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Thread: WWII POW survival rates

  1. #1

    WWII POW survival rates

    Ran across these stats someone posted on a history forum:

    Russians held by Germans: 57.5%
    Germans held by Russians: 35.8%
    Americans held by Japanese: 33.0%
    Germans held by Eastern Europeans: 32.9%
    British held by Japanese: 24.8%
    British held by Germans: 3.5%
    Germans held by French: 2.58%
    Germans held by Americans: 0.15%
    Germans held by British: 0.03%
    I asked them if they would post the survival rate of American POWs held by the Germans. Will post if he reesponds.

  2. #2
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    Are those survival %s or death %s?

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Steel Shank View Post
    Are those survival %s or death %s?
    Sandwich making...

    Had the same query

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    What? .15%? Seriously? What's the backstory on that? Where did these stats come from?

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    Those are death rates. I'm not sure the validity if them, but the Brits fancy themselves as civilized and the Germans stopped feeding Slav prisoners when rations went low.
    Last edited by BaylorHistory; 01-31-2013 at 09:06 PM.

  6. #6
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    Those are death rates, taken from wikipedia:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prisone...r#World_War_II

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    Ahh... that makes more sense. Even Gitmo has better than a .15% survival rate.

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    Can't say for sure why the original paper doesn't have the reverse statistics (Americans in German POW), but I would assume the numbers would be fairly close to the British in German figures.

    Paper by Niall Ferguson


    I think the main takeaway here is that the Germans and Russians didn't much care for each other, and the Japanese didn't care much for anybody.
    Last edited by shigginz; 01-31-2013 at 09:11 PM.

  10. #10
    What were the death rates of Illinois Nazis in Chicago?

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by El Guapo View Post
    Ahh... that makes more sense. Even Gitmo has better than a .15% survival rate.
    The $#@! kind of bull$#@! is this. Danny Pearl says hello, along with a long line of others.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by FCHorn View Post
    What were the death rates of Illinois Nazis in Chicago?
    I hate Illinois Nazis.

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    I'm kinda curious how American POW's with German last names were treated by the Germans

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by shigginz View Post
    Those are death rates, taken from wikipedia:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prisone...r#World_War_II
    You are correct.

    Thread title fail on my part.

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    There are old German PoW camps all over Texas. When the Afrika Korps gave up, a ton of em were interned in Texas. They were allowed to roam free after work and not one attempted to escape. They were also accepted in the communities in which they were interned.

    A full 1/3 of the Americans in Europe were of German decent according to Steven Ambrose.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by HornsN04 View Post
    I hate Illinois Nazis.
    You have to kill them near bridges...

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by mini-baller View Post
    There are old German PoW camps all over Texas. When the Afrika Korps gave up, a ton of em were interned in Texas. They were allowed to roam free after work and not one attempted to escape. They were also accepted in the communities in which they were interned.

    A full 1/3 of the Americans in Europe were of German decent according to Steven Ambrose.
    That's because the largest ethnic group of American caucasians are German descendants....me included.

    Our English Anglo Saxon cousins are farther down the list:

    As we examine the "New America," it’s important to also remember that the ethnic make-up of the “Old America” still has a significant influence on the demography of the U.S.
    Amid the surge of Hispanics, the largest ethnic group in the U.S. is still German-Americans, with a population of 49.8 million, a jump of 6 million between 2000 and 2010. In fact, the number of Americans more than half of the nation’s 3,143 counties contain a plurality of people who describe themselves as German-American, according to analysis of census data by Bloomberg.
    Americans of German-descent top the list of U.S. ethnic groups, followed by Irish, 35.8 million; Mexican, 31.8 million; English, 27.4 million; and Italian, 17.6 million, analysis of Census and American Community Survey data shows.

  18. #18
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    Survival?



  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by mini-baller View Post
    There are old German PoW camps all over Texas. When the Afrika Korps gave up, a ton of em were interned in Texas. They were allowed to roam free after work and not one attempted to escape. They were also accepted in the communities in which they were interned.

