The Role Of 60-Acr Leadership In North Compound

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On the evening of March 24, 1944, seventy-six prisoners escaped from a Nazi encampment known as Stalag Luft III.1 Over 600 prisoners were involved in the construction of three tunnels with the intent on facilitating the escape of several hundred men.2 British Squadron Leader Roger Bushell facilitated the planning and execution of this major operation. Leadership under the operational and logistical constraints during the execution of this mission is worth battle analysis. In the end, the majority of the escapees were recaptured and executed. Although a failure, the mission can be considered an example of how one man’s leadership can fuel an organization’s will to survive. During World War II, Stalag Luft III was established in, what is now, Sagan, Poland. The…show more content…
During one of the first committee meetings, Roger Bushell explained his intent. He said, “Everyone here in this room is living on borrowed time. By rights we should all be dead! The only reason that God allowed us this extra ration of life is so we can make life hell for the Hun... In North Compound we are concentrating our efforts on completing and escaping through one master tunnel. No private-enterprise tunnels allowed. Three bloody deep, bloody long tunnels will be dug - Tom, Dick, and Harry. One will succeed!”.11 Former Stalag Luft III prisoner Alan Bryett said that Roger Bushell “had the complete allegiance of everyone in the camp”.12 Through this leadership, various teams were able to coordinate their efforts to meet Bushell’s intent. Three digging teams simultaneously dug tunnels while thwarting Nazi guards. Other teams resourced the diggers with materials and equipment, while skilled personnel crafted identification papers and conducted screening operations. Furthermore, tunneling operations provided tremendous morale and initiative within the prison, especially for those soldiers that have been at the camp for long periods of

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