Films about Prisoner of War camps, usually with the note that they are based on true stories, are invariably filled with dramatic licence to spice them up. It is the dramatic licence audiences most remember. Steve McQueen's motorcycle chase in The Great Escape, William Holden ducking out of the barracks in Stalag 17, Robert De Niro playing Russian roulette in The Deer Hunter.
The Real Great Escape by Guy Walters 412 pp, 2013 Bantam paperback. Available at Asia Books and leading bookshops, 750 baht.
But if the stories are true, historians assert that they are exciting and needn't be spiced up. One of them, Guy Walters, a Brit, focuses on The Great Escape to make his point. After years of research, he's penned The Real Great Escape. He credits Hollywood with having presented the outline, however narrow, of the actual event.
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