    A full 1/3 of the Americans in Europe were of German decent according to Steven Ambrose.
    Where were they gonna escape to?

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Knight View Post
    Where were they gonna escape to?
    Oklahoma. A fate far worse than death?

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by mini-baller View Post
    There are old German PoW camps all over Texas. When the Afrika Korps gave up, a ton of em were interned in Texas. They were allowed to roam free after work and not one attempted to escape. They were also accepted in the communities in which they were interned.

    A full 1/3 of the Americans in Europe were of German decent according to Steven Ambrose.
    The German rocket scientists who were "captured" after the war were also initially taken to Texas bases. While technically not prisoners they were in effect prisoners. They weren't allowed to leave. Like you said, they could roam free after work. One Saturday one of the guys decided he was going to "escape". He went to Mexico, but at the end of the day, when the last bus going back was about to leave he decided he had no idea where he was going to go, so he just got on the bus and went back "home". Thirty years later, long after he was given the option to go back to Germany he was a retired NASA guy with twenty plus years in Huntsville, AL.

  22. #22
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  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by texanbychoice View Post
    Oklahoma. A fate far worse than death?
    There was an article in the Oklahoman a few months ago about one of the camps here in Ok and a former prisoner who came back to visit the site. .15 is just an insane number. Particularly when you compare it to USSR.

  24. #24
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    I have a book about German POW life in Texas. It was the first time they had food like fried chicken tortillas and cantaloupe. We had way better cigarettes than they were used to. The enormity of Texas impressed them.

    During the days they were rented out to farmers and ranchers who universally liked them for being polite and hard working. The only time they were in a POW camp was to sleep. The war had taken many texans into service and the Germans replaced them in the Texas agrarian economies.

    German soldiers were duty bound to escape. If taken prisoner they were under orders to escape and $#@! stuff up. They never did.

  25. #25
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    They were even allowed to date local girls.

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    One of the war stats which always stunned me was for Desert Shield/Desert Storm. The mortality rate for soldiers was much lower than the mortality of the same demographic in civilian life in the US. In other words it was much safer to be in the desert at war than in Los Angeles riding motorcycles, drinking and driving, and getting into knife fights over girls.

  27. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by TahoeHorn View Post
    One of the war stats which always stunned me was for Desert Shield/Desert Storm. The mortality rate for soldiers was much lower than the mortality of the same demographic in civilian life in the US. In other words it was much safer to be in the desert at war than in Los Angeles riding motorcycles, drinking and driving, and getting into knife fights over girls.
    Free health care

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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Knight View Post
    Free health care
    Excellent health, dumbass. 20 years olds that do 30 hrs of exercise a week are well ahead of the national average.

  29. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by MajorTexasFan View Post
    Fantastic.

  30. #30
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    African chicks are usually kinda thick, but in a good way.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mini-baller View Post
    They were even allowed to date local girls.
    Ain't s'posed to talk about some of them war babies that magically just appeared now, mini.

  32. #32
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    Flyboys by James Bradley (author of Flags of our Fathers) talks a bit about this issue. There's a section talking about the cultural differences between Japanese and Western culture and the resulting effect on mortality rates of POWs. IIRC, the mortality rate for American POWs held by Germans is slightly higher than the British one but not much. The chapter contrasts that to the super-high rate of mortality among Americans held by the Japanese.

  33. #33
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    I would much rather get shot down over Germany than Japan.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by mini-baller View Post
    I would much rather get shot down over Germany than Japan.
    I'm pretty sure that the central theme of the book was that, unless you were George HW Bush, you were quite likely to end up dead if you got shot down over Japan.

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    Bushido. If you allow yourself to be captured and/or surrender, that is an act of cowardice. The honorable thing would be to kill yourself first.

