French Gen. Henri Giraud was experienced at escaping German prison camps, having slipped out of one in North Africa during World War I. When he was captured in World War II, he faced more challenging conditions at Konigstein Castle, which sits 240 meters above the surrounding valley and had thick stone walls.
Giraud spent two years planning and preparing for his escape. He convinced the guards to teach the prisoners German, smuggled in the clothing worn by the local populace, and spent a year creating a 150-foot rope from thin twine. He slipped down the rope, out of the prison, and onto a train on April 17th, 1942, over Hitler’s birthday weekend. Hitler ordered him assassinated, but he escaped to North Africa and rejoined the war.