Based largely on a POW diary, this book sheds fresh light on the conditions facing POWs in Poland as the Nazi State collapsed. This is a most interesting account of the conditions in POW camps and the forced marches in difficult conditions. – Very Highly Recommended
NAME: Stalag XXA, and the Enforced March From Poland FILE: R3330 AUTHOR: Stephen Wynn PUBLISHER: Pen and Sword BINDING: hard back PRICE: £19.99 GENRE: Non Fiction SUBJECT: World War II, World War 2, Second World War, WWII, Occupied Europe, Poland, Odessa, forced march, POW, collapse of Nazi Germany, British Army, diary ISBN: 1-52675-446-0 PAGES: 157, 16 page b&w photo plate section IMAGE: B3330.jpg BUYNOW: tinyurl.com/3rvu272s LINKS: DESCRIPTION: Based largely on a POW diary, this book sheds fresh light on the conditions facing POWs in Poland as the Nazi State collapsed. This is a most interesting account of the conditions in POW camps and the forced marches in difficult conditions. – Very Highly Recommended
The histories of WWII include many books on the POWs held by the Germans and the difficult conditions under which they lived and sought to escape. Many of these accounts are ‘Boys Own’ stories of how POWs, notably British POWs, fought a running battle with their guards by attempting numerous escapes that ranged for one or two opportunist escapees ‘having a go’ with little chance of success, to major escape attempts of large numbers of prisoners after a lengthy period of preparation, digging tunnels, gathering intelligence and assembling sophisticated escape kits of clothes, money, food and papers.
In most escape books about escapes from German camps, the impression is often of relatively small hutted camps or high risk prisoners in castles, where the whole camp appeared to be engaged actively in beating the Germans. That can give the impression of relatively few POWs in German hands. The reality was often very different. Huge numbers of POWs were held by both the Axis countries and the Allies. The blockade of Germany in particular meant that food and medicines were often in very short supplies in Germany and even shorter in POW camps. In these poor conditions, prisoners were often in large complexes of camps in Poland and the author has painted a very clear picture of this and of the conditions.
There are fewer books that cover the situation as German resistance to the Allies was collapsing and how the Germans responded to the threat from the Red Army. POWs were formed into lines and force marched away from the advancing Soviets. This book provides a fascinating set of insights of how Stalag XXA prisoners were marched through harsh winter conditions and made it to the Russian port of Odessa to be taken off by the ‘Duchess of Richmond’ to be sailed home to freedom.