List of attempts to escape Oflag IV-C

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Below is a list of attempts to escape from Oflag IV-C, the famous prisoner-of-war camp.

Color Key:
No color Detected before escape
Green Successful escape
Orange Escaped but recaptured
Red Injured/Killed during escape

1941 escape attempts[edit]

Date Name Nationality Method Result
March 18 Lt. B Cazaumayou
Lt. J Paillie
French Tunnel Detected
March ??? Flt. Lt. W. Gassowski
Flt. Lt. W. Gorecki
Polish Cut bar in canteen Detected
March ??? Lt. A. Boucheron
Lt. J. Charvet
French Canteen window Detected
April 5 Lt. J. Just
Lt. R. Bednarksi
Polish Escaped from train en route to Königswartha Hospital Recaptured
Kraków, Poland
April 11 Lt. A. Le Ray French He hid in a park during a game of soccer. Successful Escape
April 25 Lt. K. Dokurno
Lt. P. Zielinski
Lt. S. Bartoszewicz
Polish Ceiling above canteen Detected
May 8 Lt. P. Allan British Escaped inside mattress Recaptured
Vienna, Austria
May 8 Lt. J. Hyde-Thomson British Escaped inside mattress Detected
May 9 Lt. M Chmiel
Lt. M. Surmanowicz
Polish Hid in German quarters Detected
May 10 Capt. P. Reid
Flt. Lt. H. Wardle
British Tunnel Detected
May 12 Lt. M. Chmiel
Lt. M. Surmanowicz
Polish Bedsheet rope Detected
May 13 Lt. J. Just Polish Escaped from solitary confinement Recaptured
Rhine river
May 17 Lt. C. Moura
Lt. R. Boutellier
French Over roof of kitchen house Detected
May 20 Lt. J. Just Polish Escaped from Villingen Hospital Recaptured
Württemberg
May 29 Lt. Col. G. German
Capt. P. Reid
Capt K. Lockwood
Capt H. Elliott
Capt. R. Barry
Capt. R. Howe
Capt. J. Lados
Capt. C. Lewthwaite
Flt. Lt. N. Forbes
Flt. Lt. H. Wardle
Lt. P. Storie Pugh
Lt. G. Wardle
Lt. Z. Mikusinski
British / Polish Canteen tunnel Detected
May 31 Lt. R. Collin French Hid in rafters of park pavilion Successful Escape
May ???  ??? Polish / French  ??? Detected
June 9 Lt. P. Mairesse Lebrun French Hid in rafters of park pavilion, dressed as civilian Recaptured
Grossbothen
June 18 Lt. P. Odry French Hid in rafters of park pavilion Recaptured
Gross Sermuth
June 25 Lt. E. Boulé French Attempted to walk out disguised as a woman. Detected
July 1 Lt. P. Mairesse Lebrun French Vaulted over barbed wire fence Successful Escape
July 2  ??? Polish Hole in chapel Detected
July 16 Lt. J. Stepniak Polish Escaped from hospital Recaptured
Kraków, Poland
July 18 Lt. Tatistcheff French Through wire from Schützenhaus camp Successful Escape
July 20 Capt. H. Elliott
Capt. J. Lados
British / Polish Escaped through Terrace House Detected
July 23 Capt. J. Lados Polish From solitary down west side of castle Recaptured
Swiss border
July 28 Lt. A. Thibaud
Lt. R. Perrin
French Through an air shaft into Kommandantur, then as workers through gate. Recaptured
Leisnig
July 31 Flt. Lt. F. Flinn
Lt. P. Allan
Lt. T. Elliott
Lt. Cheetham
Lt. Middleton
Lt. Hyde-Thomson
Lt. Barton
Lt. Arcq
Lt. Verkest
Cadet Officer Karpf
British / Polish / Belgian "Toilet Tunnel" Detected
July ???  ??? French Tunnel in French quarters Detected
November 17 Cadet ensign J. Hageman
Cadet ensign F. Geerligs
