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  • Stalag Luft III - The March

    The March of POWs from Stalag Luft III across Europe in blizzard conditions.

    The march occurred during the final months of the 2nd World War in Europe, lasting about four (4) months from January to April 1945.

    As the Russian troops advanced across Poland, Hitler ordered all POWs to be moved.
    Over 30,000 POWs were force marched westward across Poland, Czechoslovakia and Germany in appalling weather conditions.
    Polish (Silesia) winters were known for their howling winds that could turn snow and ice into stinging missiles. The winter of 1945 was the coldest on record in over fifty years in Germany and Poland.

    Stalag Luft III was a Luftwaffe run prisoner of war camp it was in the Province of Silesia near Sagan (Zagan) in Poland 100 miles southwest of Berlin.




    Two Thousand men of the South Compound (Luft III) were the first to march …destination Spremverg. After 34 miles with little food and water they reached Bad Muskau then rested, before marching a further 16 miles to Spremberg. Then a further 72 hour ride in Boxcars to Stalag VIII-A in Germany. Some two hundred POWs were marched from VIII-A to Lubeck, many dropping out on the way with German guards making no attempt to stop them…….finally liberation WARS END.



    The march came very close to the Bataan Death march in percentage of mortality rates.

    To all POWs that did not return. “Lest We Forget”



    “Attack with aggression, but always have a plan of retreat”

  • #2
    in Poland 100 miles southwest of Berlin.
    That should read southeast.






    While the loss rate maybe close to the same as with Bataan there are
    many differences.

    At this same time 10's of thousands of German POWs were being marched to camps in the Russian far east. Their death rate was much higher.

    As Sherman said "War is hell"


    Last edited by Half Pint John; 21 May 10, 04:47.
    "Ask not what your country can do for you"

    Left wing, Right Wing same bird that they are killing.

    you’re entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Half Pint John View Post
      At this same time 10's of thousands of German POWs were being marched to camps in the Russian far east. Their death rate was much higher.
      Any proof to that? Or is this story a part of an ole honest SS veteran's lament?

      It's interesting you didn't bring up the fate of Soviet POWs for comparison who faced absolutely the worst treatment during the war, but chose the Germans instead.
      www.histours.ru

      Siege of Leningrad battlefield tour

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by ShAA View Post
        Any proof to that? Or is this story a part of an ole honest SS veteran's lament?

        It's interesting you didn't bring up the fate of Soviet POWs for comparison who faced absolutely the worst treatment during the war, but chose the Germans instead.
        In the time period listed there were few Russian being taken pow. The history of Russian pow's is well know, as is that of the Germans. Also I live in Germany, not Russia.

        Federal Chancellor Adenauer on a State Visit to Moscow (September 11, 1955)

        In view of the altered situation produced by the entry of the Federal Republic into the Western alliance, the Soviet leadership sent Chancellor Konrad Adenauer a diplomatic note on July 7, 1955, inviting him to come to Moscow for talks about opening diplomatic relations. After consultations with the Western allies, Adenauer accepted this invitation to visit Moscow between September 8 and September 14. In nerve-racking talks and negotiations, during which the Soviet negotiators oscillated abruptly between jovial/friendly and offensive/accusatory tones, an agreement was finally reached: diplomatic relations would be established, and in return the Soviets gave a verbal promise that all German prisoners of war and interned civilians still held in the Soviet Union would be released. In a letter, Adenauer expressly noted West German reservations regarding the recognition of the eastern border and insisted that the Federal Republic alone was entitled to speak for all Germans. Moreover, in order to prevent international recognition of the GDR by further countries, the Hallstein Doctrine, which was developed essentially by Wilhelm Grewe, Head of the Political Department in the foreign ministry, and named after Walter Hallstein, State Secretary in the foreign ministry, was set forth. It warned other states that should they recognize the GDR, the Federal Republic would break diplomatic relations with them.

        http://www.babelgum.com/111921/russi...rman-pows.html

        http://www.fff.org/freedom/0895a.asp

        Stalin learned what was happening and retaliated. He permanently "retained" the American and British soldiers whom he still held as bargaining chips. What did he do with them? He carted them to the Soviet Union where they lived the rest of their lives in the Russian gulags. How many American and British soldiers? Over 20,000 Americans and over 30,000 British and Commonwealth soldiers ! In fact, as the authors of Soldiers of Misfortune point out: "Starting in 1945, the Soviet Union became the second-largest employer of American servicemen in the world."


        http://www.fpp.co.uk/History/General/HnetPrisoners1.htm


        Karner deals with this possibility by arguing that the Bulanov report is exclusively devoted to stationary camps, hospitals and prisons within the Soviet Union, and that the missing Germans died in that hellish interval between their capture and their final transport to the 4,000 camps of the GUPVI scattered throughout the length and breadth of the Soviet Union.

