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Publisher's Summary

In early 1942 the Germans opened a top-security prisoner-of-war camp. Called Stalag Luft III, it soon contained some of the most inventive escapers ever known. They were led by Squadron Leader Roger Bushell who masterminded an attempt to smugglehundreds of POWs down a tunnel built under the noses of their guards. The escape would come to be immortalised in the famous film The Great Escape, but in this book Guy Walters takes a fresh look at this remarkable event and asks what was the true story?

©2013 Guy Walters (P)2013 Oakhill Publishing

Critic Reviews

"Walters’s description of the build-up to the breakout makes nail-biting reading" ( Guardian)

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  • Overall
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  • Dinah
  • 12-24-13

This Is The Great Escape

What did you like most about The Real Great Escape?

This book has had such good reviews this year and the audio book lives up to these expectations. It is so topical at this time of year when we are faced with re-runs of the 1963 film, The Great Escape on television.
The build-up to the break-out is gripping. 40 per cent of the men who emerged from the tunnel codenamed 'Harry' were non-British (they included Poles, Czechs, Australians, French and Danes) and that the three ultimately successful escapers were two Norwegians and a Dutchman.
Walters also emphasises that the escape was crucially aided by the complicity of some of the captors who provided money, maps, radio equipment and even a camera, usually in exchange for much coveted coffee, soap and cigarettes from Red Cross parcels.

Who was your favorite character and why?

In 1942, the Germans did build a high security prisoner of war camp for officers and former ‘escape artists’ called Stalag Luft III. The leader of the escape team was Squadron leader Roger Bushell.

What about Richard Burnip’s performance did you like?

The narration was done in a 'documentary' style which was entirely appropriate to the story and added credibility.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I was very involved with the story. This book tells it how it really was and it is a fascinating historical novel which ‘lets slip’ some insights in to how cinema created such unreal perceptions. Such as the fact that in the prison camp, the officers were not mainly British, but were from all over Europe, mainly Poland.

Any additional comments?

This is a book which would make a great gift for dad’s and grandad’s and for everyone who is a fan of the 1963 film.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Del
  • 09-20-17

A thoroughly researched re-telling.

Any additional comments?

The story of 'The Great Escape' is well known and admired for its daring and spectacular attempt to disrupt the German forces on their home front. This book, however, asks some critical questions - not least of which is, should it have actually been attempted at all?

This incredibly well researched and detailed book looks at the central characters on both sides. Explains the similarities and differences between the commonly known accounts of the escape and the actual records pertaining to it and the individual experiences of the escapers themselves, before during and after the event.

It looks at the reasons why the 50 were shot and insights into the motivations of those who executed them.

I loved the famous all star film. I have seen documentaries and read previous accounts. Without doubt, this is a brilliant book, well balanced and a fitting story for the REAL Great Escape.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Mr. A. Moore
  • 06-24-15

A must for any WW2 history buff.

A brilliant telling of the full story. Forget the film, this is definitive. Fantastic. Recommended.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Sp Wickes
  • 02-25-15

Love this book

This is a great book, looks at the truth as well as the myths. Well written and well narrated. So much so I have listened to it many times

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Dunblane1
  • 04-21-18

A thoroughly researched and enlightening account.

I was engrossed from start to finish and will seek out this author in the future. Highly recommend.

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  • Hamish MacBeth
  • 01-20-18

The Truth at last

The Audio is well narrated and guess what? No mention of a Motor bike being used to escape. No Hollywood fantasy in this Audio.

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  • Dubliner
  • 11-16-17

Great book about the Great Escape

A well-written, thoroughly-researched reappraisal of the famous escape. An essential read if you are a ww2 history buff. Richard Burnip’s narration is excellent.

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  • Russell Day
  • 11-13-17

An objective evaluation of the great escape

Although keeping all the names straight was difficult at times the book was well structured and will read.

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  • White Socks!
  • 09-17-17

An impressively thorough tour de force.

Simply amazing. Guy Walters must be commended for his painstaking research and vivid writing.

The book was read beautifully by Richard Burnip, with subtle, yet tangible, intonation to highlight a German speaking.

I cannot recommend this book highly enough. Not a single bad word.

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  • Haydn
  • 08-06-17

fantastic and full of detail

this is an excellent view of the Great Escape that will kep you intrested once past the slow start.. You will cheer, cry and shout in good measure.