Blown up chains

film data
of German titles: Blown up chains
original titles: The Great escape
production country: The USA
feature year: 1963
length (PAL - DVD): 172 minutes
of source language: English
age release: FSK 12
direction: John Sturges
film script: James Clavell, W. R. Burnett
production: John Sturges, James Clavell
music: Elmer amber
camera: Daniel L. Fapp
cut: Ferris Webster

the film blowing up chains (the USA, 1963) acts of a mass outbreak out of a German prisoner-of-war camp during II. World war. The history of the film been based on true occurences, and those represented persons actually existed.

The film production company Mirisch corporation produced the motion picture film for the film rental business United Artists.

Table of contents

contents of

a group of allies of prisoners of war is shipped 1944 in in as particularly valid camp in South Germany. Hardly arrived one already reflects upon outbreak. Finally raufen themselves Americans, Engländer, Iren and Schotten together and decide under guidance mentioned by Roger Bartlett, bend X (smelling pool of broadcasting corporations Attenborough), a large-scale escape through tunnel. Unfortunately one of the three of tunnel put on is already discovered before the completion of the camp line, however give up not and take the second tunnel. This proves as too short, and as during the outbreak of these also still is however unexpectedly noticed, succeeds to only 76 men instead of the planned 250 the way into the liberty. Afterwards the strip describes the recapture of the soldiers and the successful escape of only a handful of the former prisoners by half Europe (main over Switzerland).


more than one dozen of actors von Weltruf played in this strip also. Among them Steve McQueen ( the shelter king ) were, smelling pool of broadcasting corporations Attenborough (bend “X”), Charles Bronson ( the tunnel king), Donald Pleasence ( the counterfeiter), James Coburn ( the craftsman), David McCallum, Gordon Jackson ( the brain), James Donald (camp-oldest) and James Garner ( the supervisor). At German personnel were Hannes Messemer ( the commander) and Robert count ( the Frettchen) represent. The film contains both humoristic inserts over the camp life and outwitting the security guard and tragic elements, for instance going blind of the counterfeiter and shooting the again caught allied ones by the Gestapo.


the film is based itself on an occurence, in its core at the night of 24. on the 25. March 1944 in the base camp “StaLag air III” in the oberschlesischen Żagań about 160 km southeast from Berlin occurred. Under the leadership of major Roger bus-brightly by the prisoners three tunnels with the names “Tom”, “thick” and “Harry” were dug. “Tom” should become the most important and actual escape tunnel, and at him, “Harry” were most intensive the reserve tunnel and “thick” the victim tunnel were worked. It was intended to be discovered if one would look for the activities in the camp with a tunnel construction in connection to bring and purposefully for such, in order to divert from the two different.

“Tom” was already discovered however by a coincidence after five months construction period. Over the career/development of “thick” little is well-known - American sources write of the fact that “thick” never discovers by the Germans, but only with release the camp admits became. As more probable however the representation is considered that “thick” was discovered likewise in the course of the camp search large-scale after the discovery by “Tom” for the Sicherstellung of the tools. All work concentrated in the following on “Harry”, which had its entrance in the expiration of a wash room.

At mentioned night o'clock began the escape by the tunnel “Harry” still remained against 22.30. “Harry” was 102 m long, measured 0.70 × 0.70 m and ran approximately 8.5 m underneath the grass scar. It had three stopovers, was however approximately 10 m too briefly, so that it did not end as planned in the forest, but briefly before it.

This required a synchronisation of stepping out of the tunnel with the Wachpatrouillie, and the entire outbreak retarded in such a manner the fact that very fast it got around itself that not as planned and prepares 220 persons, but only about 100 flee could. The escape was discovered in the morning against 4.55 o'clock. At this time 87 persons the tunnel had happened, by which however 11 could be already placed in the adjacent forest and as escaping was not rated.

According to this definition 76 persons the escape succeeded, by whom however all were again seized up to three. Fifty of the re+calm were shot by the so-called “saying on instruction” given by highest level.

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