Skip to Content
Register · Login
About Theme

A Letterboxing Community

Search Edit

Read Thread: Mystery Postal #OK019A

Re: Mystery Postal #OK2019A
Board: Postals
Reply to: #971481 by Oberon_Kenobi
Feb 16, 2019 1:16pm
This mystery postal is now closed. It was certainly different being on this side of the mystery. You were probably frustrated at the beginning by the numbers. As you'll see throughout my explanation, I could have used a whole lot more numbers. However, it is now time to reveal the meanings of the clues.

The answer is "The Great Escape".

  1. 50: Both the book and film were dedicated to the fifty who were executed (murdered) after being recaptured, contrary to the Geneva Convention on the treatment of prisoners of war. Hitler had wanted them all killed, but his generals talked him out of that.
  2. 76: There were 76 prisoners (of the planned 220) who successfully made it away from the prisoner of war camp. Of those, 3 eventually made it to Commonwealth countries. 73 were recaptured, and 23 returned to prisoner of war camps.
  3. 75: The night of 24/25 March 1944 was when the Great Escape occurred, so this year marks the 75th anniversary of the escape. When I recently saw the film on television, I thought that this would be a great subject of my first mystery postal. When I started investigating the subject for clues, I found out that this was the 75th anniversary so I knew that I had to do it.
  4. Harry: Harry was the code name of the tunnel used for the actual escape. It was started in hut 104 under a stove. In the film, this was the one in the drain sump.
  5. Poland: The camp was within the pre-war borders of Germany, but is now in Poland.
  6. New moon: The escape was timed for the new moon so that the prisoners would have the best chance of getting away from the camp.
  7. Tom: Tom was the tunnel originally planned for the escape. It was started in hut 123 next to a stove chimney. In the film this tunnel began under a stove. It is unknown how the actual tunnel was discovered.
  8. Roger: Roger Bushell, also known as "Big X", was the organizer of the Great Escape. He threatened to court martial anyone who uttered the word "tunnel".
  9. Dick: Dick was the third tunnel dug for the purpose of the Great Escape. It was dug in the shower drain of hut 122. In the film the entrance to this tunnel was not shown. Work on it was stopped when camp expansion began where Dick was going to surface.
  10. Cooler: At least in the film, Steve McQueen's character ended up in the "Cooler" (solitary confinement) multiple times.
  11. Air Force: The Great Escape was planned by prisoners from the Royal Air Force, the air force of the British and Commonwealth countries.
  12. Book: "The Great Escape" (book) was written by Paul Brickhill, an Australian who was in the camp. The book was published in 1950.
  13. Film: The film is a highly retelling of the events of the book. It was released in 1963. I have seen it before, but seeing in again earlier this year prompted me to make this mystery postal.
  14. Tunnel: Tom, Dick and Harry were the code names of the three tunnels planned for the Great Escape. After discovery, the prisoners started digging another tunnel named George. It wasn't finished before the camp was liberated by Soviet forces in January 1945.
  15. Sagan: Sagan is the German name for the town closest to the prisoner of war camp. It is now called Żagań, in Poland.
  16. Stalag: Stalag Luft III is short for Stammlager Luft III; literally "Main Camp, Air, III". This was the site of the Great Escape. This stalag consisted of multiple compounds. The Great Escape took place from the North Compound, where British and Commonwealth prisoners were held.

FYI: "The Wooden Horse" is the account of another escape of 2 prisoners from this same compound. It was made into a film released in 1950. I read the book in junior or high school as an assignment.

This was fun for me. I hope that it was fun for you too. I look forward to doing another and for the next one by IrishRef.
Re: Mystery Postal #OK2019A
Board: Postals
Reply to: #971584 by Oberon_Kenobi
Feb 16, 2019 1:38pm
A very fine first effort at mystery postals! I look forward to more from both you and Irish Ref.