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    I saw something on TV the other night about an ME 109 that escorted a shot up B-17 back to the channel. The two pilots survived the war and became close friends later.

    http://www.waltsrchanger.com/html/b-...olde_pub_.html

  37. #37
    Quote Originally Posted by Armybrat View Post
    Ran across these stats someone posted on a history forum:



    I asked them if they would post the survival rate of American POWs held by the Germans. Will post if he reesponds.
    AB's personal experience was 100%, right?

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    Quote Originally Posted by mini-baller View Post
    I saw something on TV the other night about an ME 109 that escorted a shot up B-17 back to the channel. The two pilots survived the war and became close friends later.

    http://www.waltsrchanger.com/html/b-...olde_pub_.html
    What a freaking story...

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    A retired officer in the US army has apologized to the German army for the mass deaths of German prisoners in US army camps after World War Two. Following extensive private investigations in the US and Germany, Merrit P. Drucker (retired) has sent an e-mail to Lt. Col. Max Klaar, Bundeswehr (retired), head of the Verband der deutscher Soldaten (German Veterans’ Association), regretting the lethal conditions in the US camps where some 750,000 Germans died while they were denied available food and shelter.

    ...Other Losses, a world-wide best-seller published in 13 countries, has been suppressed in the US for over 20 years. The new edition is being published by Talonbooks of Vancouver, whose editor, Karl Siegler, is the son of a former prisoner in a US army camp. When his father told him what had happened to him in the US camp, Siegler said, “I don’t believe you.” He changed his mind after reading Other Losses.

    http://talonbooks.com/news/post-war-...reconciliation
    ArmyBrat ran across this post made in response to that assertion:

    Bacque's book was torn apart by just about every mainstream historian that specializes in WW2. Bacque is a novelist with no historical research background and virtually all of his claims and charges were dismissed.

    What no one denies is that in the first month or two after the war there was a lot of chaos and the German POW's were subjected to very poor treatment in all of the camps run by the Western Allies. However, there was nothing approaching a systemic plan to eliminate German prisoners. What is true is that Eisenhower grossly underestimated the numbers of prisoners, civilians, freed concentration camp survivors and civilian refugees that he was going to have to feed. All of Europe was essentially placed on rations for the first couple years after the war until the food situation stabilized.

    The German government itself places the total losses in Western Allied camps on the order of ~60k, or 1% of the total prisoners taken. Those same documents also detail the suffering at some of those camps and in particular the horrendous treatment by the French against the German prisoners. There is certainly room for an apology and discussion, but nothing rises to the level of what Bacque is claiming.

    Here are some of his factual mistakes and the counters to them:

    1. The book claims that there were a "Missing Million" based on the difference in two reports both issued on June 2, 1945. The problem is Bacque either ignored or failed to realize that these reports listed different numbers. The first report gave the total number of prisoners held by the US in the entirety of the ETO as 2,870,400. The second listed only US prisoners held in COMZ, a single area of the ETO, as being 1,836,000. This is where the "missing million" comes from, but Bacque ignored the fact that BOTH reports contain the total number of prisoners held in the ETO by all Allied nations as 3,193,747. There was never any "missing million" and the fact Bacque missed this information in the reports and what the reports themselves were talking about opens him up for a lot of speculation on the rest of his assertions.

    2. The "Other Losses" refers to a column in the weekly reports of the US Provost Marshal for the various sectors of the ETO. What Bacque failed to realize is that the reports denote EXACTLY what those losses were. Deaths among the prisoners were counted as deaths in the columns with the exact reasons given when known. The "Other Losses" column referred to movement of prisoners between zones and camps. In fact the numbers all corrobarate between the various camps and zones. One report will say 100k in "Other Losses" and the footnote will say 80k moved to Camp X and 20k moved to Camp Y. Well lo and behold, the numbers at Camp X and Camp Y increased by those amounts in their census. The numbers vary in those columns from zero to 189,000, the assertion that they were hidden deaths is ridiculous.

    Bacque also ignored the largest contributor to "Other Losses" as being the well documented release of Volksstrum especially young boys and old men too feable to fight. These men were often simply recorded and then sent home without any official discharge or process as they were no threat to the allied forces. This is simply one of the many examples of humane treatment by the US towards German prisoners.

