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The Great Escape (CASSELL MILITARY PAPERBACKS) [Paperback]

Paul Brickhill
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
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Book Description

One of the most famous true stories from the last war, The GREAT ESCAPE tells how more than six hundred men in a German prisoner-of-war camp worked together to achieve an extraordinary break-out. Every night for a year they dug tunnels, and those who weren't digging forged passports, drew maps, faked weapons and tailored German uniforms and civilian clothes to wear once they had escaped. All of this was conducted under the very noses of their prison guards. When the right night came, the actual escape itself was timed to the split second - but of course, not everything went according to plan...

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The Great Escape (CASSELL MILITARY PAPERBACKS) + Reach for the Sky: Story of Douglas Bader, D.S.O., D.F.C. (CASSELL MILITARY PAPERBACKS) + Wooden Horse
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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Phoenix; New Ed edition (2 Nov 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0304356875
  • ISBN-13: 978-0304356874
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 108,183 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


Absorbing... spine-tingling... puts the average war book so far in the shadow it's not even funny. " --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Book Description

The famous story of mass escape from a WWII German PoW camp that inspired the classic film.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars In memory of the 50 5 Sep 2002
The Great Escape by Paul Brickhill is one of the most compelling reads I have ever had the pleasure of purchasing. We have all seen the film version with Steve Mcqueen but this is the real dirt from a man who was there.
Graphic in detail this book covers every step of the way from arrival at Stalag Luft III, organising the Commitee, forgers, scroungers, tailors, stooges and crafftsmen.
You can feel the tension as they begin to dig the three escape tunnels, Tom, Dick & Harry.
76 POWs escaped on that freezing cold March night in 1944, with snow on the ground they took off on their flight for freedom.
Unfortunately all but 3 were re-captured within days. Very sadly 50 were then executed by the Ghestapo and the SS. Only 23 were returned to Stalag Luft III.
Out of 76 who got out only 3 made it to freedom.
A must read book that outlines the real heartache of not having food, Guards who turned off the Shower before you could wash off the soap, in-fighting amonst prisoners........its all here.
For the sake of the 50 you must read this book.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This certainly puts Big Brother in context! 26 Jun 2007
Dare I say that everyone, especially schoolkids, should read this book???? A remarkable account of the resolve, determination, ingenuity, craftmanship, and humour of life in a second world war camp. I've read it several times but each time I'm struck by how, on such little food and creature comforts, the prisoners maintained concentration and energy levels and endured the most unimaginable 'working' conditions, all for the common aim of causing hindrance and disruption to the Germans, and hopefully freedom. Read this and you'll barely be able to watch the reality tv shows in the same light again.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb - Allied courage during WWII 19 Feb 2002
This book documents the true story behind the most famous prisoner of war escape of WWII. Not a motorbike in sight (or indeed an American!), just the story of brave men duty bound to continue the war against Hitler - the man who ultimately ordered their execution. Tragic but uplifting.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant 25 Jan 2002
This book has everything, partial comedy (the diversions) adventure (escape night) and most poignant of all truth. If you've watched the film it is moving how you see the hopes of many men dashed by the callousness of Gestapo officers. The way the book is written is with heart stopping pace and vivid character developments all of whom really existed in the camp in the 2nd world war - a must.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very satisfying 8 Jan 2006
The great escape has long been a favourite film of mine and i bought the book because of this. When i read it i was familiar with the storyline but this went in to far greater depth than the film and gave a detailed background to the prison camps that helped to explain some of the activity around the camp. I read the book in 3 days as I could not put it down whenever i had free time until i had to go to work. This is a truly exhilerating and heroic tale and is a must buy for anyone remotely interested in history.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
I loved this book!! It is a moving and exciting novel about an expert escape from a Nazi POW camp. It is a fast paced and action packed book, but it is also terribly sad and moving. I would recomend this to everyone who saw the film and loved it, a must read book!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book- Classic and a True Story ! 2 Jan 2007
By Jay
I bought this book in a jumble sale back in 1979, and found it really gripping. Three decades on, I'm thinking of rereading it, one of the all time classics that inspired a classic film. Try "Dam Busters" too.

It inspired both a Hollywood and Bollywood film; as well as the blockbuster series; 'Prison Break' Thats how good it was.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Great Escape 18 May 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A legend of WWII, this story is a must-read for anyone with an iota of interest in the European theatre of the war. Two things emerge from the dust and action of the saga - the escapees knew full well that they might be caught and suffer accordingly (though none knew they would be executed), and secondly, it appears that half the reason for the escape attempt was to force the Germans to divert huge numbers of personel into the search for them once the escape had been discovered.

The Great Escape has been in the news more recently too: on 8 June 2010 the last survivor of the escape died aged 97: Jach Harrison. He was no 98 of the 200 prisoners lined up to escape but was prevented from doing so when no 77 was caught and the whole operation came to a halt.

The master document forger of the prison camp, protrayed in the film by Donald Pleasance, was called Alex Cassie and he died on 14 April 2012 - his obituary published in the Telegraph.

It is these survivors and their memories that we should remember, as well as those who died after capture. I am thankful that my generation and my chidrens' generation have not been called upon to demonstrate an equal measure of courage as these men showed. I am not sure any of us would live up to the mark.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Brilliant makes film look awfull
Published 3 months ago by nathan
5.0 out of 5 stars The Book behind the Film of The Great Escape.
Well written and gripping story of the mass escape of allied prisoners from a German prisoner of war camp. This is the book of the well known film. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Nicodemus
4.0 out of 5 stars A Very Good Read
I recently purchased 'The Great Escape' by Paul Brickhill off here and a great purchase it turned out to be. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Fox in the Box
5.0 out of 5 stars The Greatest Escape
Now so well known as a classic escape story of the Second World War,little did we know quite how much of the film was from the true story as told by aone of those involved. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Peter T.
4.0 out of 5 stars The Great Escape
Arrived promptly in good condition. Read this first 50 years ago - brought to re-live my early teenage years. Read more
Published 20 months ago by M. Charles
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the BEST escape books SPOILED by a cover from a movie.
This review is for the hardcover edition printed and published by Cassell Military Classics and they SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF THEMSELVES! Read more
Published on 15 Mar 2012 by Wayne Cooper
4.0 out of 5 stars The Great Escape
This was the first non-fiction book I'd ever read (about 3 years ago) and i don't think I've returned to fiction yet! Read more
Published on 17 Feb 2012 by Calum
5.0 out of 5 stars First Class WW2 Escapology Reading
This book tells it as it really was. There are fascinating details that come to light in this book that because of time restraints, could not possibly have been included in the... Read more
Published on 2 Sep 2011 by THE WISE ONE
5.0 out of 5 stars The Great Escape
The Great Escape (Cassell Military Paperbacks)Paul Brickhill's book is a classic, and a must read for both the casual reader or anyone interested in WWII. Read more
Published on 29 Aug 2011 by SCATABUSH
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping from start to finish
A gripping account of the Great Escapers and their fate. What comes across here most powerfully for me is the resourcefulness and ingenuity of the prisoners in making so much... Read more
Published on 26 July 2010 by John Hopper
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