Dutch Disguised as members of the league of German girls Detected
August 4 Flt. Lt. D. Thom
Lt. J. Boustead
British Walked out dressed as Hitler Youth Detected
August 13 Capt. D. Dufour
Lt. J. Smit
Dutch Hid inside well Recaptured
Singen
August 14 Capt. W. Lawton British Park walk with orderlies Recaptured
Zschirla
August 15 Lt. Gerrit Dames Dutch Through hole in park wire, intended as diversion for Hans Larive and Francis Steinmetz escape. Detected
August 15 Lt. Hans Larive
Lt. Francis Steinmetz
Dutch Hid inside well Successful Escape
August 20 Lt. Kroner Polish Escaped from Königswartha Hospital Successful Escape
August 21 Lt. P. Durant French Park walk with orderlies Recaptured
Colditz
August 23 Capt. Machiel van den Heuvel
Capt. N. Hogerland
Dutch Cut bars in canteen window Detected
August 28 Lt. A. Neave British Walk towards gate disguised as German officer Detected
August 29 Lt. R. Mascret French Escaped from Schneckwitz Hospital Recaptured
Mainz
August ??? Capt. P. Reid British Escaped through window of solitary confinement Detected
September 1 Lt. Col. G. German
Sqn. Leader B. Paddon
Maj. A. Anderson
British Tunnel through kitchen basement Detected
September 19 Maj. Cornelis Giebel
Lt. Oscar Drijber
Dutch Hid inside well Successful Escape
September 25 Lt. A. Boucheron French Escaped from Zeitz Hospital, recaptured then escaped en route to Düsseldorf prison Successful Escape
September 28 Lt. Proutchenko
Lt. Jurowski
Lt. Wbcholzew
French Through wire from Schützenhaus Recaptured
Schaffhausen
October 6 Lt. P. Storie-Pugh
Unknown Dutch officer
British / Dutch Over roofs Detected
October 7 Lt. H. Desjobert French Attempted to climb park fence Detected
October 7  ??? British Tunnel in British wash house Detected
October 14 Lt. P. Odry
Lt. Navelet
French Escaped from window at Elsterhorst Hospital Successful Escape
October 15 Lt. J. Charvet
Lt. P. Levy
French Escaped from window at Elsterhorst Hospital Recaptured
Aachen
October 22 Lt. G. Diedler French Escaped from window at Elsterhorst Hospital Recaptured
outside hospital
October ???  ??? French Tunnel from quarters Detected
November 8 Lt. M. Leroy
Lt. M. Lejeune
Lt. Verlaye
Belgian / French Cut wire of park fence Recaptured
outside castle wall
November 22 Lt. G. Wardle
Lt. Wojchieckowski
British / Polish Hidden inside well Detected
November 23 Flt. Lt. D. Donaldson
Flt. Lt. D. Thom
British Over roof of Kellerhaus Detected
November 23 Capt. J. Rogers
Capt. C. Lewthwaite
Lt. G. Wardle
Lt. A. Neave
British Disguised as Polish orderlies Detected
November 25  ??? British Tunnel in British quarters Detected
November 25 Lt. M. Girot French Through main gate dressed as orderly Recaptured
Frankfurt
November 28 Giles Romilly British Dressed as orderly Detected
December 12 Lt. Charles Douw van der Krap
Sub Lt. Frits Kruimink
Dutch Park under pile of leaves Detected
December 15 Capt. E. Steenhouwer
Lt. J. baron van Lynden
Dutch Dressed as German officers Detected
December 17 Lt. J. Durand-Hornus
Lt. J. Prot
Lt. G. de Frondeville
French Escaped into fog on trip to dentist.
Prot KIA: 29 January 1944, Mount Belvedere
Successful Escape

