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Flight from Colditz: British PoWs' daring glider escape finally takes to sky 67 years late...
Daily Mail ^ | March 17, 2012 | Unattributed

Posted on 03/19/2012 11:37:51 AM PDT by Seizethecarp

It may have been 67 years late but a replica of the Colditz glider finally took off from the castle yesterday .  .  . and promptly crashed.

The original glider – nicknamed the Colditz Cock – was part of one of the most audacious escape plans conjured up by British prisoners of war held at the castle. After discovering a book on aircraft design in the library, the Second World War PoWs designed and constructed it behind a false wall in the attic.

The glider was still under construction when the supposedly escape-proof PoW camp Oflag IV-C was liberated by American forces in April 1945. As a result, its launch, planned for later that spring, never took place.

Yesterday’s flight was for a Channel 4 documentary focusing on the construction of the replica glider and its launch, to be screened in the summer.

They built it in a workshop, just 20ft long by 7ft wide, in the attic, which was patrolled by guards.

It was made from items including sleeping bags, gramophone springs and floor boards. The Channel 4 team constructed their replica on the floor below the attic in the castle.

They spent £3,500 on materials and built their replica to the exact specifications – 33ft 9in wide and 19ft 7in long, although at 23st (150kg) it was half the weight of the original glider to accommodate a dummy rather than two prisoners of war.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Foreign Affairs
KEYWORDS: aerospace; colditz; pow; wwii
The ingenuity in incarcerated humans is amazing!
1 posted on 03/19/2012 11:38:05 AM PDT by Seizethecarp
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To: Seizethecarp

According to Monthy Python’s “ripping yarns”, it was all toilet roll kernels...

2 posted on 03/19/2012 11:47:13 AM PDT by Hardraade ( (nobody gives me warheads anyway))
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To: Seizethecarp
Escape from Colditz was one of the best books I ever read. Changed my whole idea about prison escapes. The tunnels were spectacular, but usually didn't work or only got out a few guys. On the other hand stealing or making a German uniform and walking out the front door worked over and over again. Only down side was if you got caught in a tunnel they threw you in the cooler. If you got caught in a German uniform you got shot.

The other thing the book brought up was the idea of small vs large groups (as in the Great Escape). With small groups you had a lot better chance of reaching freedom. With a small group you could send guys with some German language experience. If they couldn't pass for German they could often pass for Belgian or French laborers brought into Germany and going home on leave. This was enhanced by the fact that small groups had better preparation in terms of travel papers and civilian clothing. They even made luggage, because traveling without it was a dead give away. Most importantly with a small group if you got away from the camp nobody was looking for you.

In addition with small groups they could fudge the counts so that the guards might not even know the guys were missing for weeks. Fold up dummies and fake escapes were favorite methods. The fake escape is one where you hide a generic looking guy under the floor boards so that the Germans think he escaped. Then when someone actually does escape you bring out your hidden guy to take his place.

My favorite was they guy stealing the old cans. He didn't have a use for them but the Germans were desperate to be sure the prisoners didn't have them. So he figured the Germans must have a good reason to want them, so he was going to hold onto the cans until he figured out what it was.
3 posted on 03/19/2012 12:03:06 PM PDT by GonzoGOP (There are millions of paranoid people in the world and they are all out to get me.)
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To: Seizethecarp

“... but the remote-controlled aircraft crashes and its dummy pilot is decapitated)”

4 posted on 03/19/2012 12:21:32 PM PDT by wolficatZ (:"TV is king, you're my everything..")
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To: Seizethecarp

I swear I saw a program on tv a few years ago where they did the same thing and the fight was successful. Landed across the river in the field they were trying for. Couple of the original POWs were there.

5 posted on 03/19/2012 2:39:27 PM PDT by Eagles6
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To: Eagles6
I swear I saw a program on tv a few years ago where they did the same thing and the fight was successful.

You probably did. From Wikipedia:

A replica of the Colditz glider was built for the 2000 Channel 4 (UK) 3-part (150 minute total) Escape from Colditz documentary, and was flown successfully by John Lee on its first attempt at RAF Odiham with Best and Goldfinch in tearful attendance. It is currently housed at the Imperial War Museum in London. The Channel 4 material was edited to 60 minutes and shown in the US in 2001 as Nazi Prison Escape on the NOVA television series.

6 posted on 03/20/2012 5:29:21 AM PDT by Yo-Yo (Is the /sarc tag really necessary?)
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To: GonzoGOP
Read Colditz by Henry Chancellor. It is the most comprehensive of the books I have read on the subject and that includes two of Reid's books.
7 posted on 03/20/2012 5:57:09 AM PDT by magslinger (If I wanted to vote for a Commie I would vote for Obammie. He has a chance of winning.)
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To: Yo-Yo

Thanks. As I recall it brought tears to my eyes too.

8 posted on 03/22/2012 12:29:20 AM PDT by Eagles6
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