Stalag Luft III was a Luftwaffe-run POW camp used to house downed airmen. Originally conceived by Roger Bushell in the spring of 1943, the Great Escape, as it is known, involved one of the most ambitious escape plans ever imagined. Digging for 11 months, 600 prisoners worked to build three intricate tunnels in the hopes that one would work. Nicknamed “Tom,” “Dick,” and “Harry,” the tunnels were extremely small but advanced, containing a built-in wooden railway system used to transport men and carry excess sand out. Between March 24 and 25, 76 Allied prisoners escaped through “Harry,” the only tunnel completed at the time. Although the tunnel delivered the inmates to the other side of the prison, nearly all were immediately recaptured—50 were shot and 23 reimprisoned. All told, only three men reached freedom.