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

Stalag III-B Story

Discussion in 'History of America during World War II' started by Jim, Sep 12, 2010.

  1. Jim

    Jim New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2006
    Messages:
    3,324
    Likes Received:
    11
    via War44
    Platoon sergeant James W. Collins was one of five thousand Americans in Stalag III-B, a prisoner-of-war camp near Frankfurt, in western Germany. Collins had been regarded as one of the fiercest fighters in his outfit when he was taken by surprise and captured by the Germans in Tunisia, North Africa, in the spring of 1943.
    Unlike most young American draftees, Collins had found the strict, often harsh discipline and regimentation of army life to be easy. The sergeant had grown up in the hills of rural Kentucky, one of thirteen children in a family that had to scramble almost constantly just to exist. For many months, the German colonel commanding the POW command had been frustrated. He could never figure out the “crazy Americans” and had regularly employed subtle and not-so-subtle tactics to cow the prisoners, to crush their spirits and pulverize their morale. But he had failed.

    Stalag III-B

    [​IMG]

    One reason the Americans morale had remained relatively high was that they had established a unique intelligence system that kept them informed on the progress of the war and also about schemes to be utilised against the POWs by the German commandant. The key component of the camp’s intelligence apparatus was an anti-Hitler guard, an elderly man who risked his life almost daily to pass along tidbits. Now, in October 1944, the mole told the Americans that Allied armies were pushing up against the western frontier of the Reich. He added that the German Army was preparing to do something peculiar to stem the Allied tide in the West. Sergeant Collins recalled much later: “Our Kraut, as we called him with a degree of affection, informed us that German officers would soon enter our barracks and demand that we give them our uniforms. We stayed awake most of the night conjecturing about the means of such an extraordinary action.” As was forecast, a Nazi officer entered Collins’s barracks two days later and ordered the Americans to remove their uniforms and deposit them in a pile in the center of the floor. Non-commissioned officer’s stripes and any unit insignia were to be left intact. This clothing would be used for an American infantry unit that had just been captured and did not have uniforms, it was explained.
    “What a crock,” Collins whispered to a comrade. “I guess our generals are sending our guys into battle these days stark naked!” The German officer said that he would go to another barracks, then return in an hour to pick up the uniforms. When the German came back, the uniforms had been placed as ordered. But each POW had taken a razor and slashed his garments to ribbons. Red-faced with anger, the German stared at the stack of mutilated garments, then he spun around and barged out of the barracks. Collins and his comrades broke out in wide smiles and launched a blizzard of mock Nazi salutes and “Heil, Hitler!” calls. Only much later would the POWs learn that Adolf Hitler had ordered the collection of one thousand U.S. army uniforms from various camps in the Third Reich. These garments would play a key role in an ingenious scheme hatched by the Führer to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat on the Western Front.
     
  2. worldwar

    worldwar New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2012
    Messages:
    51
    Likes Received:
    0
    via War44
    Stalag III-A

    Stalag III-A was a German World War II prisoner-of-war camp at Luckenwalde, Brandenburg, 52 kilometres (32 mi) south of Berlin. Mostly Used from 1939-1945.

    stalagHIIIA.jpg
     
  3. SuzyAshmore

    SuzyAshmore New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2013
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    via War44
    My father, Harold Lloyd Reynolds, was also a prisoner at Stalag III-B

    He was also captured in Tunisia in the Spring of 1943. He was in an infantry division but I don't know which one. Could these 2 have possibly known each other or been captured together, or maybe were even in the same unit. I have been searching the internet to find more information about Stalag III-B but there isn't much out there. Any info would be appreciated
     
  4. bartek76

    bartek76 New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2015
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    1
    via War44
    Kazimierz Fanciszek Migala

    My grand father was captures and held at Stalag IIIB on two separate occasions. He was part of the Polish army and captured somewhere around Lviv which is now in the Ukraine.

    I have his note book and some photos of him and other prisoners which I suspect are most Polish.

    Happy to share and receive any information from others on the forum.
     
    Richard Keabler II likes this.
  5. PearlHarbor

    PearlHarbor New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2015
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    1
    via War44
    Pearl Harbor Attack WW2


    William R. Lefabvre, Sr., 92 longtime resident of Merrimack died Sunday Oct. 14, 2012 at St. Joseph Hospital in Nashua, NH after a period of declining health.

    He was born in Manchester, NH on July 27, 1920 a son of the late William J. and Arlene (Brown) Lefabvre.

    Bill attended Straw elementary School, and graduated in 1940 from Manchester Central High School. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy on Aug. 30 1940.

