Actually, the POWs are not usually trying to escape. They are stationed there at Stalag 13 on purpose to run espionage and demolition. They have an extensive network of help, ranging from radio equipment, hidden tunnels, and contacts outside the prison. To make their job easier, they must keep their incompetent captors looking good.
The characters are what make the show great:
- Colonel Klink - Werner Klemperer - a monocled moron!
- Sgt. Schultz - John Banner - the fat loveable guard
- General Burkhalter - Leon Askin - the hardass general
- Major Hochsteter - Howard Caine - the quick-tempered Gestapo man
All in all, a great show in the late 60s, early 70s.