Episode 57: The Great Escape

Episode 57: The Great Escape. 1963’s epic war movie has become a classic, loved by many viewers and remembered for some iconic moments, most of them involving Steve McQueen who is arguably one of the coolest actors ever to grace a screen. Based on a book by Paul Brickhill who was a POW in Stalag Luft III when the break-out occurred, we aim to find out how accurately the movie follows the reality of the breakout, the men involved and the details of their various experiences. It’s a big movie so this is a big episode with ups and downs and, no doubt, a few daredevil leaps across the fences of accepted reality (that one was inserted with help from the HbH literary crowbar).

Guy Walter’s book: The Real Great Escape which was our primary source for our research.

Sean Munger’s YouTube episode about Stalag Luft III:

Jens Muller’s account of the escape from one of the three men who made a ‘home run’:

Book about Squadron Leader Frank McKenna, Special Investigation Branch RAF and his hunt for the Great Escape Murderers. (This link is to the UK branch of Amazon but the title and ISBN number can be searched in any country)

Washington Post article about Bob Hoover, the only POW we could find who escaped by stealing an aircraft:

List of the escaping POWs:


Episode 39: Darkest Hour

Episode 39: Darkest Hour. This week we are delighted to welcome back Ray Harris from the History of World War 2 podcast (amongst many others) and a bit of an expert on Churchill. The portrayal by Gary Oldman has received universal and well-deserved plaudits but how close does the movie come to the actual truth of Churchill’s early days in power during some of the darkest days in recent British history? We will try to find out.

Ray Harris History of World War 2 podcast:


Episode 34: The Battle of Britain

Episode 34: The Battle of Britain
Released in 1969, directed by Guy Hamilton and starring nearly everyone who’s anyone in 1960’s British cinema, this epic war movie used mainly real aircraft and some of the most complex and intense aerial sequences seen on screen. Our task is to examine how accurately the battle and its legacy are portrayed; historical record or pro-British propaganda? Martin will also highlight the almost total eradication from the accepted narrative of WW2 of the contribution made by Poland and, hopefully, fill in some gaps whilst dispelling some myths. We hope you enjoy the show

For Your Freedom and For Ours: The Kosciuszko Squadron by Lynne Olson and Stanley Cloud



Also known as A Question of Honor: The Kosciuszko Squadron by the same authors



The Trail of Hope: The Anders Army and an odyssey across Three Continents by Norman Davies



No Greater Ally: The Untold Story of Poland’s Forces in WW2 by Kenneth Koskodan



Prisoners of Geography by Tim Marshall



Battle of Britain: The Making of a Movie by Leonard Mosley link and extracts, courtesy of listener Brian Willits:



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