Stalags 8B and 344
Sgt John 'Paddy' McMahon was a PoW at Stalag 8B and is the author of an excellent book about his experiences. The Gallery contains a range of images from this book and a link to details of the publisher.
This page is intended to give basic information about the camp. There are links to other detailed histories of Stalag 8B at at the end of this page.
Stalag 8B was located in Upper Silesia in a camp originally built (in 1862) to support a Prussian artillery range. It was used as a PoW camp for prisoners from the Franco-Prussian War and World War 1.
The map from the Lambinowice Museum showing the various locations. The "Britenlager" is circled in red.
The shape of the camp (above) can be matched to the area inside the red circle.
The camp received its first prisoner (a Polish Officer) on September 3rd 1939. Two days later a further 1,000 Polish prisoners arrived. In June 1940 there were a few RAF prisoners held here and their ranks were swollen by several thousand soldiers captured following the defeat of the BEF.
Just over 100 Bomber Command PoWs filtered in during the first quarter of 1942 but then, following the '1000 Bomber Raids', over 600 additional prisoners arrived.
This very "British" image disguises the unpleasant conditions endured by PoWs at Stalag 8B.
The issuing of Red Cross parcels at Stalag 8B
Following the influx of a large number of PoWs from Italy in 1943 the Germans decided to build an additional camp about 120kms to the south east. This new camp, located in Cieszyn (Teschen), was named Stalag 8B. The original Stalag 8B in Lamsdorf (Lambinowice) was renamed Stalag 344. Most of the RAF Pows remained in the renamed Stalag 344. A prisoner's records might appear to indicate that he had been in two different camps whereas, in actual fact, it was one camp with two names.
The main road through Stalag 8B as seen today
The following 49Sqn aircrew were PoWs here at some point during WW2:
The following two websites have an excellent range of resources describing these camps.