1942 escape attempts[edit]

Date Name Nationality Method Result
January 5 Lt. A. Neave
Lt. A. Luteyn
British / Dutch Under theatre out of guardhouse as German officers Successful Escape
January 6 Lt. H. Donkers
Lt. J. Hyde-Thomson
Dutch / British Under theatre out of guardhouse as German officers Recaptured
Ulm station
January 9 Lt. de Bykowitz French Jumped from train to Riesa Detected
January 14 Flt. Lt. F. Flinn British British snow tunnel on canteen roof Detected
January 16 Lt. R. Madin
Lt. J. Paille
Lt. B. Cazaumayou
Six other officers
French The "French Tunnel" Detected
January 20 Capt. Dr. Le Guet
Padre Jean-Jean
French Ran away during private Sacrament of Confession Recaptured
Frankfurt & Saarbrücken
January 20 Cadet Officer C. Linck Dutch Inside postal service sack Detected
January 21 Capt. P. Reid
Lt. A. Orr-Ewing
Lt. W. O'Hara
Lt. Mackinsie
Lt. J. Boustead
Lt. E. Harrison
British British snow tunnel on canteen roof Detected
January 27 Flt. Lt. N. Forbes British Digging under stage Detected
February 27 Capt. Gerrit Dames
Capt. J. Hageman
Dutch Tunnel under terrace Detected
March 2 Flt. Lt. F. Flinn
Cadet Officer C. Linck
British / Dutch Escaped on way to Arrest House Recaptured
Colditz
March 18  ???  ??? Tunnel in sick bay Detected
March 20 Lt. H. Desjobert
Lt. A. Thibaud
French Hid in cart of rubble Recaptured
Colditz
April 4 Flt. Lt. F. Flinn British Tunnel in British quarters Detected
April 24 Lt. P. Manheimer French  ??? Recaptured
Colditz
April 26 Lt. W. Wychodzew
Lt. J. Niestrzeba
Polish Escaped from military hospital in Gnaschwitz Recaptured
Singen & Stuttgart
April 26 Sqn. Leader B. Paddon
Lt. J. Just
British / Polish  ??? Recaptured
Leipzig
April 26 Captain L. Rémy Belgian Escaped from train station, took boat to Algeciras Successful Escape
April ??? Lt. J. baron van Lynden Dutch Broke into German quarters to steal uniform Detected
April ???  ??? Dutch Hid in pile of leaves in park Detected
May 10 Lt. D. Gill
???
British / Polish Through the kitchen Detected
May 28 Lt. M. Girot French Replaced French orderly on working party. Girot KIA: Gestapo, May 1944 Recaptured
Frankfurt
May 28 Lt. I. Price British  ??? Detected
June 2 Lt. M. Sinclair British Escaped from Leipzig hospital Recaptured
Cologne
June 8 Lt. M. Sinclair British Escaped from holding cell Recaptured
Cologne
June 9 Capt. W. Lawton
Capt. R. Howe
Lt. W. O'Hara
Lt. E. Harrison
Lt. I. Dickinson
Lt. V. Parker
British In attic above British quarters Detected
June 11 Sqn. Leader B. Paddon British Sent for court martial at Thorn, escaped from work party there. Smuggled out through Gdańsk Successful Escape
June 45 Lt. R. Bouillez French Sent for court martial in Stuttgart, jumped train but found unconscious next to tracks, sent to hospital, escaped from hospital. Successful Escape
July 6  ??? Dutch Dutch tunnel Detected
July 7 Lt. J. Tucki Polish In Polish orderly working party Detected
July 15 Flt. Lt. V. Parker
Lt. M. Keillar
British  ???, Keillar transferred to Lamsdorf Detected
July 19  ??? Polish / Belgian Tunnel in Saalhaus Detected
July 26 Capt. M. van den Heuvel
Lt. H. Vinkinbosch
Lt. Verleye
Lt. F. Kruimink
Lt. P. Storie-Pugh
Belgian / British / Dutch Scullery tunnel Detected
July 26  ??? British Tunnel in senior officers' quarters Detected
August 18 Flt. Lt. J. Dickinson British Jumped wall of exercise yard of Colditz town jail, stole bicycle Recaptured
Chemnitz
August 19 Capt. P. Reid
Capt. R. Barry
British Delousing shed tunnel Detected
August 20 Lt. Delarne French Park walk disguised as painter Detected
August 25 Flt. Lt. N. Forbes
Lt. K. Lee
British Escaped en route to Leipzig for court martial. Recaptured
Leipzig
August 28 Flt. Lt. J. Dickinson British Hid underneath bread delivery van. Detected
August 29 Capt. R. Barry
Capt. P. Reid
British Solitary confinement: Barry cut through bars, Reid dug tunnel Detected
September 1 Lt. W. Zelaźniewicz Polish Escaped on park walk Recaptured
Podelwitz
September 2 Lt. Cdr. W. Stephens British Escaped from Colditz train station (returning from Lamsdorf) Recaptured
Outside Colditz
September 7 Flt. Lt. D. Bruce British Hid inside Red Cross tea chest, climbed down outer wall via bedsheet rope. Recaptured
Gdańsk
September 8 Flt. Lt. J. Dickinson British Attempted escape while on exercise in the park Detected
September 9 Capt. W. Lawton
Capt. T. Beets
Lt. Donkers
Lt. G. Wardle
British / Dutch Broke into Kommandant's office, cut hole into storeroom, out of storeroom in German and Polish orderly uniforms. Recaptured
Commichau & Dobeln
September 9 Flt. Lt. H.N. Fowler
Lt. D. van Doorninck
British / Dutch Broke into Kommandant's office, cut hole into storeroom, out of storeroom in German and Polish orderly uniforms. Fowler died March 1944 Successful Escape
September 10  ??? British Subaltern's tunnel Detected
October 14 Maj. R.B. Littledale
Lt. Cdr. W. Stephens
Capt. P. Reid
Flt. Lt. H. Wardle
British Escape through kitchen into German yard, across yard into Kommandantur cellar, out cellar into dry moat. Littledale KIA: August 1944 Successful Escape
October 23  ??? Dutch Attempt at hole under theatre Detected
October ??? Lt. P. Storie-Pugh
Lt. F. Kruimink
British / Dutch Over roof of Kellerhaus. Discovered by dog on ground. Detected
November 26 Lt. M. Sinclair
Lt. C. Klein
British / French Through well in Kommandantur Recaptured
Tuttlingen & Plauen
November 27 Capt. R. Barry
Lt. Aulard
British / French Through well in Kommandantur Detected
November ??? Lt. M. Bissell British Tunnel under altar steps in chapel Detected
December 6 Lt. Z. Kepa
Lt. T. Osiecki
Lt. A. Slipko
Polish Over orderlies' roof Detected
December 14 Lt. M. Sinclair British From Weinsberg after recapture Recaptured
Weinsberg
December 15 Lt. van der Falk Bouman Dutch Disguised as German soldier Recaptured
Emmendingen
December 19 CPO W. Hammond.
CPO D. Lister
British Transferred to Lamsdorf since not officers, escaped from Breslau work party Successful Escape
December 28 Lt. A. Perodeau French Impersonated Willi Pöhnert Detected

