|Nurnberg Streets - thirdreichinruins.com|
This strategy would only hold for a while. Short ‘reconnaissance trips were made, searching for somewhere to rest and hide unseen from the road or neighbouring buildings. Just off the main street, they found a church set back in total darkness. In the garden a number of benches, were occupied by courting couples. It was easy to slope past in the chill night air and find a free seat without being noticed. The blanket used to cover their heads when hiding at the bottom of the manhole shaft in Colditz was draped over their knees. Larive noted the scene:
|Singen station - delcampe.net|
|German border post. Note the pathway on the right - E H Larive|
|On the right is the edge of the wood where the escapers hid |
to get a better view - E H Larive
Soldiers on bicycles left the guard post to take up position on the road at 400 metre intervals. Dusk came quickly as it started to rain. The escapers heard rifle shots somewhere behind them and barking dogs. Run or stay? It was best to remain where they were and cover themselves with the blanket. A risk, but it was unlikely the dogs had their scent and the rain and darkness would make searching difficult. The rifle fire was an effort to flush the men out and for the dogs to latch on to the sound of them running away.
It is difficult to fully appreciate the utter exhaustion at this point, or what really lay in the men's most innermost thoughts . Larive had been so near before. The prospect of another return to Colditz was unthinkable.
|Larive & Steinmetz photographed after their escape|
and still wearing the same clothes- E H Larive
Colditz The Full Story - Major Pat Reid MBE MC (Highly recommended read)
The Man Who Came in From Colditz - E H Larive (A must read if you can find a copy)
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