Bushell’s Final Briefing to the Men of Stalag Luft III
August 18 1945
Dear Mr. Bushell,
…In his final briefing before the 24th March, Roger, with the Senior British Officer standing at his side, explained the objects of the operation. He said that apart from the value of getting some experienced officers back to England, one vital factor was to cause alarm and inconvenience throughout a large area of Germany. Another was to cause extra precautionary measures to be taken by the Germans and necessitate extra guards and the replacement of certain camp staff. All these were accomplished, including the eventual sacking of the Kommandant, his second in command, the security officer and other officials.
His actual words were in this connection, “For those of you who have been unlucky enough not to draw a place in Harry, I can promise plenty of entertainment later. Because, irrespective of how we get on, once the Germans have discovered that a large number of officers have escaped from a tunnel which has been constructed under their very noses, for over a year, it will be a case of apres nous, le deluge.”
At that moment, more than ever, he had the camp behind him to a man.
Roger was a man who inspired confidence and admiration in all who knew him and experienced his powerful personality. He was a friend I shall never forget, and we in the army considered that he was an example to the Services worthy of the highest praise.
I want you to know, Sir, that if others who served with him had the opportunity of writing to you, they would tell you the same thing, and it is only fitting I should add my tribute…
(Sgd.) Keith Mountfort, Major.
156 Worple Road