I did not know that the movie The Great Escape was about an actual tunnel. Apparently it was not only true, but the tunnel itself has finally been exhumed by British archeologists. It was slightly longer than a football field. The reason the tunnel has had no expeditions is because for so long it was on Soviet territory and they had little incentive dig it up. It was someone else’s story.
Some 600 prisoners worked on the tunnel full time on shirts and dug the tunnel 2ft X 2ft. On March 24th and 25th, - 76 prisoners escaped POW camp Stalag Luft III in western Poland . The 77th was spotted and only three made it out alive to talk about it. 50 prisoners were shot by guards as punishment.
No American was involved in the digging. It was unearthed by Canadians, British, New Zealanders, Polish, South African and Australians who dug it. The Germans subsequently could not believe how many spoons and shovels and knives the prisoners had amassed right under their noses.