Stalag Luft 4 (L4)
Gross Tychow (Tychowo), Poland
Gross Tychow is now located in Poland but is similarily called Tychowo
The pattern of roads is virtually unchanged and the camp's location can easily be indentified on a modern satellite image
The begining of the camp:
In the summer of 1944 the advance of the Red Army forced the evacuation of Stalag Luft 6 (Heydekrug) and following the closure of the temporary Stalag Luft 6 at St Wendel most prisoners were moved to the new Stalag Luft 4 at Gross Tychow.
Stalag Luft 4 was a bad camp by any standards with brutal treatment of the PoWs. During a visit to the camp by the IRCC in October 1944 it was noted that the huts were only partially finished. The winter of 1944 was especially cold and the prisoners were forced to burn anything they could find (even the wooden furniture) in an attempt to keep warm.
On February 6th 1945 the PoWs received news that most were to be evacuated (on foot) to one of several camps in the Fallingbostel area (north of Hannover) and the remainder to Stalag Luft 1. This evacuation became known as the "Black March".
There is some uncertainty about the time taken but, after seven weeks of walking in terrible conditions many PoWs reached Ebstorf and were then taken, by train, to their final destinations.
Although Stalag Luft 4 had only been in existence for seven months (July 1944 - February 1945) the brutal treatment of PoWs generated more hatred of their captors than at any other camp. In the end, nobody was held accountable for their mistreatment.
The site of Stalag Luft 4 today
The memorial at the site of Stalag Luft 4
The following 49Sqn aircrew were PoWs here at some point during WW2
The following websites give more information
(each website opens in a new window)