The book I read was called The Great Escape by Paul Brickhill. The copyright date is 1978.
The story starts out in a German prison of war camp for captured British and American air force pilots. The goal of every person in the camp is to escape. There are a couple of different ways to escape. The ways described in the story are, digging tunnels and walking out in faked German clothes and passports. The problem is that there are ferrets, German guards, who walk around in the compound watching everything that the prisoners do. The prisoners start digging three tunnels. As soon as they get about three feet deep they run into yellow sand. They have to get rid of the sand and they can not let the Germans know, so they the invent penguins. Penguins are prisoners that walk around with sand in there pants. When penguins walk into a crowd they let the sand go a little at a time and shuffle their feet so the sand gets mixed into the dirt. That works for a little while, but then one penguin is caught and they find one of the tunnels. The other tunnels go on without being found. The prisoners finish one of the tunnels and 76 people escape. All except three are caught. Fifty out of the 76 people are shot. They are cremated and brought back to the camp and shown to the other prisoners.
I found the book pretty good for the following reasons. It was very suspenseful, interesting and a true story. It was also not gory like it could have been when people got killed. However I disliked the first chapter because it was all faces and no story. In addition there were times when there was little too much description and it for boring. Overall I thought the book was very exciting and fun to read. I could not put the book down after I started to read it.