    3. His assertions of large scale deaths in French custody are also highly speculative. While the total deaths are most likely higher than the official numbers, Bacque routinely ignores the facts of the French camps and the detailed records that were maintained by the French. In fact he sites a French "Other Losses" column again without reading the footnotes that detail that those included were released Volksstrum, women and the sick. He also ignores well documneted US efforts to provide food to the prisoners in the French camps who were on starvation rations, even in 1946.

    4. His entire premise is hinged on the belief that the "missing million" originated as soldiers who fled the Soviets, but that the Soviets had inflated the counts, so the western allies decided to dispatch with the difference. The problem is the Soviets took incredibly accurate records and there are no missing soldiers. Post war census' taken of POW's by the Germans themselves confirm the actual totals and match up very well with the numbers reported by the Soviets and western allies. Bacque even misquoted Adenauer and claimed he thought the missing numbers were in the west. What Adenauer said during a meeting discussing a TASS report was whether or not the "missing" POW's from the Soviet records might be accounted for in the western numbers. The answer given at the meeting was certainly not. The whole point of the meeting was to ascertain German POW's still in Soviet custody or who died in Soviet custody. This is yet another example of Bacque picking and choosing his facts and ignoring contrary evidence in his own sources.

    5. The camps in question were all contained along a very narrow stretch of 200km along the Rhine river. For the deaths to have occurred at the rate Bacque claims the Allies would have had to dispose of the bodies. Bacque claims this was done in buial details, not by burning. In order for that to be true there would be more than a corpse per every foot in the area where the camps were located. Yet, despite extensive post war development not a single mass grave has ever been uncovered in that area, let alone a body that wasn't known about. You can't just make a million bodies disappear, ask the Nazi's about that one.

    6. Bacque twisted many of the oral histories that he used as evidence of what he was asserting. Many of the people he "quoted" have since come out and stated that they said nothing of the sort.

    Overall, while there was certainly mistreatment and it is something worthy of discussion, exploration and perhaps even apology, the claims made by Bacque are utterly false. The official percentages of POW deaths are as follows:

    Russians held by Germans: 57.5%
    Germans held by Russians: 35.8%
    Americans held by Japanese: 33.0%
    Germans held by Eastern Europeans: 32.9%
    British held by Japanese: 24.8%
    British held by Germans: 3.5%
    Germans held by French: 2.58%
    Germans held by Americans: 0.15%
    Germans held by British: 0.03%

    As anyone can clearly see, the story of mistreatment of prisoners lies in the war between the Soviets and Germans against each other and the Japanese.

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by mini-baller View Post
    I saw something on TV the other night about an ME 109 that escorted a shot up B-17 back to the channel.
    Fascinating story. I found a lengthy interview with the German pilot. He flew all types of aircraft, including many captured allied planes. He was shot down six times.

    Now…I’ve read the story…(Franz’s cat walks over, meows). If you downed one more plane, you could be nominated for a Knights Cross. It was pretty much illegal not to shoot an enemy aircraft down was it not?

    Yeah, more or less. I didn’t do my job, I should have shot him down. If I wouldn’t have not seen a person I would have shot him down. I came from a…I was flying above, and uh...I figured out how to finish him off…I’d say I’d do it the normal way from the rear. And I came from the rear…and I was waited…waiting and gave the tail gunner a chance to lift the guns…the guns were hanging down, you know. And he never lifted the guns. And I came closer and closer…and at about 20 feet…and I saw him lying in there in his blood…so I couldn’t shoot. I flew up…next to his right side...and uh… the plane was bad, you know…much damage. I was surprised it flew even…I tried to get him to land…in Switzerland…because of the damage, I never saw so much… next to him, I flew for many minutes…until he got to the sea…and then I flew home…

    Why did you stay with him for so long?

