The November 2007 issue of World War II Magazine featured the Christmas Eve escape of 25 German POWs from a camp in Arizona during WWII.
According to the article:
Nearly 400,000 German POWs were brought to the United States during World War II, and officials recorded precisely 2,222 individual attempts by the Germans to flee their camps...
But none of these assorted breakouts could match in audacity, scale, or drama the plan under way at Compound 1A at Papago Park. It would trigger the largest manhunt in Arizona history, bringing in local law enforcement, the FBI, and even Papago Indian scouts.
Their "not so great escape" title seems unfair, but here's a taste of what the author may have had in mind:
While he was still on that call, another phone rang. It was the sheriff in Phoenix reporting he had an escaped POW in custody. Herbert Fuchs, a twenty-two-year-old U-boat crewman, had quickly grown tired of being wet, cold, and hungry and hitchhiked a ride to the sheriff's office. Soon thereafter, a Tempe woman called to say that two escapees had knocked on her door and surrendered; the phone rang again, and a Tempe man reported that two hungry and cold POWs had turned themselves in to him.
It took over a month to re-capture all of the escaped POWs, but all were eventually returned to camp.
Author: Ronald H. Bailey
Publication: World War II Magazine
Length: 3,959 words
Date: November 2007