Digging the Great Escape w/t – This fascinating programme follows a team of engineers, archaeologists, and serving RAF officers who have assembled on the site of Stalag Luft III, the supposedly escape-proof World War Two Prisoner of War camp. They have an extraordinarily ambitious plan: to excavate for the first time the remains of ‘Harry’, the tunnel from which 76 allied airmen escaped on the night of 24 March 1944. This was the Great Escape, immortalised by Hollywood and Steve McQueen and internationally famous as an extraordinary story of courage and ingenuity.
But how did the POWs do it? How did they dig a 100 metre tunnel, seven metres below ground, with only cutlery for tools? How did they forge more than 100 documents? What did they do with 90 double bunk beds, 635 mattresses, 3,424 towels and other items that they stole from the camp? And who were these remarkable people?
To find out, the team will replicate some of the key tools, structures and inventions created by the original escapers. Interweaving the historical narrative with first-hand testimonies and the unfolding story of the excavations and experiments, this film offers a new insight into the Great Escape, and a celebration of the courage and ingenuity of a remarkable group of men.
Channel: Channel 4
Producer: Wildfire TV
TX: Autumn 2011
Source: Channel 4