Escaping the death trap.
December 2, 2011 2:37 PM Subscribe
Submarine escape: A WWII survival tale.
posted by VikingSword (9 comments total)
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'Seventy years ago, off the Greek island of Kefalonia, the British submarine HMS Perseus hit an Italian mine, sparking one of the greatest and most controversial survival stories of World War II.' 'Despite being awarded a medal for his escape, John Capes's story was so extraordinary that many people, both within and outside the Navy, doubted it.' He 'died in 1985 but it was not until 1997 that his story was finally verified.'
"But having made the deepest escape yet recorded, his ordeal was not over.
His fellow injured stokers had not made it to the surface with him so he found himself alone in the middle of a cold December sea.
In the darkness he spotted a band of white cliffs and realised he had no choice but to strike out for those.
The next morning, Capes was found unconscious by two fishermen on the shore of Kefalonia.
For the following 18 months he was passed from house to house, to evade the Italian occupiers. He lost 70lb (32kg) in weight and dyed his hair black in an effort to blend in.'
'He was finally taken off the island on a fishing boat in May 1943, in a clandestine operation organised by the Royal Navy.
A dangerous, roundabout journey of 640km took him to Turkey and from there back to the submarine service in Alexandria.'