The Great Escape: The Reckoning [Channel 4, UK]

A new documentary on Channel 4 in the UK looks at the story of the real great escape

The Great Escape is one of the most celebrated stories of World War II, and the subject of an iconic film.

Of the 76 Allied airmen who famously escaped in March 1944 from POW camp Stalag Luft III, deep in Nazi Germany, all but three were recaptured. Fifty of them were then shot dead by the Gestapo, in a flagrant breach of the Geneva Convention.

As well as recounting the escape, led by charismatic Squadron Leader Roger Bushell, this documentary tells the largely unknown, yet incredible account of what happened next.

This is the story beyond the Hollywood legend: the remorseless hunt throughout Europe for the men who murdered the Great Escapers, in a dark mission of detection and revenge that lasted into the 1960s.

The film features interviews with WWII experts, with escape survivors reliving their extraordinary experiences, and an interview with the daughter of a Gestapo officer executed for killing Roger Bushell. A relative of murdered Australian flying ace James Catanach is also interviewed; Catanach, along with Bushell, was a very popular POW, and an important player in the Great Escape.

Watch Now [UK only]

 

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