This case study is an abridged version of Mark Kozak-Holland's eBook: Project Lessons from The Great Escape (Stalag Luft III). It was submitted for publication by email 11/6/08.
It is copyright to M. Kozak-Holland, © 2008.

PART 1 | Introduction to Part 2 | Risk Management Planning 
Qualitative Risk Analysis | Quantitative Risk Analysis | Risk Response Planning
Risk Monitoring and Control | Conclusion | Part 2 - Case Study Exercises

Risk Monitoring and Control

The escape committee assessed the project risks frequently especially during the construction phase and modified the project plans accordingly. For example, this was done by:

  • Continually monitoring of what ferrets were thinking through contacts with friendly ferrets and reading between the lines. The Intelligence Branch gave Bushell early warning.
  • Devising a system to ensure that tunnels ended up where planned, pointing in the right direction and built at a level depth and right length. Continuous daily measurements helped achieve this.
  • Continual and careful scrutiny of the tunnel-by-tunnel engineering for signs of danger, and potential tunnel collapse.

The objective was to:

  • assess the probability and impacts of risk,
  • close risks were appropriate,
  • determine new risks since last meeting.

This was a long, complex project fraught with risks, and as the project progressed new risks had to be continually considered, as grouped in the Table shown in Figure 7.

Risk Identification




Escaping through the tunnel without incident


Many escapers passing through the tunnel could disturb it and cause collapse

Passing escapers throughput had to be carefully controlled

Getting away from the camp unnoticed


Being identified as a PoW, capture, leading to overall alert.[7]

Disguises, clothing, identification passes and plausible roles had to be scrutinized for any flaws (Quality Control)

Traveling distances unchallenged


Traveling long distances (min. 300 miles)

Using forged passes, having money available, and being able to talk out of a situation

Surviving in the open


Hypothermia or even death

Access to food, water, shelter, and heat

Figure 7: New risks identified
Risk Response Planning  Risk Response Planning

7. Geneva Convention dictated servicemen not in uniform could be shot.
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