Work resumes on 'Harry'
4th January 1944: In Stalag Luft III RAF POWS redouble their efforts to dig a tunnel from which to mount a mass escape
In Stalag Luft III a significant proportion of the RAF PoWs continued to regard it as their duty to attempt to escape. During 1943 they had had three tunnels underway - 'Tom', 'Dick' and 'Harry', in the belief that one of them must prove successful.
Tom had been discovered in September 1943 - the 98th tunnel that the Germans discovered in the camp during the war - and they had suspended their escape tunnelling activities to let the heat die down. The Germans had now built over the partially completed Dick's planned exit point. So all hopes rested on Harry, which was also partially completed.
This was a truly international effort directly involving RAF officers from Britain, Canada, Poland, Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, Norway, Czechoslovakia, France, Greece and Lithuania. It was as much about defying the 'Krauts' as it was about a desire to escape, although this was an important motivation for many as well.