31. Survival and Escape in Scandinavian Snows
In 2012, one of WWII’s more dramatic but lesser known survival and escape stories hit the silver screen with the release of Into the White. Set during the Norwegian Campaign, the movie depicts the travails of the crews of a German Heinkel He 111 and a British Blackburn Skua after they shot each other down. They crashed not far from each other, and were then forced to come together to escape a wintry death and survive the harsh elements.
Based on true events, although jazzed up and dramatized, the movie’s core event actually happened. On April 27th, 1940, a Captain Richard Thomas Partridge of the British Royal Navy’s Fleet Air Arm shot down a German Heinkel He 111 bomber in Norway, and was then forced to crash land nearby soon thereafter. Once on the ground, Partridge and his crewmate made contact with the downed German bomber’s surviving crewmen, and the enemies agreed to cooperate. British and German airmen then hung out together, helping each other out, until rescued by a Norwegian ski patrol.