Leader Roger Bartlett (RAF) to the camp and deliver him to von Luger. Known as "Big X," Bartlett is the principal organizer of escapes and Gestapo agent Kuhn orders that he be kept under the most restrictive permanent security confinement, which Col. von Luger, disgusted by the Nazis and the SS, only makes a "note" of, treating the command with complete contempt. As Kuhn leaves, he warns Bartlett that if he escapes again, he will be shot. Bartlett is then placed with the rest of the POWs, rather than the restrictive holding that Gestapo agent Kuhn had demanded. Locked up with "every escape artist in Germany", Bartlett immediately plans the greatest escape attempted—tunnels for breaking out 250 prisoners. The intent is to "confuse, confound and harass the enemy" to the point that as many troops and resources as possible will be wasted on finding POWs instead of being used on the front line. Teams are organized to tunnel, make civilian clothing, forge documents, procure contraband materials, and prevent guards from discovering their work. Flight Lieutenant Hendley, an American in the RAF, is "the scrounger" who finds what the others need, from a camera to clothes and identity cards. Australian Flying Officer Louis Sedgwick, "the manufacturer," makes tools such as picks for digging and bellows for pumping air into the tunnels. Flight Lieutenant Danny Velinski and William "Willie" Dickes are "the tunnel kings" in charge of making the tunnels. Eric Ashley-Pitt of the Royal Navy devises a...
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