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Nazi Prison Escape

Glider
The glider in the attic
Escaping Colditz
25: April 1945

The greatest escape that never happened was ready to take flight—literally—when Allied troops occupied the castle a few weeks before the end of the war. Behind a dummy wall high in an attic above the chapel, British prisoners had spent months secretly cobbling together a glider. They built it in sections from wooden shutters, mattress covers, and mud fashioned out of attic dust. A German discovered the dummy wall at one point but was silenced with a bribe of 500 cigarettes. After the war, locals broke up the glider. As is chronicled in the NOVA program "Nazi Prison Escape," a replica of the glider recently built by ex-Colditz POWs flew successfully, proving that the inmates' most extraordinary escape vehicle ever may very well have worked, if only given the chance. (Try your hand at flying a virtual replica of The Colditz Glider.)

Previous escape | See the map



  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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