1943 escape attempts[edit]

Date Name Nationality Method Result
January ??? Lt. Gris Davies-Scourfield
Others
British Pulpit tunnel under chapel Detected
March 7 Capt. B. Mazumdar British (India) Hunger strike in order to receive transfer, escapes twice from new camp, reaches Switzerland Successful Escape
March 7 Flt. Lt. J. Dickinson British Jumps over wall of exercise area of Colditz town jail. Recaptured
Chemnitz
April 5 Capt. D. Dufour
Flt. Lt. A. van Rood
British / Dutch Dressed as German officers Detected
April 8 Capt. Pemberton-How British Schützenhaus. In manhole after search. Detected
April 8 Lt. E. Desbats
Lt. J. Caillaud
French Over roof of castle Detected
April 28 Capt. Ion Ferguson RAMC British Transfer order granted, Works as doctor at Stalag IV-D certifying prisoners insane. Convinces Germans he is himself insane, repatriated in January 1945. Successful Escape
April ???  ??? British Hole under dentist office chair. Detected
May 1 Flt. Lt. V. Parker
Flt. Lt. N. Forbes
Lt. D. Wheeler
British "Revier" tunnel Detected
May 11 Flt. Lt. D. Thom British Vaults fence of park Recaptured
outside wall
May ??? Lt. M. Sinclair
Lt. G. Davies-Scourfield
British Cut hole in park fence wire Detected
May ??? Flt. Lt. J. Best
Lt. M. Harvey
Others
British Attempted to re-open "French Tunnel" Detected
June 7 Lt. J.J.L. baron van Lynden Dutch During Dutch transfer to Stanislau Successful Escape
June 11 Lt. A. Perrin French Through "witches' walk" Detected
July 8 Lt. M. Fahy French Escapes from hospital in Hohenstein-Ernstthal Recaptured
Kaufungen
July 12 Lt. A. Darthenay French Escapes from hospital in Hohenstein-Ernstthal. Joined French Resistance. KIA: Gestapo April 7, 1944 Successful Escape
July 13 Lt. C. Klein
Giles Romilly
Free French / British Hidden in baggage pile at Colditz rail station Detected
July 13 Lt. T. Barrott
Lt. D. Hamilton
Lt. C. Sandbach
British Exchanged identities with French officers in transit to Lübeck Detected
July ??? Lt. J. Best
Lt. M. Harvey
Others
British "French Tunnel" re-opening attempt Detected
August 10 Lt. P. Allan
Lt. A. Campbell
Others
British "Whitechapel Deep" tunnel Detected
September 3 Capt. L. Pope
Lt. M. Sinclair
Lt. J. Hyde-Thomson
British  ??? Detected
September 11 Lt. W. Miller
Lt. R. Boustead
British Exchanged places with Lt. Stepninc and Lt. Jablonowski during Polish transfer Detected
September 16 Lt. A. Orr-Ewing British As French orderly on exercise Detected
September 30 Lt. G. Davies-Scourfield British Out of yard in trash pile Recaptured
Hildescheim
September ???  ??? British "Mayfair Maggies" tunnel Detected
October 7 Lt. A. Orr-Ewing British Out of yard in trash pile Detected
November 3  ??? British Orderlies who escaped from work party at Colditz train station Recaptured
Cottbus
November 25 Lt. J. Rawson British  ??? Detected

