The Great Escape: A Canadian Story

By Ted Barris

A special retelling of WWII’s such a lot dramatic break out, instructed via first-hand memories of the warriors who skilled it.

at the evening of March 24, 1944, eighty Commonwealth airmen crawled via a 336-foot-long tunnel and slipped into the wooded area past the twine of Stalag Luft III, a German POW compound close to Sagan, Poland. the development grew to become often called &8220;The nice Escape,&8220; an elaborate breakout greater than a yr within the making, related to as many as 2,000 POWs operating with striking coordination, intelligence, and bold. but inside of a couple of days, all yet 3 of the escapees have been recaptured. consequently, 50 have been murdered, cremated, and buried in a distant nook of the legal camp.

yet such a lot don’t be aware of the true tale at the back of the good get away. Now, at the eve of its seventieth anniversary, Ted Barris writes of the main avid gamers within the break out try out, those that obtained away, those that didn’t, and their households at home.

Barris marshals groundbreaking examine right into a compelling firsthand account. For the 1st time, The nice Escape retells essentially the most extraordinary episodes in WWII without delay during the eyes of these who skilled it.

Joint Winner of the Libris Award for Non-Fiction publication of the 12 months 2014
Globe and Mail Bestseller
Toronto Star Bestseller

Show description

Quick preview of The Great Escape: A Canadian Story PDF

Best Canada books

The Long Stretch (The Cape Breton Trilogy, Book 1)

From a proficient storyteller and certainly one of Canada’ s most valuable newshounds, The lengthy Stretch is a saga of affection and battle, the tale of these who've "gone away" and people who are forced to stick. in a single apocalyptic evening, John Gillis and his estranged cousin Sextus confront a part century of half-truths and suppositions that experience formed and scarred their lives, their households and their insular Cape Breton group.

Away: A Novel

A gorgeous, evocative novel set in eire and Canada, Away strains a family's advanced and layered earlier. The narrative unfolds with shimmering readability, and takes us from the tough northern Irish coast within the 1840s to the quarantine stations at Grosse Isle and the hardly hospitable land of the Canadian safeguard; from the flourishing city of Port wish to the flooded streets of Montreal; from Ottawa on the time of Confederation to a large-windowed residence on the fringe of a good Lake in the course of the modern day.

Reflections of a Siamese Twin: Canada at the End of the Twentieth Century

In Reflections of a Siamese dual, Saul turns his eye from a reinterpretation of the Western international to an exam of Canada itself. stuck up in crises-political, monetary, and social-Canada maintains to flounder, not able to resolve or maybe particularly establish its difficulties. as a substitute, we assert absolute variations among ourselves: we're English or we're French; Natives or Europeans; early immigrants or newly arrived, from the east or from the west.

The Last Spike: The Great Railway, 1881-1885

Within the 4 years among 1881 and 1885, Canada used to be solid into one country via the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway. The final Spike reconstructs the marvelous tale of the way a few 2,000 miles of metal crossed the continent in exactly 5 years — precisely part the time stipulated within the agreement.

Extra info for The Great Escape: A Canadian Story

Show sample text content

Davidson fast mixed into the Canadian kriegie contingent and got here to appreciate that the struggle had disadvantaged the criminal guards of a lot an identical facilities it had the POWs. So, once purple pass parcels grew to become to be had to the prisoners of battle, Davidson used a few of their contents to develop the priorities of the get away committee. Davidson controlled to place parcel staples, comparable to chocolate, espresso, and cigarettes, into the arms of the guards in go back for goods that might come in useful for the kriegies. again got here instruments for tunnelling, the personal loan of a digicam, and the uncooked fabrics for cast records. An avid sportsman, Davidson helped safe activities gear—tennis rackets, baseballs and bats, and hockey skates and sticks—from the YMCA in Morgan’s division shop again in Canada. The apparatus may possibly have supplied kriegies a few welcome sport, however the hardwood from tennis rackets burned lengthy and scorching in a barracks range and a used skate blade usually loved a moment lifestyles as a slicing or digging device. [23] From the instant he bought settled within the POW compound, P/O Davidson grew to become referred to as “the scrounger. ” He wasn’t the one one expert within the paintings of scrounging. MacKinnon “Mac” Jarrell, from Armow, Ontario, joined the RAF in 1940 and expert as a navigator and bomb-aimer serving aboard Blenheim airplane. In July 1941, on his twenty-second operation, Jarrell used to be shot down and badly burned within the episode. The health facility the place Mac was once admitted occurred to have a German-born surgeon raised within the usa. Seconded to army scientific paintings, the health professional administered to Jarrell’s burns with plastic surgery[24] and nursed him again to healthiness. whilst Jarrell was once ultimately discharged and despatched to a POW camp in important Germany, he joined an get away committee that outfitted a tunnel and, months later, nineteen escaped via it. After his recapture, six days later, Mac used to be thought of high-risk to flee, so the Germans saved relocating him from legal camp to felony camp—eight various camps over the following forty-five months. as soon as he was once cleared via the get away committee at each one felony compound, Jarrell joined a group of scroungers studying the German guards and taming them—i. e. , bartering with them for the apparatus and offers X association wanted for its long term get away schedule. between different bribing instruments, Mac used the move of tobacco despatched from domestic, together with cigarette packs from the Ontario chinese language Patriotic Federation. additionally despatched from Canada, and innocently cleared by way of the Luftwaffe management on the compound, have been small wind-up phonograph machines and a typical offer of recordings. “One checklist referred to as ‘Corn Silk,’” Mac famous in his log, “came in nearly each package deal. It was once negative and the prisoners hated it. ”[25] yet that was once the purpose. ultimately, one POW within the compound grew to become so agitated over the terrible sound of “Corn Silk” that he smashed the checklist purely to find a map of Germany and sector were hidden inside of. without warning, Jarrell’s scrounging workforce had extra contraband to aid within the long-range break out plans.

Download PDF sample

Rated 4.62 of 5 – based on 15 votes