    …Because I didn’t want anyone else to get him…

    Wow…

    Yeah…and it took him forty years to find me. In out Jagr magazine…we have this uh…this pilot magazine…(Franz pulls out a copy of a pilots magazine). He had an ad and…as looking for the pilot who let him go…now we meet every year. Charlie and I meet every year now. Right now I cannot fly I have an asthma you know…so I am not allowed to get insurance…because of the stupid air and air-conditioning in the airplane...it’s dangerous… you know…not too long ago a woman died in an airplane because of it.

    So, when you came back from the B-17, were you scared at all, that someone might find out that you didn’t -

    I didn’t tell anybody. No definitely not… I couldn’t tell anyone…I couldn’t…I’d be court-martialled. I shot, on the same day, I shot two B –17’s down, you know.


    http://109lair.hobbyvista.com/articl...er/stigler.htm
    It's interesting he gave them a chance to defend themselves:

    "I was waited…waiting and gave the tail gunner a chance to lift the guns.."

    Only 9 ace pilots received the Knight's Cross.
    Last edited by zzzz; 02-01-2013 at 12:41 AM.

  41. #41
    Banned mini-baller grows his own roses mini-baller grows his own roses mini-baller grows his own roses mini-baller grows his own roses mini-baller grows his own roses mini-baller grows his own roses mini-baller grows his own roses mini-baller grows his own roses mini-baller grows his own roses mini-baller grows his own roses mini-baller grows his own roses
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    The same TV show told the story of a dying american bomber going down and one of the crew bailing out got his parachute tangled in the bomb bay doors of the plane. The plane was slowly sinking to the ground dragging this poor dude with it. This absolutely horrified every American watching.

    Until a German pilot eased in behind the dying plane and used his guns to shoot the trapped American crewman. The entire American squadron held it's fire while he did this and later recalled being grateful to the German for what they saw as a mercy killing.

  42. #42
    Banned mini-baller grows his own roses mini-baller grows his own roses mini-baller grows his own roses mini-baller grows his own roses mini-baller grows his own roses mini-baller grows his own roses mini-baller grows his own roses mini-baller grows his own roses mini-baller grows his own roses mini-baller grows his own roses mini-baller grows his own roses
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    Quote Originally Posted by mini-baller View Post
    The same TV show told the story of a dying american bomber going down and one of the crew bailing out got his parachute tangled in the bomb bay doors of the plane. The plane was slowly sinking to the ground dragging this poor dude with it. This absolutely horrified every American watching.

    Until a German pilot eased in behind the dying plane and used his guns to shoot the trapped American crewman. The entire American squadron held it's fire while he did this and later recalled being grateful to the German for what they saw as a mercy killing.
    This story was more bizarre to me than the helpful 109 pilot. To hear the dudes that were there that day the whole dog fight came to a atop while the German moved in to perform the mercy killing and as soon as he peeled away the fight resumed. It's like the Americans and Germans worked together for a few minutes.

  43. #43
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    A plane drifting down would likely be away from the bulk of the action. They might have paused to see what he was doing.
    Last edited by zzzz; 02-01-2013 at 01:20 AM.

  44. #44
    The months after the war's end were crazy. US soldiers were deserting to cash in on the black market (Eisenhower had a deserter shot to make a point). Freed Polish Jews were killed by fellow Poles when they tried to reclaim their homes. Germany was performing tens of thousands of abortions (mind you, this had been an illegal and church proscribed procedure) after the Red Army finished its rape program. Bad stuff all around.

  45. #45
    asshat 4th and 5 is probably pretty witty. or good at photoshop. or porn. 4th and 5 is probably pretty witty. or good at photoshop. or porn. 4th and 5 is probably pretty witty. or good at photoshop. or porn. 4th and 5 is probably pretty witty. or good at photoshop. or porn. 4th and 5 is probably pretty witty. or good at photoshop. or porn. 4th and 5 is probably pretty witty. or good at photoshop. or porn. 4th and 5 is probably pretty witty. or good at photoshop. or porn. 4th and 5 is probably pretty witty. or good at photoshop. or porn. 4th and 5 is probably pretty witty. or good at photoshop. or porn. 4th and 5 is probably pretty witty. or good at photoshop. or porn. 4th and 5 is probably pretty witty. or good at photoshop. or porn. 4th and 5's Avatar
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    I'll bet the death rate of Chinese held by Japanese is higher than all the rest.

