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  • Great list, but I’d add “The Big Escape” to this list. It’s the little known escape attempt by German POWs from a prison camp in Wales. Almost as many POWs (70) escaped as in the British “Great Escape” but perhaps because the Germans just want to sweep this bit of history under the carpet, it’s not well publicised. There’s a web site dedicated to the “Big Escape”. You’ll find it here:

  • PastTime

    Good and entertaining list.

  • At least three of the listed escapes were made into films: "Midnight Express", "The Great Escape" and "Escape From Alcatraz".

  • Pete

    I love this list. Another Film: Rescue Dawn.

  • Has anyone ever been put into a prison just to try and break out? Would be an interesting reality show.

    • Alex

      Yes on mythbusters

  • Kevin

    Where on earth is vassilis paleokosta? (probably butchered that spelling)

  • Peachy

    Where is Henri "Papillon" Charriere?

    • That's a very good question. I completely forgot about Papillon. I do remember reading that the details of his escape are highly fictionalized, but he still probably deserves to be on the list somewhere.

  • akfortruth

    I'd put Alcatraz escape right to the top.

    But that's just me.

  • Unanimous

    as a 10 year old kid, it seems easy to dig a hole and move places… if you have enough air.

  • Michael

    You web page is unreadable becuse of the popup tool bar that covers the entire page. I won't be coming to this page again!

  • Cathal

    Actually, the most part of the Maze prison escape had no violence.
    Basically, the I.R.A. volunteers took over each part of their H-Block and subjued the prison gaurds without alerting anyone. Violence began when they took over the control room and waited to arrange the prisoners, and tens of prison officers came in for their shift. Eventually, the I.R.A. members were seriously outnumbered and things got out of control. What was supposed to be a very specifically-planned escape, ended up with the I.R.A. members fleeing on foot.

  • dtroyb

    How about Cornelius Rost the basis of the book, As Far As My Feet Will Carry Me. He was a German p.o.w. who escaped a Soviet gulag in Siberia, and traveled for three years, making it 6,800 miles to Iran.

    • JJ

      No kidding, this guy blows them all away by walking 1000’s of miles across soviet russia to escape.

  • J Baustian

    How did a 16th century Jesuit priest in England use orange juice as an invisible ink? Where did he get orange juice in the 16th century?

  • GreatOne

    What about Ted Bundy’s escape through a ventilation shaft in his cell? Exited through the Sheriff’s residence, if I recall correctly. Maybe the escape itself wasn’t noteworthy, but it being Amercia’s most notorious serial killer should add something to it.

  • Joe

    Kostas Samaras (?????? ???????). Five escapes and other five escape attempts. One of the successful…he opened a hole in the floor of the police car during his transfer from one prison to another. ???????? ????????!!!

  • Jerome

    #10 doesn’t seem very great at all – just an escape. Maybe it’s the way it was written?

  • Dhanraj

    Why no one has escaped from fox river …

  • Doug Morgan

    Most of the prisoners of “The Great Escape” were murdered by the Gestapo, and, their ashes returned to the Luftstalag as a warning for would-be escapees. Several of the criminals were tried and executed after the war.