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History World War Ii

The Great Escape

A Canadian Story

by (author) Ted Barris

Dundurn Press
Initial publish date
Oct 2013
World War II, Germany, Canada
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Oct 2013
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Sep 2013
    List Price

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Out of print

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A unique retelling of WWII’s most dramatic escape, told through first-hand recollections of the soldiers who experienced it.

On the night of March 24, 1944, 80 Commonwealth airmen crawled through a 336-foot-long tunnel and slipped into the forest beyond the wire of Stalag Luft III, a German POW compound near Sagan, Poland. The event became known as &8220;The Great Escape,&8220; an intricate breakout more than a year in the making, involving as many as 2,000 POWs working with extraordinary coordination, intelligence, and daring. Yet within a few days, all but three of the escapees were recaptured. Subsequently, 50 were murdered, cremated, and buried in a remote corner of the prison camp.

But most don’t know the real story behind The Great Escape. Now, on the eve of its 70th anniversary, Ted Barris writes of the key players in the escape attempt, those who got away, those who didn’t, and their families at home.

Barris marshals groundbreaking research into a compelling firsthand account. For the first time, The Great Escape retells one of the most astonishing episodes in WWII directly through the eyes of those who experienced it.

Joint Winner of the Libris Award for Non-Fiction Book of the Year 2014
Globe and Mail Bestseller
Toronto Star Bestseller

About the author

Not a soldier, but the soldier’s storyteller, not a veteran, but recognized by vets as keeper of the flame, TED BARRIS has published eighteen non-fiction books, half of them wartime histories. He has worked as a broadcaster in electronic media in Canada and the US for forty years. He is a full-time journalism professor at Toronto’s Centennial College and the author of the online column the Barris Beat. His book The Great Escape: A Canadian Story won the 2014 CLA Libris Award for non-fiction book of the year. His latest book, Dam Busters: Canadian Airmen in the Secret Raid Against Nazi Germany, is a national bestseller. 

Ted Barris' profile page


  • Joint winner, Libris Awards Non-fiction Book of the Year

Editorial Reviews

No one tells these stories better than [Ted Barris].

Matt Galloway, host of Metro Morning, CBC Radio

Military historian Ted Barris’s seventeenth book of non-fiction...follows his well-honed and highly successful approach of combining vivid characters with thumping narrative.

Globe and Mail

Barris’s re-examination is both timely and fascinating.

Publishers Weekly

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