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Subj:     The Great Escape - Tunnel Revealed 
          From: darrelldre 
          on 11/20/2012 (S828d)
Drawing from Merkki.com...
Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2064068/Tunnel-

Untouched for almost seven decades, the tunnel used in the Great
Escape has finally been unearthed.  The 111-yard passage nicknamed
'Harry' by Allied prisoners was sealed by the Germans after the
audacious break-out from the PoW camp Stalag Luft III in western

Despite huge interest in the subject, encouraged by the film
starring Steve McQueen, the tunnel remained undisturbed over
the decades because it was behind the Iron Curtain and the Soviet
authorities had no interest in its significance.

But at last British archaeologists have excavated it, and
discovered its remarkable secrets.

Many of the bed boards which had been joined together to stop it collapsing were still in position.

And the ventilation shaft, ingeniously crafted from used powdered
milk containers known as Klim Tins,
remained in working order. Scattered
throughout the tunnel, which is 30ft
below ground, were bits of old metal
buckets, hammers and crowbars which
were used to hollow out the route.
Photo from MailOnLine
A total of 600 prisoners worked on three tunnels at the same time.
They were nicknamed Tom, Dick and Harry and were just 2 ft. square
for most of their length.

It was on the night of March 24 and 25, 1944, that 76 Allied airmen
escaped through Harry.  Barely a third of the 200 prisoners - many
in fake German uniforms and civilian outfits and carrying false
identity papers - who were meant to slip away managed to leave
before the alarm was raised when escapee number 77 was spotted.
Only three made it back to Britain. Another 50 were
executed by firing squad
on the orders of Adolf
Hitler, who was furious
after learning of the
breach of security.

In all, 90 boards from bunk
beds, 62 tables, 34 chairs
and 76 benches, as well as
thousands of items including
knives, spoons, forks, towels
and blankets, were squir-
relled away by the Allied
prisoners to aid the escape
plan under the noses of
their captors.

Although the Hollywood movie
suggested otherwise, NO
Americans  were involved in
the  operation.  Most were
British, and the others were
from Canada, (all the
tunnellers were Canadian
personnel with backgrounds
in mining) Poland, New
Zealand, Australia, and
South Africa.
A tunnel reconstruction showing the trolley system.


The site of the tunnel, recently excavated by British archaeologists
The latest dig, over three weeks in August, located the entrance
to Harry, which was originally concealed under a stove in Hut 104.

The team also found another tunnel, called George, whose exact
position had not beencharted. It was never used as the 2,000
prisoners were forced to march to other camps as the Red Army
approached in January 1945.