Series 1 Episode 1
First Broadcast: 9PM Mon 28 November 2011

Fascinating documentary that ollows a team of engineers, archaeologists and serving RAF officers who have assembled on the site of Stalag Luft III - the supposedly escape-proof World War II Prisoner of War camp.

They have an extraordinarily ambitious plan: to excavate for the first time the remains of 'Harry', the tunnel from which 76 allied airmen escaped on the night of 24 March 1944.

This was the Great Escape, immortalised by Hollywood and Steve McQueen in 1963, and now internationally known as a story of extraordinary courage and ingenuity.

But how did the POWs do it? How did they dig a 100-metre tunnel, seven metres below ground, with only cutlery for tools? How did they forge more than 100 documents? What did they do with the 90 double bunk beds, 635 mattresses, 3424 towels (and more besides) that they stole from the camp? And who were these remarkable people?

To find out, the team will replicate some of the key tools, structures and inventions created by the original escapers.

Interweaving the historical narrative with first-hand testimonies and the unfolding story of the excavations and experiments, this film offers a new insight into the Great Escape, and is a celebration of a remarkable group of men.

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    1. Digging the Great Escape This video is a clip Digging the Great Escape Video duration: 1:26 minutes

      A team of experts excavate and examine the famous Great Escape tunnel from World War II Watch Digging the Great Escape Digging the Great Escape

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A team of experts visits Germany to examine the ingenious achievements of the Second World War's most daring and famous escape artists