Stalag Luft 1 (L1)

Barth
 

This page is intended to give basic information about the camp. There are links to much more detailed accounts at the end of the page.

 

Created using 'Google' maps
 

The location of Stalag Luft 1 (1.5km NE of Barth)
 


 

At the beginning of 1940, 21 officers arrived at Barth from directly from Dulag Luft. This was closely followed by other officers and NCOs from other camps. Towards the middle of March 1942 'officer volunteers' were required to be moved from Barth to Stalag Luft 3 (Sagan).
Additional NCOs were also moved to Sagan in July 1942 to make more room at Barth for officers.
 


 

At the end of October 1943 most of the now 1200 NCOs at Barth were taken to Stalag Luft 6 (Heydekrug) although 50 elected to stay behind as officers' batmen (!)
From December 1943 the camp was greatly expanded mostly to accommodate a large number of American PoWs.
From April 1944 conditions in the camp deteriorated significantly and no Red Cross parcels were issued to PoWs who were in "the cooler".
In February 1945 a Red Cross visit noted that there were 8,346 Pows in the camp (7202 Americans and 1144 'British').
 

A painting by Col Charles Ross Greening USAF

 

New arrivals entering Main Gate at Stalag Luft One, Barth. A painting by Col Charles Ross Greening USAF.

In April 1945 when it became obvious that the camp would be overrun by the Soviet Army the senior Allied Officers drew up a defence plan. The plan required the seizure of the camp itself and the capture of the Barth airfield.

 

The camp Kommandant had received a message that the PoWs were to be put on 24hr standby to move to a new location in the Hamburg area. It was decided by the PoWs that they would refuse to obey this order. However, the German Kommandant realised that "the end was near" and, during the cover of darkness, all guards were withdrawn.
 


 

Following the arrival of the Russians on the 2nd May 1945 the liberated prisoners set about clearing the airfield in preparation for their repatriation.
By the 13th May 1945 all PoWs had left in fleets of B-17s
 


 

This plaque is dedicated by the citizens of Barth and the Royal Air Force ex-Prisoners of War Association on 28 September 1996 to commemorate all those held prisoner at Stalag Luft I from July 1940 to May 1945.
 


 

Translation:
This plaque is dedicated by the citizens of Barth and the Royal Airforce Association of Former Prisoners of War on 28 SEP 96 to commerate all those held as prisoners in Stalag Luft 1 located here between July 1940 and May 1945; captives were from Great Britian, the United States, their allies from the occupied countries and the Soviet Union. 
Nothing has been forgotten.
 

The following 49Sqn aircrew were PoWs here at some point during WW2:
 

Arnold J F
Attwood G G
Baird W J
Bradfield L F
Branigan W E
Bryceson A L
Butcher C H
Cartwright R
Cole H J E
Corry K C
Dunphy D C
Eastwood R I
Evans W L
Farrow K N
Fisher H E
Goodall J J
Green C T
Green J H
Haskins J D
Hawkes T R H
Heyworth W P
Hills D J
Hitchins S J
Homard L W
Jerrard H D
Kay D C
Kemp W
Lindesay F H
Marshall A
McInnes A G
Mitchell B A
Mundy J D
O'Leary W K
Phillips F
Pope E
Reavell-Carter L
Saunders L W
Scarfe M E
Silverston J V
Singleton E J
Stretton M G P
Teager J E W
Torpey E B
Turnbull L C
Turner J W
Velasco P D
Watson L E
Weir C T
Wood R A
Young D
 

The following website gives more information:
 

The Merkki website has a wonderful collection of photographs, videos and personal recollections of Stalag Luft 1.....the linked website opens in a new window.