        He cites two top secret reports, one by Lavrentia Beria dated December 30, 1942 (p. 40) and one by Lt. Col. Dmitriev dated May 4, 1943 (p. 41) to support this contention. In the first document Beria, the Commissar of Internal Affairs, gives the reasons for the high death rates among the Germans. They often suffered from hunger before their captivity, or they were forced to march two to three hundred kilometers to the next railway station without adequate care and provisions, or the sick and the wounded were, contrary to the existing Soviet regulation that they were to be cared for in front-line hospitals before their departure, were often forced to march in their weakened state, with the result that one shipment of Germans from the Don Front to the interior suffered "approximately 800 deaths." (p. 40)

        Colonel Dmitriev cites the mortality figures suffered by 8,007 German POWs, of whom 1,526 died in the course of transport, while an additional 4,663 died in the camp itself in the ensuing six weeks from the consequences of dystrophy (4,326), typhus (54), frost (162), wounds (23) and other causes (98). (p. 41)

        This is only in reply to your Stalin like questioning of the German POW's in UDSSR hands.

        It's not to debate the treatment that Russian troops received at the hand of the Germans, which is well known. Also in the last of my links you can also read that America also treated pows often without regard to thier health or well being or NOT according to the rules of the Geneva Convention.
        "Ask not what your country can do for you"

        Left wing, Right Wing same bird that they are killing.

        you’re entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts.

        Comment


        • #5
          Stalag Luft III was a Luftwaffe run prisoner of war
          Allied POW must have been Air force officers and personal men,my memory is a shambles but a camp run by an air force takes POW of the same profession.
          Officers and personal men POW,weren't they treated much better than ordinary enlisted men POW?
          Why were these Air force Officers and personal men walked so long in harsh conditions,Germans knew they lost the war and never cared anymore?!

          Comment


          • #6
            [QUOTE=Half Pint John;1495531]
            Federal Chancellor Adenauer on a State Visit to Moscow (September 11, 1955)
            In nerve-racking talks and negotiations, during which the Soviet negotiators oscillated abruptly between jovial/friendly and offensive/accusatory tones, an agreement was finally reached: diplomatic relations would be established, and in return the Soviets gave a verbal promise that all German prisoners of war and interned civilians still held in the Soviet Union would be released.
            And how is this related to my question - Do you have any proof the German POWs were marched to camps in the Russian far east?

            As for the POWs being kept until 1955 - the bastards had to rebuild at least a part of what they had destroyed, as they could not bring back the millions they had murdered.

            http://www.fff.org/freedom/0895a.asp

            Stalin learned what was happening and retaliated. He permanently "retained" the American and British soldiers whom he still held as bargaining chips. What did he do with them? He carted them to the Soviet Union where they lived the rest of their lives in the Russian gulags. How many American and British soldiers? Over 20,000 Americans and over 30,000 British and Commonwealth soldiers ! In fact, as the authors of Soldiers of Misfortune point out: "Starting in 1945, the Soviet Union became the second-largest employer of American servicemen in the world."
            This is an old conspiracy story which has never been proved by anyone. To think that the Soviet Union could kidnap 20000 US soldiers, what made 10% of all US KIA in ETO is sheer absurdity.

            This link doesn't work
            Karner deals with this possibility by arguing that the Bulanov report is exclusively devoted to stationary camps, hospitals and prisons within the Soviet Union, and that the missing Germans died in that hellish interval between their capture and their final transport to the 4,000 camps of the GUPVI scattered throughout the length and breadth of the Soviet Union.
            Indeed, being sent to camps is so much worse than being ordered to eat grass and sleep in open fields in October-November.
            He cites two top secret reports, one by Lavrentia Beria dated December 30, 1942 (p. 40) and one by Lt. Col. Dmitriev dated May 4, 1943 (p. 41) to support this contention. In the first document Beria, the Commissar of Internal Affairs, gives the reasons for the high death rates among the Germans. They often suffered from hunger before their captivity, or they were forced to march two to three hundred kilometers to the next railway station without adequate care and provisions, or the sick and the wounded were, contrary to the existing Soviet regulation that they were to be cared for in front-line hospitals before their departure, were often forced to march in their weakened state, with the result that one shipment of Germans from the Don Front to the interior suffered "approximately 800 deaths." (p. 40)

            Colonel Dmitriev cites the mortality figures suffered by 8,007 German POWs, of whom 1,526 died in the course of transport, while an additional 4,663 died in the camp itself in the ensuing six weeks from the consequences of dystrophy (4,326), typhus (54), frost (162), wounds (23) and other causes (98). (p. 41)
            Oh, wonderful, here's your own quote:

            In the time period listed there were few Russian being taken pow.
            The time period you're speaking about is not of 1945 either, this is late 1942-early 1943.