1944 escape attempts[edit]

Date Name Nationality Method Result
January 19 Lt. M. Sinclair
Lt. J. Best
British Sixty second rope escape down west terrace Recaptured
Rheine
January 28 Lt. W. Millar Canadian Broke into German courtyard, hung from bottom of German truck. Believed killed by SS at Mauthausen in July 1944. UNKNOWN
January 31 Capt. C. Lewthwaite British Hid under trash pile Detected
February 3 Lt. A. Orr-Ewing British Jumps fence, swims across Mulde river Recaptured
Colditz
March 17  ??? British "Crown Deep" tunnel Detected
March 26 Flt. Lt. V. Parker
Lt. M. Harvey
British From air-raid shelter Detected
April 19 Flt. Lt. D. Bruce British Cut bars on north side of castle, reached wire fence Detected
April 29 Lt. D. Moir
Lt. M. Edwards
Lt. D. Wheeler
Lt. P. Fergusson
British Intentionally sloppy escape attempt in hopes to be placed in town jail. Detected
April ???  ??? British Hexengang corridor Detected
April ??? Lt. J. Hamilton-Baillie British Into sewers through shower drain Detected
May 2 Lt. J. Beaumont British Hidden under blanked sown with leaves Recaptured
3 km from Colditz
May 3 Lt. G. Wardle British Escape through orderlies quarters Detected
May 5 Capt. H. Elliott
Flt. Lt. F. Flinn
Lt. J. Barnett
Lt. M. Wynn
British Faked illnesses, repatriated Successful Escape
May 29 Capt. F. Weldon
Lt. J. Hamilton-Baillie
British Out of POW yard into Kommandantur attics, into storeroom on south side of German yard Detected
June 1 Maj. A. Anderson
Others
British Dentist chair tunnel Detected
June 13 Lt. L. Pumphrey
Lt. M. Riviere
British Tunnel through British kitchens Detected
June 16 Maj. R. Lorraine
Flt. Lt. D. Bruce
"Bosun" J. Chrisp
British Tunnel through sewers into German yard Detected
July 14 Flt. Lt. D. Thom British Escaped from hospital at Schmorkau Recaptured
September 4 Lt. M. Sinclair British Jumped fence in park, wearing civilian clothes Detected
September 18 Capt. C. Lewthwaite British Park walk under pile of leaves Detected
September 25 Lt. M. Sinclair British Jumps over fence wire in park Shot dead
From 1/1 til 4/15/45 Flt. Lt. W. Goldfinch
Flt. Lt. J. Best
Lt. A. Rolt
Lt. G. Wardle
Others
British The "Colditz Cock" Glider Unused (prison liberated by Allied forces prior to completion of glider)

1945 escape attempts[edit]

Date Name Nationality Method Result
Lt.Col. M.B. Reid British The oldest British prisoner. Feigned heart disease by smoking heavily and drinking concentrated black coffee prior to medical examination and was repatriated. Successful Escape

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]