In early 1942 the Germans opened a top-security prisoner-of-war camp in Lower Silesia for captured Allied airmen. Called Stalag Luft III, the camp soon came to contain some of the most inventive escapers ever known. They were led by Squadron Leader Roger Bushell, code-named 'Big X', who masterminded an attempt to smuggle hundreds of POWs down a tunnel built right under the noses of their guards. The escape would come to be immortalised in the famous film The Great Escape, in which the ingenuity and bravery of the men was rightly celebrated. The plan involved multiple tunnels, hundreds of forged documents, as well as specially made German uniforms and civilian clothing. In this book Guy Walters takes a fresh look at this remarkable event and asks the question, what was the true story, not the movie version? He also examines what the escape really achieved, and the complex nature of the man who led it. The result is an authoritative and ground-breaking re-evaluation of the most iconic escape story of the Second World War.