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Nazi Prison Escape

Willi and double
The real Willi (right) and his double
Escaping Colditz
19: December 1942

Late one afternoon around Christmas, Willi, the castle's German electrician, entered the French quarters to replace a blown fuse. About 5:30 p.m., Willi strolled through the gate out of the prisoners' yard, turned left through the archway into the German yard, and made his way to the park gate. Here, even though he was well-known to everyone, Willi was asked for his pass. He had the wrong one. In fact, "Willi" was Lieut. A. Perodeau. Though his disguise was near-perfect, Perodeau's scarf may have tipped off the guard: It wasn't the same color as that worn by the real Willi.

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  1. First escape
    April 12, 1941


  2. Straw mattresses
    May 8, 1941


  3. Locked cells
    Mid-May 1941


  4. Canteen tunnel
    May 1941


  5. German woman
    June 1941


  6. Air-raid shelter
    June 1941


  7. Hacksaw
    June 1941


  8. Over the wall
    July 2, 1941


  9. Air shaft
    July 28, 1941


  1. Lavatory
    July 31, 1941


  2. Manhole
    Late summer, 1941


  3. Dummies
    December 1941


  4. German officers
    December 1941


  5. Main gate
    January 6, 1942


  6. Town dump
    March 1942


  7. Wooden crate
    September 7, 1942


  8. Mussolini's office
    September 9, 1942


  9. Headquarters building
    October 15, 1942


  1. Willi the electrician
    December 1942


  2. "Maddest attempt"
    May 11, 1943


  3. Franz Josef
    September 2, 1943


  4. Cellar house
    January 19, 1944


  5. Rubbish heap
    May 2, 1944


  6. Greatest escaper
    September 25, 1944


  7. Glider
    April 1945



Escaping Colditz | The Jailor's Story | Great Escapes | The Colditz Glider
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