The Great Escape - Stalag Luft 3 - The camp as it is Now in 2018.

Discussion in 'Prisoners of War' started by The Cooler King, Apr 16, 2018 at 4:35 PM.

  1. The Cooler King

    The Cooler King Elite Member

    I am proud to say that I have just returned from Stalag Luft 3 in Poland, the famous site of the Great Escape Camp.
    This was a journey that I have wanted to make since being a small boy and is definitely one "tick" off from the bucket list!.

    I thought that I would take the opportunity to share some images of what is left of the camp.

    WW2 - Stalag Luft 3 Sign.jpg
     
  2. The Cooler King

    The Cooler King Elite Member

    Located in dense woods, you approach the camp by road which actually intersects Tunnel Harry. You get a real sense of the remoteness as well as how thick these woods are.

    WW2 - Great Escape - Exit of Tunnel Harry near the woods.jpg
     
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  3. The Cooler King

    The Cooler King Elite Member

    To the immediate left was the main gate. They have created a guard tower (which you are allowed to climb) .

    Note the path of "Harry" in the Foreground.

    WW2 - Guard Tower - The Great Escape Camp.jpg
     
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  4. The Cooler King

    The Cooler King Elite Member

    These are the remains of the remains of the Prison (Cooler) and the Coal store. Unfortunately no more then just a concreate footprint now.

    WW2 - Great Escape -  Cooler and Coal Store.jpg
     
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  5. The Cooler King

    The Cooler King Elite Member

    I took this image to demonstrate just how sandy the ground is - it can be clearly seen. This shows why they has so many problems with cave-ins and in securing the tunnel walls.

    WW2 - Great Escape camp - The sandy ground.jpg
     
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  6. The Cooler King

    The Cooler King Elite Member

    These are the remains of the Hospital and the Guard room beyond. Note the Brick Piers that the Huts stood on.

    WW2 - Great Escape camp - Remains of the Hospital Area.jpg
     
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  7. The Cooler King

    The Cooler King Elite Member

    You can see in the foreground of the previous picture what looks like two holes - these are the steps that lead to a series of underground chambers that formed part of the Hospital area

    WW2 - Entrance to the Hospital.jpg

    WW2 - Hospital 1.jpg

    WW2 - Stalag Luft 111 Hospital.jpg

    WW2 - Stalag Luft 111 Hospital Remains.jpg .
     
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  8. The Cooler King

    The Cooler King Elite Member

    Moving deeper into the camp now.
    This is the water storage area or Fire Pool. It is centrally located within the camp and is a large water reservoir in case of fire. Prisoners could not swim in this but they did sail model boats on it and it was a general meeting point to relax and socialise.

    WW2 - Great Escape - The Fire Pool.jpg

    WW2 - Fire Pool.jpg
     
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  9. The Cooler King

    The Cooler King Elite Member

    Here are some hut remains. Note how the trees have encroached all around. There area would have been completely clear of these of course. Only the Brick Piers remain that the actual huts stood on. All of the Wood from them would have been taken away to have been repurposed by local people after the war.

    WW2 - Hut Remains.jpg
     
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  10. The Cooler King

    The Cooler King Elite Member

    Here you can see the remains of the drainage system for showers and Toilets.

    WW2 - Stalag Luft 111 - Block drains and showers.jpg
     
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  11. The Cooler King

    The Cooler King Elite Member

    Further into the camp is the theatre - substantial foundations remain. The Germans hoped that by keeping busy with such recreational activities that the prisoners would not be thinking about escape!. Of course in reality the Fourth lesser known Tunnel "George" sprung directly from here under the wire. George was meant as the emergency escape tunnel the camp be under attack and the prisoners have to get out quickly.

    WW2 - Stalag Luft 111 - Remains of the Theatre.jpg

    WW2 Theatre.jpg
     
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  12. The Cooler King

    The Cooler King Elite Member

    To the immediate right of the Theatre was the recreation ground Which was also used for Roll Call. This is now heavily wooded as the trees have fully covered the area.

    WW2 - Rec Grround.jpg
     
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  13. The Cooler King

    The Cooler King Elite Member

    Close to the theatre was located the GERMAN Air raid shelter. This of course proved a pivotal moment on the night of the Escape when the Air Raid sirens sounded and many of the Germans went to shelter below ground.
    This is what remains of it today.

    WW2 - Stalag Luft 111 - Remains of the air raid shelter.jpg

    WW2 - Stalag Luft 111 - Remains of the German air raid shelter.jpg
     
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  14. The Cooler King

    The Cooler King Elite Member

    This is now all that remains of the kitchens.

    WW2 - Great Escape - Remains of the Kitchen Area.jpg
     
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  15. The Cooler King

    The Cooler King Elite Member

    Here is the area around Hut 104 from where Harry came from. Also some other pictures of what is left of the surrounding Huts. You can clearly see many of the Brick Pillars are intact forming their footprints.

    WW2 - 1.jpg

    WW2 - 2.jpg

    WW2 - 3.jpg


    WW2 - 5.jpg WW2 - 4.jpg
     
  16. The Cooler King

    The Cooler King Elite Member

    Now onto Harry!.

    Here is the start point of Harry ................ In Hut 104, under the store. Only 2ft Square, the shaft was some thirty feet down to try and avoid and sound detection equipment.

    WW2 - The Great Escape Camp - Tunnel Harry Location.jpg
     
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  17. The Cooler King

    The Cooler King Elite Member

    Here is the full 102 Meter length of Harry. The Tunnel actually reached the trees but cover was sparse.

    WW2 - Harry 1.jpg

    WW2 Harry 2.jpg
     
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  18. The Cooler King

    The Cooler King Elite Member

    Here are the names of all of the escapers 76 Escapers.

    Those marked in Green escaped and where not captured. Those in Black where the 50 Executed and those in Blue the remaining men who where captured but not shot.

    WW2 - Harry 1A.jpg

    Harry - 1B.jpg

    HARRY 2B.jpg

    HARRY 2C.jpg

    HARRY 2D.jpg

    HARRY 2E.jpg
     
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  19. The Cooler King

    The Cooler King Elite Member

    Here is the end point of Harry and the memorial

    HARRY 2f.jpg

    harry monument.jpg
     
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  20. The Cooler King

    The Cooler King Elite Member

    Reconstructed Guard Tower.

    reconstructed Guard Tower.jpg
     
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