Everyone has heard of The Great Escape. In March 1944, seventy-six mainly British and Commonwealth airmen tunnelled out of the PoW camp, Stalag Luft III, in Poland and escaped, triggering a vast manhunt throughout occupied Europe. Of the seventy-three subsequently recaptured, forty-one were shot by the SS in cold blood. The incident became an icon of British decency in the face of Nazi barbarity.Yet only a year later, seventy German prisoners of war, including SS officers, returned the compliment by using a very similar tunnel to escape from Island Farm PoW camp in Wales. The two cases, superficially so similar, could not have been more different. The complex ingenuities of British prisoners in Germany have been heavily documented whereas historical attention to the Welsh breakout has focused almost entirely on the very British search for the escapees that followed this event, a sort of cross between Dad's Army and an Ealing comedy, full of good intentions and pratfalls. This book tells both the before and after of the Welsh Great Escape, filling in the blanks of a strange and mostly forgotten story.