We have heard a lot recently about the illustrious career of the late and great Sir Richard Attenborough, perhaps best known for The Great Escape.
But there is a fundamental historical flaw in that film and indeed all prisoner-of-war films and books.
Many years ago I met a man captured by Rommel’s troops at St Valery. I was astonished to be told that he had spent the war in a Polish coal mine, and was lucky to survive.
Because of these films, I assumed that all PoWs lived in camps.
The truth is that, under the Geneva Convention, only officers lived in camps – other ranks had to work, usually in hellish conditions. The PoW genre does not make this clear.