Monty Halls tells incredible 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 and the locals who risked their lives to help them.
In this episode Monty recounts one of the most successful missions ever carried out by the SAS, and their daring escape from behind enemy lines in northern Italy. A small SAS group were dropped by parachute deep in Nazi-occupied territory to create chaos in the fascist ranks with unpredictable lightning attacks. Monty meets local Italian survivors who courageously helped to protect the SAS troops, and tells the extraordinary story of how just 33 SAS soldiers outwitted several thousand enemy troops.
The last-known SAS survivor gives his own account of the mission. Monty follows the route taken by the SAS to escape back to safety – crossing rivers and passing through haunting mountainside villages before going over the dramatic, terrifying high ridges of the coastal Apuan Alps. And Monty and John Redhead – whose father escaped from a PoW camp nearby – meet the Italian family who risked their lives to shelter John’s father, and thank them for their bravery.
Executive Producer: Monty Halls
Producer: Liberty Smith
Production Company: Seadog TV & Film Productions Ltd
WWII’s Great Escapes: The Freedom Trails Episode 3 airs Saturday 30 September 2017 from 9.00pm-10.00pm on Channel 4.