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The Maze Prison Escape (1983) Options
Daemon
Posted: Monday, September 25, 2017 12:00:00 AM
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The Maze Prison Escape (1983)

Maze Prison was a high-security prison in Northern Ireland that housed incarcerated members of the Irish Republican Army during the Troubles. In 1983, the Maze suffered the biggest jailbreak in British history. Using smuggled guns and knives, 38 prisoners overpowered prison guards and hijacked a food truck. One prison officer died during the escape and several others were wounded. Although half of the escapees were soon recaptured, the remaining 19 got away. What happened to them? More...
raghd muhi al-deen
Posted: Monday, September 25, 2017 9:16:18 AM

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Maze Prison escape
Maze Prison escape

The Maze Prison escape (known to Irish republicans as the Great Escape) took place on 25 September 1983 in County Antrim, Northern Ireland. HM Prison Maze (previously known as Long Kesh) was a maximum security prison considered to be one of the most escape-proof prisons in Europe, and held prisoners convicted of taking part in armed paramilitary campaigns during the Troubles. In the biggest prison escape in British history, 38 Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) prisoners, who had been convicted of offences including murder and causing explosions, escaped from H-Block 7 (H7) of the prison. One prison officer died of a heart attack as a result of the escape and twenty others were injured, including two who were shot with guns that had been smuggled into the prison. The escape was a propaganda coup for the IRA, and a British government minister faced calls to resign. The official inquiry into the escape placed most of the blame onto prison staff, who in turn blamed the escape on political interference in the running of the prison.
Previous escapes

During the Troubles, Irish republican prisoners had escaped from custody en masse on several occasions. On 17 November 1971, nine prisoners dubbed the "Crumlin Kangaroos" escaped from Crumlin Road Jail when rope ladders were thrown over the wall. Two prisoners were recaptured, but the remaining seven managed to cross the border into the Republic of Ireland and appeared at a press conference in Dublin.[1] On 17 January 1972, seven internees escaped from the prison ship HMS Maidstone by swimming to freedom, resulting in them being dubbed the "Magnificent Seven".[1][2] On 31 October 1973, three leading IRA members, including former Chief of Staff Seamus Twomey, escaped from Mountjoy Prison in Dublin when a helicopter landed in the exercise yard of the prison. Irish band The Wolfe Tones wrote a song celebrating the escape called "The Helicopter Song", which topped the Irish popular music charts.[3][4][5] 19 IRA members escaped from Portlaoise Jail on 18 August 1974 after overpowering guards and using gelignite to blast through gates,[6] and 33 prisoners attempted to escape from Long Kesh on 6 November 1974 after digging a tunnel. IRA member Hugh Coney was shot dead by a sentry, 29 other prisoners were captured within a few yards of the prison, and the remaining three were back in custody within 24 hours.[5][7] In March 1975, ten prisoners escaped from the courthouse in Newry while on trial for attempting to escape from Long Kesh.[5] The escapees included Larry Marley, who would later be one of the masterminds behind the 1983 escape.[8][9] On 10 June 1981, eight IRA members on remand, including Angelo Fusco, Paul Magee and Joe Doherty, escaped from Crumlin Road Jail. The prisoners took prison officers hostage using three handguns that had been smuggled into the prison, took their uniforms and shot their way out of the prison.[10]
1983 escape

HM Prison Maze was considered one of the most escape-proof prisons in Europe. In addition to 15-foot (4.6 m) fences, each H-Block was encompassed by an 18-foot (5.5 m) concrete wall topped with barbed wire, and all gates on the complex were made of solid steel and electronically operated.[11] Prisoners had been planning the escape for several months. Bobby Storey and Gerry Kelly had started working as orderlies in H7, which allowed them to identify weaknesses in the security systems, and six handguns had been smuggled into the prison.[8] Shortly after 2:30 pm on 25 September, prisoners seized control of H7 by simultaneously taking the prison officers hostage at gunpoint in order to prevent them from triggering an alarm. One officer was stabbed with a craft knife, and another was knocked down by a blow to the back of the head. One officer who attempted to prevent the escape was shot in the head by Gerry Kelly, but survived.[8][12] By 2:50 pm the prisoners were in total control of H7 without an alarm being raised. A dozen prisoners also took uniforms from the officers, and the officers were also forced to hand over their car keys and details of where their cars were, for possible later use during the escape.[12] A rear guard was left behind to watch over hostages and keep the alarm from being raised until they believed the escapees were clear of the prison, when they returned to their cells.[12] At 3:25 pm, a lorry delivering food supplies arrived at the entrance to H7, where Brendan McFarlane and other prisoners took the occupants hostage at gunpoint and took them inside H7. The lorry driver was told the lorry was being used in the escape, and he was instructed what route to take and how to react if challenged.[12] Bobby Storey told the driver that "This man [Gerry Kelly] is doing 30 years and he will shoot you without hesitation if he has to. He has nothing to lose".[8]

