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Case study on the great escape


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Case study on the great escape

  1. 1. The Great Escape is a popular 1963 war film about 250 Allied prisoners of war escaping from a German POW camp during World War II. The Great Escape offers some of the finest lessons in Team Work. Year 1944, Place: StalagLuft III, a Nazi Prisoner of War Camp one hundred miles Southeast of Berlin. German High Command concentrates the mostdetermined and selected prisoners to a new, highsecurity POW camp that the commandant proclaims escape-proof. Within the camp was a core group of prisoners determined to escape. Infact their goal was to facilitate the escape of about 250 men in one night An escape so daunting had never been tried before. The core group plans the greatest escape attempted: Digging a tunnel to 250 prisoners. Teams of men are organized Jobs delegated includes: Survey, dig, dispose the soil, manufacture clothing, forge documents, procure contraband materials, keep records of soldiers movements, distract security guards, supplying fresh air in the tunnels with handmade bellows, and to provide lighting in the tunnels. The worst of the work, noise of digging, was covered by the men singing in chorus. The list of supplies needed for the job was unbelievable:
  2. 2. 4000 bed slats, 1370 battens, 1699 blankets, 52 long tables, 1219 knives, 30 shovels, 600 feet of rope, 1000 feet of electric wire, and more. It took an army of prisoners just to find and steal all the material required. Several prisoners continually scrounged for anything that might aid them. Others worked systematically and relentlessly distracting, bribing and blackmailing the guards. Each person had a job. There were tailors, blacksmiths, forgers, pickpockets & camouflage artists. The security teams kept record of every movement of every guard. They used an elaborate yet inconspicuous set of signals to warn other security men. On March 24, 1944, after more than a year of work, 220 men prepared to creep through the tunnel into the woods outside the camp. The plan was to send out one man per minute until all had made their escape. German speaking prisoners would board trains and pose as foreign workers. The rest would lie low during the day and travel at night hoping to avoid German patrols. When the first prisoner popped up out of the tunnel, he discovered that its exit was short of the woods. Rather than getting out a man per minute, they were barely able to get out a dozen per hour. In all,
  3. 3. eighty six men escaped before the tunnel was discovered. It created chaos for the Nazis, who ordered a national alert to deal with it. Eighty three of the prisoners were recaptured, and forty one of them were executed by order of Adolf Hitler. Only three made it to freedom. Though the attempt failed in accomplishing its objective but it offered the world a historical example of collective endeavor. Lesson of the film is Teamwork and this is birthed when you concentrate on"WE" instead of "ME". "It takes teamwork to make the dream work"