The Great Escape

The Great Escape

Paperback Cassell Military Paperbacks

By (author) Paul Brickhill

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  • Publisher: Cassell Military
  • Format: Paperback | 288 pages
  • Dimensions: 126mm x 194mm x 24mm | 259g
  • Publication date: 2 November 2000
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0304356875
  • ISBN 13: 9780304356874
  • Illustrations note: 7 maps, line drawings
  • Sales rank: 141,330

Product description

The famous story of mass escape from a WWII German PoW camp that inspired the classic film. One of the most famous true stories from the last war, The GREAT ESCAPE tells how more than six hundred men in a German prisoner-of-war camp worked together to achieve an extraordinary break-out. Every night for a year they dug tunnels, and those who weren't digging forged passports, drew maps, faked weapons and tailored German uniforms and civilian clothes to wear once they had escaped. All of this was conducted under the very noses of their prison guards. When the right night came, the actual escape itself was timed to the split second - but of course, not everything went according to plan...

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Author information

During the war Paul Brickhill was shot down over German territory and sent to a prisoner of war camp. After the war he wrote about the numerous escape attempts in which he was involved in THE GREAT ESCAPE. REACH FOR THE SKY, and THE DAMBUSTERS RAID are his most famous works.

Editorial reviews

The Steve McQueen film of The Great Escape may have initially enjoyed mixed reviews, but has since become one of the best-loved classics of the cinema. There was no controversy about Paul Brickhill's original book, though, which has long enjoyed a reputation as being among the most astonishing true stories from the last war. In dispassionate but thoroughly involving prose, Brickhill tells how more than 600 men in a German prisoner-of-war camp formed a unit to bring off an astonishingly daring breakout. There is a whole sub-genre of prisoner war books, but this really is the high water mark: a tale of heroism, ingenuity and sheer doggedness that has an undiminished power. The book, of course is very different from the movie, and tells the tale with all Hollywood glamour stripped away. There is also an astonishing amount of detail which vividly brings to life the men involved in the escape, while never putting the breaks on the ever-accelerating tension. (Kirkus UK)

Back cover copy

One of the most jaw-dropping accounts you will ever read: it truly puts fiction to shame. This is the compelling true story of how more than six hundred men in a German prisoner-of-war camp came together to achieve an extraordinary break-out. With only bare hands and the crudest of tools they dug tunnels, forged passports, faked weapons and tailored German uniforms to wear once they had escaped. The operation was as delicate and as deadly as a ticking bomb and was conducted under the noses of the increasingly suspicious guards. It demanded absolute commitment and nerves of steel from every man, every minute, every hour, every day for more than a year. When the night came, the actual escape itself was timed to the split second - but of course, not everything went according to plan...