Prisoners of Nazis

Accounts by American POWs in World War II

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About the Book

The Nazis called them Kriegsgefangen, a term that the prisoners of war shortened to “Kriegie.” The nickname hid the reality for the nearly seven million POWs who were placed in the German camps during World War II. These men consistently faced food shortages, medical needs were often ignored, barracks were barely heated, and personal hygiene was nearly impossible.
Conditions depended on the soldiers who controlled the camp. Regular army guards might withhold clothing and food, but generally did not physically abuse the prisoners. The SS troops administered beatings, torture and murders. In this work, 19 POWs provide a vivid and often poignant look at their treatment by the Germans. The soldiers range from those captured in the D-Day invasion to B-17 crew members shot down during bombing raids.

About the Author(s)

Harry Spiller served two tours in Vietnam with the Marine Corps. A retired professor of criminal justice and former sheriff of Williamson County, Illinois, he lives in Marion, Illinois.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by Harry Spiller
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 224
Bibliographic Info: photos, appendices, index
Copyright Date: 1998
pISBN: 978-0-7864-0348-6
eISBN: 978-1-4766-0593-7
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments     iv
Introduction     1

PART I: THE INVASION OF ITALY     5
Sergeant William C. Bradley     7
Corporal Harold W. Gattung     27
Private First Class John McLaughlin     34

PART II: THE INVASION OF FRANCE     43
Private First Class Adam L. Canupp     45
Private Lawrence E. Roberts     50
Private First Class Johnnie C. Womble     55
Tec/3 John M. Hancock     60

PART III: THE BATTLE OF THE BULGE     69
Corporal Walter B. Young, Jr.     71
Private Walter F. Gurley     77
Sergeant John P. Wilson     83

PART IV: BOMBING RAIDS OVER GERMANY     91
Technical Sergeant Gordon K. Butts     93
2nd Lieutenant Carl W. Remy     108
Sergeant Forest L. Wilmouth     122
Technical Sergeant Claude E. Harper     129

PART V: THE INVASION OF GERMANY     141
Lieutenant Paul H. Smith     143
Private First Class Phil Trapani     148
Private First Class Melvin W. Zerkel     155
Private First Class Arnold F. Franke     164
Corporal Donovan C. Evers     171

Appendix A: Approximate Locations of Prison Camps     179
Appendix B: German Regulations Concerning Prisoners of War     181
Index     213

Book Reviews & Awards

“a collection of oral histories of the POW experience in Europe…give[s] the reader a ‘tour’ through the horrors of captivity and trumpet the resilience of those who endured”—Military Review; “well-crafted literary mosaic…Spiller has orchestrated 19 highly qualified voices into a symphony which celebrates the triumph of the human spirit”—The Stars & Stripes; “a very good book with interesting stories. Two valuable appendices are included, one listing the names and locations of the camps which contained Americans and the other describing the German regulations concerning prisoners of war”—National Ex-Prisoner of War Association.