However, in reality, the escape took place in unseasonably bad conditions, with the temperature hovering around zero, and a thick layer of snow on the ground. According to one PoW, it was the coldest winter that that part of Poland had suffered for 30 years, and it was these conditions that did more to hamper the efforts of the escapees than anything else.
Many were equipped with totally unsuitable clothes, such as lightweight trousers that would normally only be issued in the desert, and boots quickly became waterlogged as the escapees tramped through woods and streams. Many came close to suffering from frostbite, and were forced to sleep in obvious shelters such as barns, which only increased the likelihood of them being captured.
One of the supposed objects of the Great Escape was that it would help the war effort by wasting German time and manpower — resources that would otherwise be used on the frontline.
The Allies’ Mission of Mercy, 70 Years Ago
Unfortunately, such thinking was misguided. When the Germans searched for the escapees, they only used whatever existing capacity they had within the Reich. They certainly did not requisition fighting men for the hunt.
The escape actually helped the German war effort, as during the large-scale hunts, thousands of other escaping PoWs, regular prisoners, and absent foreign workers were rounded up in the dragnet. Throughout the war, there were plenty of mass escapes organised by Allied PoWs. All the men were recaptured, apart from one, who sadly drowned. The Germans ridiculed mass breakouts, dismissing them as futile acts of bravado — and the resulting increase in security made mass escapes less likely to succeed. Of all the scenes in The Great Escape , that of Virgil Hilts, played by Steve McQueen, trying to jump over the border wire on his motorbike while being chased by hundreds of Schmeisser-toting Germans is the most memorable.
The motorbike scene is so gross a misrepresentation of the true escape that former PoWs booed it when they were shown the movie! ABC teams share the story behind the story and insights into the making of digital, TV and radio content.
The Great Escape film was riddled with fiction. Here's what really happened
Read about our editorial guiding principles and the enforceable standard our journalists follow. By Patrick Wood. Joe painted a picture of an idyllic country life with weekends spent on his boat. Stephanie believed him and ignored the red flags. Women's tennis has a new child prodigy. Cori 'Coco' Gauff came to Wimbledon an unknown wildcard entry, but could leave a champion.
Little remains at Sheet Of Bark, but this colonial-era horse stopover played a vital role in the settlement of inland NSW. ABC News Breakfast. Photo: How much poetic license did this film take? Supplied: MGM. Related Story: Great Escape survivor recounts breakout, 70 years on. Supplied: Ley Kenyon. Photo: A diagram of the Harry tunnel where the prisoners escaped. But he was already dead — executed for his part in the breakout now known as the Great Escape.
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Connect with ABC News. Got a news tip? Hurdal Skisenter Photo: Hurdal Skisenter. Haugar Vestfold Kunstmuseum Photo: Vestfoldmuseene. Foynhagen Photo: Jonathan Vivaas Kise. Seilas i Oslofjorden Photo: All Onboard.
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Holmestrand sentrum dronebilde Photo: Ole Thomas Halvorsen. Eidsfoss Photo: Visit Vestfold.
Lobby Photo: Thon Hotel Horten. Metro Lekeland Photo: Tom Haga. Fjordfesten Photo: Fjordfesten pressebilde. Photo: Jonathan Vivaas Kise - Foynhagen. Scandic Havna Photo: Scandic Havna. Shopping i Larviksdistriktet Photo: Jarle A. More than islands along an endless coastline, and beaches. Charming villages, great fishing lakes and bright yellow fields.
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If you visit one, you will not want to miss out on the other. The Fortified town and the beautiful archipelago of Hvaler is a must see. Oldtidsveien Photo: Christian Andersen. Halden is an idyllic little town nestled down by the fjord. Cobblestone streets, nice shops, cosy restaurants, river promenades and the guest harbor are all within easy reach downtown. Above the town center looms the mighty Fredriksten fortress. Haldens festning badet i flomlys Photo: Halden Turist. Haldenkanalen Photo: Steinar Fundingsrud. Svinesundsbroen Photo: Halden Turist.
Explore the pristine nature, which offers peace and quiet, as well as canoeing, bike rides and fishing. The region is full of variety, and offers nightlife and shopping as well as beautiful nature. Here you will find exciting cultural activities such as concerts, shows, art exhibitions and festivals. Refsnes Gods Photo: Refsnes Gods. Here you can find a lot of different activities both in door and outdoors. Glass, treetop huts, local food, bike, skiing, and angling. Just to mention a few of the things you can experience in Hedmark. Sykkeltur Finnskogen Photo: Morten Holt.
Scandic Elgstua rom Photo: Scandic Elgstua. Victorihaven Photo: Victorihaven. Reiser og opplevelser butikken Photo: Reiser og opplevelser.