Stalag Luft III : An Official History of the POW Camp of the Great Escape
Opened in March 1942 to house captured Allied airmen, particularly officers, Stammlager Luft III at Sagan was built to make escape-especially tunneling-particularly difficult. This did not stop the prisoners who dug through more than one hundred yards of loose sand, enabling seventy-six men to flee. All but three of the men were recaptured, however, and fifty were executed by the Germans.
This camp was known for two famous prisoner escapes that took place there by tunneling, which were depicted in the films The Wooden Horse (1950) and The Great Escape (1963). The official history of the camp was prepared for the War Office but was never released to the general public. It explains the German administration and running of the camp, the food and conditions the prisoners endured, and the means by which morale was maintained under such trying circumstances.
Considerable space is devoted to the escapes and their careful preparation as well as the anti-escape measures undertaken by the guards. This account provides the reader with an accurate and unprecedented insight into life in a German POW camp in the latter years of World War II.