The plot of the book surrounds the events known as The Great Escape, but it also mentions other escape attempts as well as the hunt of the Gestapo agents who killed fifty of the escapees on Hitler's direct order.
Much of the book is focused on Roger Bushell, also known as Big X. Including his capture, his early escape attempts, and his planning of the escape. Several people that Brickhill knew are also documented, including Major John Dodge who was related to Winston Churchill.
In the end, seventy-six men escaped, of those, seventy-three were recaptured and fifty of those were shot by the Gestapo. Four of those seventy-three escaped at a later date and did get away. This includes Major John Dodge who was released to secure a cease-fire.