What does this 1963 film, based upon an actual escape attempt from a German POW camp, tell us about the high levels of creativity within the aviator POW community? Were the Germans wise in collecting their most accomplished aviator escapees into one camp? How does the relationship between the Camp Commander, Luftwaffe Colonel Von Luger, and POW CO Roger (Big X) Bartlett exemplify professional respect between officers, and the attendant expectation that escape attempts will be made? How does the film contrast the immoral and unprofessional SS and Gestapo with Von Luger in this connection? How does this all reflect on the spirit of the Geneva Conventions? How does the film portray the POW’s sense of honor, code of conduct, and belief that they were very much still ‘in the fight’? How do the actions of the Germans fail to fit the description of ‘benevolent quarantine?’ Do attempts to use POWs toward war efforts oblige those POWs to resist? Do prisoners still have an obligation to escape even when given benevolent quarantine? How does the case of Blyth, who loses his eyesight, illustrate the dilemmas involved with escape attempts when prisoners are physically disabled?

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