Stalag Luft 3 (L3)

Sagan (Zagan)

Stalag Luft III was officially opened in March 1942. It was in the German province of Lower Silesia near the town of Sagan (now Zagan in Poland) 160 km southeast of Berlin

Looking at new and old maps of the area, the location of Stalag Luft 3 can easily be identified

The camp was equipped with state of the art microphones embeddedd deep in the ground and built upon sandy soil which would make tunneling virtually impossible.

In April and May 1942 the camp was populated with PoWs from all over Germany.

The camp is best known for two famous prisoner escapes by tunneling. These were depicted in the films, "The Wooden Horse" (1950) and "The Great Escape" (1963).

The films were adapted from the books of former prisoners Paul Brickhill and Eric Williams.

The "Wooden Horse" escape took place on the night of 29/30th October 1943 and all three escapers made their "home run".
On the night of the 24/25th March 1944 the "Great Escape" took place with 76 PoWs escaping through "Tunnel Harry".

All were recaptured but, on Hitler's orders, 50 were murdered.

In January 1945, with the Russian advance closing in on Sagan, the PoWs were to be given the choice of remaining where they
were or moving to a new location. However, Hitler decided that they all should leave and do so on foot. They would walk to the railhead at Spremberg and then be distributed by rail to several destinations. By 03:45hrs on January 28th 1945 the camp was virtually deserted.

The memorial at the exit to Tunnel Harry in 2011

The base of one of the huts at Stalag Luft 3 as seen in 2011

The following 49Sqn aircrew were PoWs here at some point during WW2

Anderson A F
Atkinson J C
Baird W J
Crossman L C
Cullum A T L
Darwin P C P
Drinnan R K
Duckham P F
Dunphy D C
Duthie I C
Eeles R H
Fyffe D W
Green J H
Haskins J D
Hind S N
Homard L W
Kay D C
Lindesay F H

Link R C
Lowe W J
Lynch E C
MacKenzie A J S
Marshall C
McCracken E R
Mitchell B A
Moss J H
Mundy J D
Nolan C D
Orchard M L
Perry B N
Petty R W
Probert E
Ralph W
Randall D E
Reavell-Carter L
Robertson D J

Robinson C
Scott J M
Shannon R C
Silverston J V
Spence I
Taylor G B L
Thomas I W
Valentine J R
Vidow A W
Watson W
Webster F
Williams H G
Woodrow F E
Wright J F
Young D
Young J E M

The following websites give more detailed information
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49Sqn's Ron Eeles has written his own account of Life in Stalag Luft 3

The B-24 Website has an extensive article about "The Great Escape"
(Linked website opens in a new window)

Wikipedia has an excelllent article on Stalag Luft 3.
(Linked website opens in a new window)