Monty Halls tells incredible and little-known stories of Second World War escapes from Nazi-occupied territory by prisoners of war and Allied soldiers. Retracing their routes, former marine Monty discovers what it took to survive on the run, and celebrates the extraordinary bravery of the escapees, some of whom are still alive today and share their experiences in the series. Monty also meets surviving local farmers and resistance fighters who risked their lives to help Allied servicemen and women to safety.
In this episode, Monty follows the dramatic escape route of British prisoner of war Len Harley from Nazi-occupied Italy. As German soldiers hunted for him, Len hid wherever he could: in caves, and in the cellars and attics of sympathetic locals who risked their own lives to save Len’s. Finally, Len made it to freedom by climbing the perilous Majella mountain range in deep winter. Monty retraces Len’s incredibly journey, and then reunites Len – who is now 98 – with one of his saviours, Rosina Spinosa, who sheltered him during his ordeal. Monty also meets other ordinary Italians who had the courage to defy the Nazis by helping Allied servicemen escape. And he hears about some who were tragically caught and executed, as the Nazis fought bitterly to prevent the Allied advance.
Executive Producer: Monty Halls
Producer: Liberty Smith
Production Company: Seadog TV & Film Productions Ltd
WWII’s Great Escapes: The Freedom Trails Episode 2 airs on Saturday 23 September 2017 from 8.0pm-9.00pm on Channel 4.