Welcome to the WWII Forums! Log in or Sign up to interact with the community.

Prisoners of War

Discussion in 'Hitler's Atlantic Wall' started by Jim, Sep 22, 2006.

  1. Jim

    Jim New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2006
    Messages:
    3,324
    Likes Received:
    13
    via War44
    Undoubtedly POW’s of various nationalities were also used to supplement the labour pool to work for the Organisation Todt, which was welcomed by some prisoners as they received extra rations. However, among the POW’s who were required to work some were very badly treated, whilst others survived because of their inner discipline. One such group were French colonial troops, Senegalese, Moroccan, Tunisian and Algerian - some whom had the advantage of receiving Red Cross parcels containing cigarettes, which put them very high up, if not at the top, of the bartering ladder. 'In Jersey', records Michael Ginns, “thanks to the tight discipline of the senior NCO Sergeant Mohamed Ben Mohamed, described as a "True soldier of France", all 115 of them survived to return to France in 1945.” These POW’s had worked on the docks and in fatigue parties in ammunition and fuel dumps, rather than actually building fortifications, and that probably holds good for most POW’s everywhere.

    French colonial troops, now POW's working for the Organisation Todt.

    [​IMG]

    The Germans were not averse to compelling local people to work on the Atlantic Wall, and Rommel advocated it in some cases. However, the Desert Fox was quick to point out that civilians worked better if they were paid promptly and in cash. This was not the case in the Netherlands, when Rotterdam and The Hague became a fortress area. In May 1944 a large number of the citizens of Rotterdam were forced to work at Hoek van Holland on the fortifications under the supervision of German soldiers. Thousands of people had been forced to move out of the densely inhabited coast zone and many of the buildings in the zone were deliberately wrecked. This caused great unrest, especially when rumours circulated that a 50km belt of fortifications was to be constructed in the coastal area. Fortunately this proved to be exaggerated, but the destruction and misery caused by the evacuations and the enforced labour were bad enough.
     
  2. Archie

    Archie New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2006
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    via War44
    It must have really been such a daunting time, being a POW....not knowing what fate lies before you.....never knowing to the next day wether you will be alive or not. :eek:
     
  3. Cabel1960

    Cabel1960 recruit

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2006
    Messages:
    449
    Likes Received:
    0
    via War44
    Knowing my luck, i would have more than likely been a POW.. :cry: It must have been very hard for these POW's being black knowing now what the Germans felt about them.
     

Share This Page