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Thirteensteps
06-20-2014, 12:51 AM
I am writing about two characters who go through WWII and have their
lives changed forever. One of the characters is captured in the Battle of the Somme in June 1940 during the Collapse of the French Army. He is taken prisoner and sent to Stalag IB. In November 1940, during a transfer to another camp, he makes his escape. These facts were written by the protagonist himself. He states he crossed the line of Demarcation on December 21, 1940 and presented himself to the last outpost of the Chasseurs a Pied that was still in existence as part of the Armistice Army
located on the Demarcation line. My question is, what would be the possible route he would take. It is very early for any escape lines to have formed although there were probably some helpers. My thought was from Germany through northern Holland, to Brussels where he had a friend in the civil service that worked with the Germany occupiers .He as able to get to Metz,
and then Bar-le-Duc. I know that Metz was annexed by the Germans so how plausible would it be to get him past those borders? Sorry for the long post.

King Neptune
06-20-2014, 02:31 AM
Outside Germany he would have found co-operation from nearly all civilians. I haven't read any such in years, but many people escaped from German prisons during WWII, and lots of them wrote about their feats.

Hendo
06-20-2014, 02:47 AM
I don't know exactly what route they would take but I recommend watching or reading The Great Escape. It's a first hand account of the 1944 mass escape[/URL] from the German POW camp, Stalag Luft III.

The camp was in Poland and they were attempting to reach Switzerland. In total, seventy-six men escaped and of that seventy-three were recaptured. If the author of the book is to be believed, as many as 5million Germans spent weeks looking for the escapees so I think it's safe to say that escape wasn't the easiest.[URL="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stalag_Luft_III"] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stalag_Luft_III#The_.22Great_Escape.22)

Thirteensteps
06-20-2014, 07:11 AM
Outside Germany he would have found co-operation from nearly all civilians. I haven't read any such in years, but many people escaped from German prisons during WWII, and lots of them wrote about their feats.

That is what I am assuming also, that the civilians passed them along to others they knew to be sympathetic.
Thanks

Thirteensteps
06-20-2014, 07:12 AM
I don't know exactly what route they would take but I recommend watching or reading The Great Escape. It's a first hand account of the 1944 mass escape[/URL] from the German POW camp, Stalag Luft III.

The camp was in Poland and they were attempting to reach Switzerland. In total, seventy-six men escaped and of that seventy-three were recaptured. If the author of the book is to be believed, as many as 5million Germans spent weeks looking for the escapees so I think it's safe to say that escape wasn't the easiest.[URL="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stalag_Luft_III"] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stalag_Luft_III#The_.22Great_Escape.22)
I did buy the movie and learned alot abot how different prisoners served as forgers, etc. Thanks for your response.

jclarkdawe
06-20-2014, 07:57 AM
Read Patrick Robert "Pat" Reid's book ESCAPE FROM COLDITZ. Reid was captured by the Germans in 1940, had an unsuccessful escape and was re-captured, served as escape officer at Colditz, and knew as much as anyone about the dynamics of escape.

THE GREAT ESCAPE was a later period of the war, and the approach was markedly different.

A run during a transfer meant a lack of preparedness that factors into how you traveled. You'd be unlikely to have forged documents, which ruled out train travel. Time of year makes a big factor here.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

waylander
06-20-2014, 01:21 PM
Saturday at MI9 by Airey Neave may also be useful to you.

"Saturday at M.I.9 is the inside story of the underground escape lines in occupied North-West Europe which brought back to Britain over 4,000 Allied servicemen during World War Two.Airey Neave, who in the last two years of the war was the chief organiser at M.I.9 gives his own unique account. He describes how the escape lines began in the first dark days of German occupation and how, until the end of the war, thousands of ordinary men and women made their own contribution to the Allied victory by hiding and feeding men and guiding them to safety."

KarmaPolice
06-23-2014, 12:29 PM
Possible escape methods on December 1940...
(From various sources I've gathered over the years).

1) Vichy France -> French Colony -> Allied Port.
Vichy at this point still had some independence of movement; some of the government staff at Nice etc were discreetly pro-Allied and would look the other way when obvious anti-Nazis were attempting to escape. Then again, at this point it wasn't utterly obvious that Pétain was just Hitler's puppet - and that Gallic pride had been wounded from the whole Dakar affair a few months before.

2) France -> Spain -> Portugal -> UK.
Difficult, but doable. Over the mountains, across the land, get to Lisbon, get the weekly mail-boat running to UK. Ignore Gibraltar - that border's sealed tight. If your MC managed to get to the British Embassy in Madrid, they'd help him home to fight again.

3) Germany -> Denmark -> Sweden.
Really difficult. German security is really tight, and the trip will take the MC through some really sensitive areas (Kiel etc). Once in Denmark, they might be able to get help from the locals - the same locals who later managed to secretly ferry the Danish Jews to safety in Sweden. Once in Sweden, however, it's hard to get out of; might have to end up getting a boat to the USA, then to Canada, finally back to the UK.

4) Switzerland.
I suppose so, but your MC would then be stuck there for the duration.

5) Germany -> Hungary -> Romania -> Bulgaria -> Turkey -> UK Middle East.
Hmm... not sure even Han Solo would buck those odds - trekking through four enemy nations?

6) Germany -> USSR.
Frankly, I'd rather take my chances with the Gestapo than the NKVD...

7) The Resistance.
At this point, not really set-up for this kind of thing. SOE had only been set up a few months at this point, and many on the Continent while hating the Germans, didn't see how the UK could win. (Remember, at this point the Empire stood alone). If lucky, he might fall in with a local proto-resistance, who could get him south to Spain.

8) The Insane.
Use your imagination. 'Do a Hess' (steal fighter plane, fly to UK - and perhaps be shot down by RAF). Nick a small boat in Brittany, try to dodge all the minefields and ships patrolling, sail due north. Chances of success are really low, but not impossible.