Escape Route Maps

Our thanks to Sherri Greene Ottis for allowing us to reproduce the following map, “Major Escape Routes Through France, 1940-1945.” from her book, Silent Heroes, Downed Airmen and the French Underground, Lexington, Kentucky: The University Press of Kentucky, 2001.  The map was designed by John Hollingsworth.   Although there were other escape routes, these certainly were some of the most important.  To enlarge it and make it more readable, click once on the map and then once again.

A similar map was prepared by the National Museum of the US Air Force, which has kindly allowed us to reproduce it below.  To enlarge it significantly and make it more readable, click once on the map and then click a second time.

Major Escape Lines, Map of the National Museum of the AF,090617-F-1234P-004

Both of above maps appear to have been inspired by a map, “Main evasion routes in western Europe,” that was published  on p. 64 of the book M.I.9 Escape and Evasion 1939-1945, by M.R.D. Foote and J.M. Langley, Boston: Little, Brown and Co., 1979, 1980.  That map can be viewed at  In addition, a map of the Comet Line escape route can be viewed at the Le Reseau Comete website at .  On that website scroll down to view the map.

The following map was published in the June 2007 issue of the Air Forces Escape and Evasion Society newsletter, Communications,  No source was given.  Nevertheless, it gives some idea of the complexity of the different escape routes.

Escape Line Map from June 2007 AFEES newsletter

Belgian Ministry of National Defense Escape Line Map

The following map appeared on pg. 213 of the book Livre D’Or de la Resistance Belge, Ouvrage publié par la Commission de lè Historique de la Résistance instituée par le Ministère de la Défense Nationale.  Publication date was sometime after the end of WWII.

Lignes de Rapatriement -- Pendant l'occupation. Belgian Ministry of Defense

Lignes de Rapatriement — Pendant l’occupation. Belgian Ministry of Defense

Dutch-Paris Line

The map below of the Dutch-Paris Line escape routes appears in the following book: Megan Koreman, Gewone helden: de Dutch-Paris ontsnappingslijn 1942-1945, Amsterdam: Boom Uitgevers, 2016.  [Translation of Megan Koreman, Ordinary Heroes, forthcoming with Oxford University Press, March 2018].  It is copyrighted and may not be duplicated without permission of the publisher.  It is reproduced here with the kind permission of the author and publisher.  Copies of the book can be ordered though Dutch bookstores or from the publisher.


The following map, Main evasion routes in western Europe, was published on page 63 of the book MI9 Escape and Evasion 1939-1945 by MRD Foot and JM Langley in 1979 and 1980 by Little, Brown and Co.  The current copyright holders require the following acknowledgement: “Map Main evasion routes in Western Europe from MI9 Escape and Evasion 1939-1945 by Michael Foot and J.M. Langley reprinted by permission of Peters Fraser & Dunlop ( on behalf of the Estate of Michael Foot.)”

Main evasion routes map from Foot and Langley book, p. 63

Another escape route map is to be found on pg. 12 of the March 2013 issues of the AFEES newsletter.  Click on the following to access it:  and scroll down to pg. 12.

An escape route diagram to Switzerland, as opposed to a map, is to be found on pg. 7 of the June 1997 issue of the AFEES newsletter.  Go to the newsletter archive at and scroll down to that issue.  Then click on the pdf file for the issue.

Two additional escape route maps are to be found at the following website:

Following are links to WWII maps of Belgium, France, and The Netherlands showing borders,  cities, and roads as they were at that time:

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