    Mr. Lefabvre was one of only a few survivors of the attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941. He was on the USS West Virginia BB48, which was sunk on that day. Three days later he was transferred to the U.S.S San Francisco CA38 for the duration of W.W. II. He was involved with 17 of the major battles of the Asiatic Pacific Theater. From his service during WWII, he was recipient of Presidential Unit Citation 1 Bronze Star, WWII Victory Medal, American Defense Medal with 1 Bronze Star, American Theatre Medal, Asiatic-Pacific Theatre Medal 17 Stars, Philippines Liberation Medal 1 Bronze Star, Navy Occupation Service Medal with Asia clasp, Pearl Harbor Commemorative Medal, and also was the Chairman of State of NH Pearl Harbor Survivor Assoc Chapter 1. Mr. Lefabvre also served in the Korean War on the USS Roan (DD853) and received the following metals, the Korean War and the China Service Medal.
    www.pearlharboroahu.org
     
    Richard Keabler II likes this.
  6. PearlHarbor

    PearlHarbor New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2015
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    1
    via War44
    Pearl Habor Attack | USS Arizona Memorial


    William R. Lefabvre, Sr., 92 longtime resident of Merrimack died Sunday Oct. 14, 2012 at St. Joseph Hospital in Nashua, NH after a period of declining health.

    He was born in Manchester, NH on July 27, 1920 a son of the late William J. and Arlene (Brown) Lefabvre.

    Bill attended Straw elementary School, and graduated in 1940 from Manchester Central High School. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy on Aug. 30 1940.

    Mr. Lefabvre was one of only a few survivors of the attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941. He was on the USS West Virginia BB48, which was sunk on that day. Three days later he was transferred to the U.S.S San Francisco CA38 for the duration of W.W. II. He was involved with 17 of the major battles of the Asiatic Pacific Theater. From his service during WWII, he was recipient of Presidential Unit Citation 1 Bronze Star, WWII Victory Medal, American Defense Medal with 1 Bronze Star, American Theatre Medal, Asiatic-Pacific Theatre Medal 17 Stars, Philippines Liberation Medal 1 Bronze Star, Navy Occupation Service Medal with Asia clasp, Pearl Harbor Commemorative Medal, and also was the Chairman of State of NH Pearl Harbor Survivor Assoc Chapter 1. Mr. Lefabvre also served in the Korean War on the USS Roan (DD853) and received the following metals, the Korean War and the China Service Medal.

    www.pearlharboroahu.org

    http://www.pearlharboroahu.org
     
  7. Richard Keabler II

    Richard Keabler II New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2020
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    My Father now deceased was a POW in Stalag III B from 1942 to 1945. He and my mother were living in Kentucky at the time he was shipped out. My Dad was 1st Armored Division and was captured at Kasserine Pass. I have some post cards he sent to my Grandfather and I will post them at a later date. My brother, sister and I still live in Kentucky. I am retired Air Force as well as my wife. Richard Keabler II
     
  8. TD-Tommy776

    TD-Tommy776 Man of Constant Sorrow

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2011
    Messages:
    7,053
    Likes Received:
    1,169
    Location:
    The Land of 10,000 Loons
    Welcome, Richard. I look forward to your future posts. On behalf of your father, please accept my thanks for his service during WWII and the Korean War. I found your father's NARA POW record which indicates he served in the 81st Armored Reconnaissance Battalion of the 1st Armored Division. There are couple of documents on CARL (Combined Arms Research Library) regarding the 81st Armored Recon Bn that you can download if you are interested. One is a Calvary School booklet on the 81st in Tunisia that is titled Cavalry Reconnaissance Number Two, Operations of the 81st Armored Reconnaissance Battalion in Tunisia. The other document is the After Action Report of the 81st Armored Recon Bn which covers Tunisia to the end of the War ( 31 Jan 1943 to 30 Apr 1945). The AAR is an official report and, as is often the case, the quality is not great in some parts. However, most is still readable.
     
    Richard Keabler II likes this.
  9. Richard Keabler II

    Richard Keabler II New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2020
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    TD-Tommy776, Thank you for your reply I have already down loaded the info on my Dad's unit. I was very happy to read it and print the relevant pages. I also had a few questions like how to post pictures and how to change the login picture etc. I figured there must be a page to change it but have been unable to locate same. Thanks in advance for any help...
     
  10. Richard Keabler II

    Richard Keabler II New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2020
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
     
  11. Richard Keabler II

    Richard Keabler II New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2020
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    Where was your father stationed when he was shipped out? If you know that then you can search the internet for that Post and what units were stationed there at that time.
     
  12. Richard Keabler II

    Richard Keabler II New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2020
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    Where was your father stationed when he was shipped out? If you know that then you can search the internet for that Post and what units were stationed there at that time.
     

Share This Page