At 3:50 pm the prisoners left H7, and the driver and a prison orderly were taken back to the lorry, and the driver's foot tied to the clutch. 37 prisoners climbed into the back of the lorry, while Gerry Kelly lay on the floor of the cab with a gun pointed at the driver, who was also told the cab had been booby trapped with a hand grenade.[12] At nearly 4:00 pm the lorry drove towards the main gate of the prison, where the prisoners intended to take over the gatehouse. Ten prisoners dressed in guards' uniforms and armed with guns and chisels dismounted from the lorry and entered the gatehouse, where they took the officers hostage.[12] At 4:05 pm the officers began to resist, and an officer pressed an alarm button. When other staff responded via an intercom, a senior officer said while being held at gunpoint that the alarm had been triggered accidentally. By this time the prisoners were struggling to maintain control in the gatehouse due to the number of hostages.[12] Officers arriving for work were entering the gatehouse from outside the prison, and each was ordered at gunpoint to join the other hostages. Officer James Ferris ran from the gatehouse towards the pedestrian gate attempting to raise the alarm, pursued by Dermot Finucane. Ferris had already been stabbed three times in the chest, and before he could raise the alarm he collapsed.[12]
Map of HM Prison Maze showing the escape route

Finucane continued to the pedestrian gate where he stabbed the officer controlling the gate, and two officers who had just entered the prison. This incident was seen by a soldier on duty in a watch tower, who reported to the Army operations room that he had seen prison officers fighting. The operations room telephoned the prison's Emergency Control Room (ECR), which replied that everything was all right and that an alarm had been accidentally triggered earlier.[12] At 4:12 pm the alarm was raised when an officer in the gatehouse pushed the prisoner holding him hostage out of the room and telephoned the ECR. However, this was not done soon enough to prevent the escape. After several attempts the prisoners had opened the main gate, and were waiting for the prisoners still in the gatehouse to rejoin them in the lorry. At this time two prison officers blocked the exit with their cars, forcing the prisoners to abandon the lorry and make their way to the outer fence which was 25 yards away.[12] Four prisoners attacked one of the officers and hijacked his car, which they drove towards the external gate. They crashed into a car near the gate and abandoned the car. Two escaped through the gate, one was captured exiting the car, and another was captured after being chased by a soldier.[12] At the main gate, a prison officer was shot in the leg while chasing the only two prisoners who had not yet reached the outer fence. The prisoner who fired the shot was captured after being shot and wounded by a soldier in a watch tower, and the other prisoner was captured after falling. The other prisoners escaped over the fence, and by 4:18 pm the main gate was closed and the prison secured, after 35 prisoners had successfully breached the perimeter of the prison.[12] The escape was the biggest in British history, and the biggest in Europe since World War II.[11][13]

Outside the prison the IRA had planned a logistical support operation involving 100 armed members,[14] but due to a miscalculation of five minutes the prisoners found no transport waiting for them and were forced to flee across fields or hijack vehicles.[8][15] The British Army and Royal Ulster Constabulary immediately activated a contingency plan, and by 4:25 pm a cordon of vehicle check points were in place around the prison, and others were later in place in strategic positions across Northern Ireland, resulting in the recapture of one prisoner at 11:00 pm. Twenty prison officers were injured during the escape, thirteen were kicked and beaten, four stabbed, two shot, and another, James Ferris, di

with my pleasure
FX2
Posted: Monday, September 25, 2017 10:44:38 AM
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[img]Think


How did mates smuggle guns if that was supposed to be a very difficult kind of escape-proof facility?
taurine
Posted: Monday, September 25, 2017 5:49:12 PM

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[quote=FX2][img]Think


How did mates smuggle guns if that was supposed to be a very difficult kind of escape-proof facility?[/quote

I cannot correlate stabbings to the heart attack 💌
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