            But come on, it's not really about any "time period" It's about Communist half-beasts and noble German knights just doing their simple job in spite of Hitler

            The story of German soldiers captured around Stalingrad is regularly brought up by Nazi apologists who tout it as a typical example of what awaited the Germans in Soviet captivity. In reality it was an extreme case, and the Germans were to an extent to blame for it themselves. Before February 2, 1943 they were offered to surrender several times and they overall state of the soldiers would've been much better had they agreed to it. Beria was berated by Stalin for not taking proper care for the Germans, but in order to save them from dystrophy and diseases extraordinary measures had to be taken which the Soviet state could not afford at the time. The food ration in the country was 400 grammes of bread for civilians and 500 for soldiers, other products were scarce and there was no excess of them to provide intensive rationing for the hated enemy. Nevertheless, the malnourished were issued up to 650 grammes of bread a day, along with a few other products. Here's the link in Russian, with Google Tran http://translate.google.ru/translate...nem-plen.shtml

            This is only in reply to your Stalin like questioning of the German POW's in UDSSR hands.
            I didn't question the whole issue, I asked you to bring up the proof to your assertion that the Germans were marched [obviously from the places of their capture] to the Far East. Your answer was lots of lengthy and unrelated quotes.

            It's not to debate the treatment that Russian troops received at the hand of the Germans, which is well known. Also in the last of my links you can also read that America also treated pows often without regard to thier health or well being or NOT according to the rules of the Geneva Convention.
            Regrettably, this is the link that doesn't work.
            www.histours.ru

            Siege of Leningrad battlefield tour

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by ShAA View Post
              the bastards had to rebuild at least a part of what they had destroyed, as they could not bring back the millions they had murdered.
              Please avoid these kind of emotional, sweeping-generalization outbursts on a history forum where we care about details. You have considerable knowledge and are an asset to this entire forum, but your occasional summarily targeted vitriol makes you look like some frigging Brezhnev enthusiast. No offense, I hope. You and your (good) points would come across much easier if you were more cool-headed about your conduct.

              All that said, I'm waiting for Half Pint's reply with some interest.

              Comment


              • #8
                OP

                The march occurred during the final months of the 2nd World War in Europe, lasting about four (4) months from January to April 1945.

                Your post

                The time period you're speaking about is not of 1945 either, this is late 1942-early 1943
                Either you or the OP has the dates mixed up.
                "Ask not what your country can do for you"

                Left wing, Right Wing same bird that they are killing.

                you’re entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts.

                Comment


                • #9
                  "Senate Select Committee - XLVIII

                  U.S. POWs from World War II

                  RAND Project / Cole

                  The RAND research on World War II, conducted by Dr. Paul Cole, focused on the European theater of operations, looking into the question of how many Americans, "liberated" from German POW camps by the Soviets, were not repatriated.

                  RAND found that 76,854 Americans were estimated to be in German POW camps as of March 15, 1945, but that the total number of American POWs recovered from German POW camps was 91,252, nearly 14,000 more than expected. Moreover, Soviet forces liberated a substantial number of these POWs -- 28,662 according to U.S. records; but only 22,554 according to Soviet records, a difference which Dr. Cole attributed to poor Soviet record keeping.

                  In the years that followed, several dozen, and possibly as many as several hundred, inquiries were made by the United States government on behalf of U.S. MIAs, usually based on requests from family members. The Soviets responded by creating an American Missing Persons File at its National Archives, which included some of this correspondence, as well as files derived from Missing Air Crew reports and Enemy Evasion Aid reports, some of which covered crewmen who had been repatriated to the United States. As Dr. Cole found:

                  There is no question that many bomber crews survived after parachuting or crash landing on territory controlled by Soviet forces. Many of these crewmen were repatriated. U.S. and Soviet records suggest, however, that an undetermined number were not. The U.S. Embassy at Moscow's efforts to obtain information about American citizens held on the territory of the USSR were severely limited by the Soviet position that some American citizens were considered by Soviet authorities to be Rumanians, Hungarians, other eastern Europeans, or even citizens of the USSR. In these cases, the Soviet government always refused to give the U.S. Embassy even the slightest bit of information in response to inquiries concerning people the Soviet authorities considered to be non-U.S. citizens.

