Friday, 28 January 2022

British Modern Military History Society

OUR next meeting will be at Woodcote village hall on Wednesday, January 12 at 7.30pm when we will hear from Guy Walters about “The Real Great Escape”.

In early 1942, the Germans opened a top-security prisoner-of-war camp in occupied Poland for captured Allied airmen.

Called Stalag Luft III, the camp soon came to contain some of the most inventive escapers ever known.

They were led by Squadron Leader Roger Bushell, codenamed Big X, who masterminded an attempt to smuggle hundreds of POWs down a tunnel built right under the noses of their guards.

The escape would come to be immortalised in The Great Escape (1963) in which the ingenuity and bravery of the men was rightly celebrated.

The plan involved multiple tunnels and hundreds of forged documents as well as specially made German uniforms and civilian clothing.

In this talk, Guy Walters takes a fresh look at this remarkable event and asks, ‘What was the true story, not the movie version?’ He also examines what the escape really achieved and the nature of the man who led it.

This is the first account to draw on documents newly released by Sq Ldr Bushell’s family, including his letters.

Mr Walters is the author and editor of nine books and is a frequent contributor to the Jeremy Vine show on BBC Radio 2. He regularly gives talks to societies up and down the country.

If you are planning to attend this talk, please book your seats by emailing

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