HUMAN GAME : THE TRUE STORY OF THE "GREAT ESCAPE" MURDERS AND THE HUNT FOR THE GESTAPO GUNMEN
by Simon Read
Stammlager Luft III, in Sagan, Germany, (Permanent Camp for Airmen 3) and known as Stalag Luft III was supposed to be built in such a way as to be escape-proof. The ground was not solid so digging a tunnel was almost impossible. The barracks were on stilts because in other camps, the prisoners had removed the flooring and escaped. The place was pretty well covered by patrol units of dogs, men, and watchtowers.
On March 24, 1944, seventy-six Allied airmen broke out of the camp. Within a couple of days, all but three men were captured. On Hitler's orders, it was decided to execute the fugitives. Himmler proposed to kill fifty and it was approved. They were taken to isolated fields around Germany and shot.
Two years later, Winston Churchill upon hearing about these murders, wanted justice. He sent military police led by Francis P. McKenna to Germany to try and track down the perpetrators. It would take three years.
Human Game is a MUST read if you love books about WWII. The writing is terrific and extremely well researched. There's a list of all of the characters involved and small capsule pictures of the airmen. Simon Read certainly knows how to tell a good story and it keeps you riveted. The movie was exciting but the book goes far beyond and keeps you spellbound until the end.