                  Dr. Cole found no evidence to support charges that thousands of American POWs liberated from Nazi German POW camps were never repatriated. Moreover, his research raises questions even about the relatively few individuals identified by the Russians as U.S. POWs who were never repatriated by the USSR."
                  [.................................]
                  http://www.aiipowmia.com/ssc/ssc48.html
                  "It's like shooting rats in a barrel."
                  "You'll be in a barrel if you don't watch out for the fighters!"

                  "Talking about airplanes is a very pleasant mental disease."
                  — Sergei(son of Igor) Sikorsky, 'AOPA Pilot' magazine February 2003.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Thanks for that link and post. Brings some clarity on the subject.
                    "Ask not what your country can do for you"

                    Left wing, Right Wing same bird that they are killing.

                    you’re entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Tikru View Post
                      Please avoid these kind of emotional, sweeping-generalization outbursts on a history forum where we care about details. You have considerable knowledge and are an asset to this entire forum, but your occasional summarily targeted vitriol makes you look like some frigging Brezhnev enthusiast. No offense, I hope. You and your (good) points would come across much easier if you were more cool-headed about your conduct.
                      I mean exactly what I said. The German army on the whole was responsible for what happened during the war, moreover, the rank and file personnel was well aware of what happened on the territories under their control, for the most part. Here's but a small example of it: http://www.armchairgeneral.com/forum...&postcount=131

                      Saying the truth about German atrocities is no "Brezhnev enthusiasm". This issue has long been swept under the carpet in the West, due to Cold War and apologetic memories of German soldiers which became the sole source for East Front studies for Western historians and, therefore, those who read their books. The laissez-faire policies on crimes are probably hard to imagine for someone who's only aware of the German conduct in the West, and sometimes one is tempted to think they behaved the same way on the Eastern front, but this is clearly wrong.
                      www.histours.ru

                      Siege of Leningrad battlefield tour

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Half Pint John View Post
                        Either you or the OP has the dates mixed up.
                        The reason I mentioned it was that he noted I'd used a different period of 1941, while the march took place in 1945, and at the same time he referred to Stalingrad POWs of late 1942-early 1943, which is a different period as well.
                        www.histours.ru

                        Siege of Leningrad battlefield tour

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          The March

                          Originally posted by Heidi View Post
                          Allied POW must have been Air force officers and personal men,my memory is a shambles but a camp run by an air force takes POW of the same profession.
                          Officers and personal men POW,weren't they treated much better than ordinary enlisted men POW?
                          Why were these Air force Officers and personal men walked so long in harsh conditions,Germans knew they lost the war and never cared anymore?!
                          Yes.
                          Luft III POWs were all Air Crews….. South Compound was mostly RAF and some USAAF.

                          Hitler ordered all POWs to be moved away from the Russian advance, I do not know why Hitler (Hitler was not always rational) issued the order. It might be part of his retreat plan to leave nothing behind for the Russians, the scorched earth policy.


                          “Attack with aggression, but always have a plan of retreat”

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Stalag Luft III

                            Originally posted by Half Pint John View Post
                            That should read southeast.






                            While the loss rate maybe close to the same as with Bataan there are
                            many differences.

                            At this same time 10's of thousands of German POWs were being marched to camps in the Russian far east. Their death rate was much higher.

                            As Sherman said "War is hell"




                            That’s living in the southern hemisphere for you. My typo error.


                            “Attack with aggression, but always have a plan of retreat”

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by ShAA View Post
                              The reason I mentioned it was that he noted I'd used a different period of 1941, while the march took place in 1945, and at the same time he referred to Stalingrad POWs of late 1942-early 1943, which is a different period as well.
                              I'm not trying to make it seem that one side or the other treated thier pows worse than another. All the armys that took part in WWII behaved in less than honorable fashion at one time. Usually at a local level. The German treatment of Russian/Poles and other East European nation was from the top down, making it national policy.

                              You keyed on the word MARCHED. Of course they, the Germans or the masses of Russian pows did not march the whole way. But they also didn't move in Pullmans the whole route either.
                              "Ask not what your country can do for you"

                              Left wing, Right Wing same bird that they are killing.

                              you’re entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts.

                              Comment

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