Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Great Escape?

Most of us remember the iconic scene where Paul Newman's - big oops - that should be Steve McQueen's* character, on the run from the Germans, riding a motorcycle which was later (reportedly) used by The Fonz in "Happy Days", attempts to jump a fence to freedom. Of course, some of us cannot remember whether or not he made it (or, apparently who "he" was). The question is not that ... but rather whether the film "The Great Escape" was based on the real life escape On This Day in 1944 where 76 prisoners of war escaped from Stalag Luft III. Only 3 made it to "freedom". Of the others, when recaptured, 50 were executed as an example to the other PoWs. (How much has film and television done to desensitize us to the real impact of war?)
*The bits in red were added as an update - for obvious reasons - once the error was pointed out - ever so discreetly - thanks D.

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