|Stalag VII A: Oral history|
|Leonard H. Tunnell||
Five Campaigns and Escape from Stalag Moosburg
I served in five campaigns in Europe, World War II. In the Buzz Bomb Blitz, at Normandy, Battle of the Bulge, Rhineland, and Central Europe. I experienced about everything war had to offer.
Fifteen divisions under General Modell with General von Rundstedt as Commander in Chief violently attacked the Ardennes Bulge near Bastogne on December 16, 1944. They drove the US 1st Army out of Germany. I was with General Omar N. Bradley's 1st Army under General George Hodge back in Normandy. Then General Bernard "Monty" Montgomery took command Of the US 1st and 9th Armies, and Bristish 2nd Army, and Canadian 1st Army at the Battle of the Bulge. I served with General George S. Patton and General Mark Simpson,Ninth US Army, at the Rhineland and Central Europe after the Moosburg ordeal and escape.
In that interim of time, I was in the Moosburg Stalag V II A mainly during the late 1944 and early months of 1945.
I recall the long barracks. The one I was in was adjacent to the wired enclosure that had the machine gun guards upon stilted platforms. The enclosure was for the prisoners to walk around in it for exercise with the threat of being cut down by machine gun fire.
That time period the skies were cloudy all day and no sunshine seldom came through to brighten it up and it was kind of dicouraging to all. It was a cold dismal environment at Moosburg for all.
The Moosburg personnel were very unfriendly to all the nationalities confined in that facility. They used all kinds of morale destroyers on the imprisoned personnel. Anything, to make unhappy and unwelcomed guests, was their goal in that unfriendly era of the world.
The food was not the greatest with lots of rutabaga. Many times, no food at all. I lost a lot of weight. I was skin and bones.
There wasn't any such thing as mercy or anything of good, just get as tough as possible beyond all imagination. I remember a pretty fraulein who came into the barracks and did duty chores. She was a pretty young beauty. The only good thing there at that place in that timeframe. Even with her, I wouldn't want to ever go through that experience again.
My comrades, including myself, planned and staged an escape from that barrack confinement that was executed on March 3, 1945. Anything was to be better than remain in confinement. I even participated in the Battle of the Rhineland and the Battles of Central Europe after Moosburg.
At the Rhine river I met General Monty Montgomery and Prime Minister Winston Churchill.
Then the US Army came and liberated those many still remaining from their confinement in 1945. They included Russians, British, Canadians, and even some Germans who were in the walls of wires. Soon the war was over, thank God!
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