  46. #46
    Quote Originally Posted by zzzz View Post
    ArmyBrat ran across this post made in response to that assertion:
    That's where I saw it - on the C-D History forum.

    The book referenced in the OP got pretty well beat up.

  47. #47
    Those POW camps were all over the US. Even if you escaped how were you going to get back to Germany with the Atlantic Ocean in the way. I never knew there was a POW camp near Auburn until my grandmother was giving me directions to some place and said to turn at the POW camp. The WHAT??? I went out there and you could see the concrete formations from the buildings were still there...

  48. #48
    asshat TexEx09 can play the whole course with a 4 iron. At night. TexEx09 can play the whole course with a 4 iron. At night. TexEx09 can play the whole course with a 4 iron. At night. TexEx09 can play the whole course with a 4 iron. At night. TexEx09 can play the whole course with a 4 iron. At night. TexEx09 can play the whole course with a 4 iron. At night. TexEx09 can play the whole course with a 4 iron. At night. TexEx09 can play the whole course with a 4 iron. At night. TexEx09 can play the whole course with a 4 iron. At night. TexEx09 can play the whole course with a 4 iron. At night. TexEx09 can play the whole course with a 4 iron. At night. TexEx09's Avatar
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    Interesting tid bit I found on POW camps in the state of Texas.

    http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/o...articles/qug01

    Texas had approximately twice as many POW camps as any other state, first because of the available space, and second, curiously, because of the climate. In August 1943 there were already twelve main camps in Texas, and by June 1, 1944, there were thirty-three. At the end of the war Texas held 78,982 enemy prisoners, mainly Germans.
    However uncomfortable, the POW camps were sometimes considered too good for the captive Germans, and many a Texas community called its local camp the "Fritz Ritz."
    -This angers me



    German POWs worked on such projects as the Denison Dam reservoir and the construction of state roads; they also served as orderlies at Harmon General Hospital (now LeTourneau College in Longview

    Their greatest contribution, however, was to agriculture. From 1943, when the POWs arrived in large numbers, until the end of the war in 1945, the POWs in Texas picked peaches and citrus fruits, harvested rice, cut wood, baled hay, threshed grain, gathered pecans, and chopped records amounts of cotton.
    So this is how we did it before the mesicans...

  49. #49
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    Location of P.O.W. camp in Dallas:



    ...300 German prisoners-of-war, all non-commissioned officers and members of Rommel's "Afrika Korps," arrived in December 1944 to take up residence. The prisoners themselves were put to work constructing the 8-foot tall barbed wire fence that kept them from escaping. In the late afternoon, they were taken by bus to Fair Park where they worked for the Army Quartermaster Dept. in the Centennial Building, repairing tents and other equipment.

    To brighten the the interior of their living quarters, some of the Germans painted stenciled pictures of flowers and animals on the barracks walls (which were first painted white). Others tended gardens during their free time. Generally, it appears the men were well-treated and given whatever they wanted, within reason. In October 1945, several months after Germany's surrender the men were repatriated.

    http://www.watermelon-kid.com/places...e_ccc-camp.htm

  50. #50
    asshat TheCruiser Shaggy Gold Club TheCruiser Shaggy Gold Club TheCruiser Shaggy Gold Club TheCruiser Shaggy Gold Club TheCruiser Shaggy Gold Club TheCruiser Shaggy Gold Club TheCruiser Shaggy Gold Club TheCruiser Shaggy Gold Club TheCruiser Shaggy Gold Club TheCruiser Shaggy Gold Club TheCruiser Shaggy Gold Club TheCruiser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 4th and 5 View Post
    I'll bet the death rate of Chinese held by Japanese is higher than all the rest.
    The Men Behind the Sun say "Herro!"

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