The Great Escape: A Canadian Story

Ted Barris. Dundurn (UTP, Canadian dist.; IPS, U.S. dist.), $33.99 (320p) ISBN 978-1-77102-272-9
Journalist and author Barris, who has written 16 other history books, applies his ample experience as a military historian to the Great Escape, a Second World War prison escape most people may know best, if at all, from the popular but inaccurate 1963 Hollywood movie. While the bare facts are well known—on March 24, 1943, 80 soldiers escaped from Luft Stalag III, only for all but three to be recaptured and no less than 50 executed on the orders of Hitler himself—the film version played up American involvement and downplayed the Commonwealth elements of the escape to make the result more palatable to American viewers. Armed with historical documents and testimony from the prisoners themselves, Barris corrects misapprehensions and distortions made in the name of entertainment and reveals the true world of life in a German POW camp. The author also delves into what happened after the escape, in the increasingly constrained lives of the POWs during the last years of the Third Reich and the desperate forced march as the Nazi regime finally collapsed. With the 70th anniversary of the Allied mass escape from Luft Stalag III fast approaching, Barris's re-examination is both timely and fascinating. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 10/14/2013
Release date: 10/01/2013
Genre: Nonfiction
Open Ebook - 320 pages - 978-1-77102-474-7
Open Ebook - 320 pages - 978-1-77102-475-4
Paperback - 320 pages - 978-1-4597-2844-8
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