Discussion in 'All Anniversaries' started by canuck, Aug 17, 2017.
Gets me every time:
Sergeant Albert Willis, a prisoner, displays his manacled hands for the camera, in a clandestine photograph taken by William Lawrence to document evidence of German mistreatment of prisoners in the camp. The hands of prisoners at Stalag VIIIB were bound every day from morning parade until the evening parade for a period of 14 months as a German reprisal for alleged Allied mistreatment of German prisoners during the Canadian raid on Dieppe. Initially cord was used, until sufficient handcuffs were supplied.
STALAG VIIIB (LAMSDORF) 1943
Clandestine photographer- W/O W.Lawrence
I've read...Not that its mitigation but it was widely reported the boys had a work around in place pretty early on...
Yes, I've read that as well and found the quote, "someone soon made a key and then many more and the handcuffs went on and off as we pleased"
It is recorded how the Canadian POWs first dealt with the daily cuffing.
Apparently with the clandestine manufactured handcuff key,Canadian POWs were able to present themselves to the Germans for cuffing ...then hands being released out of sight from the guards, the POWs again presented themselves for cuffing....a game of musical chairs as might be said as they wasted the guards' time with a continuous requirement for cuffing.
With the Dieppe anniversary passed,I noticed a memoriam in the DT from comrades of the fallen and of "Tigger" Lieut Colonel Joseph Picton - Phillips,the C.O of Royal Marines, A Commando who was killed on the day.
Looking at Picton Phillips's involvement in the raid from John Mellor's account....an extended extract.
Aboard Calpe,Commander Ryder,VC,reported to Hughes-Hallett that the Royal Marine Commandos had been unable to enter the harbour of Dieppe to capture the enemy landing barges believed to be moored there.The tremendous barrage of shells from the East Headland had formed an impenetrable barrier off the harbour mouth.They could not sail through it without being slaughtered.
In turn,Hughes-Hallett offered the Royal Marine contingent to General J "Ham" Roberts.It must be remembered that communications between ship and shore were practically non existent but General Roberts was led to believe that the Essex Scottish had broken through on Red Beach and were occupying the buildings along the sea front.To aid them in their task,he had just ordered the Fusiliers de Mont Royal to land on Red Beach and assist the Essex Scottish.He had also been led to believe that the Royal Hamilton Light Infantry had broken through the Casino and were funnelling into the town.He therefore took what he honestly believed to be the right decision and committed the Royal Marine floating reserve into White Beach to assist the R.H.L.I.
With the reserves thrown on both beaches and a breakthrough which already had been accomplished,the Canadians could now deliver a knock out blow-capture the town,destroy essential installations and leave before 1100.Roberts was not aware of the catastrophe on both Red and White beaches,which were shrouded from his view by clouds of smoke.Nor was he aware that the F.M.R. had been decimated after landing on the wrong beaches.
"Tigger" Phillipps formed up his Royal Marine,A Commando group some 5 miles offshore,then headed directly into White Beach.Almost immediately they came under heavy fire of German batteries,which surrounded them with huge fountains of water as the heavy calibre burst among them.One boat was blown to pieces while still two miles from the beach.Another boat was sunk shortly afterwards.At a distance of 400 yards from the beach,only seven boats were left from the ten that started the run in.
As they emerged from the smoke screen that lay off shore,the Royal Marines were shocked and dismayed to see the destruction and carnage on all sides.Blazing tank landing craft and tanks were dotted along the shore.Shells landed on all sides.The deafening thunder and chatter of enemy guns against the inferno of fire and destruction told them the whole story.Too late they realised that there were sailing into a deadly trap.The enemy fire had increased enormously since the first touchdown,and now no boat could possibly land its troops on that terrible beach.
As the enemy turned its fire power against the new threat from the sea,Phillips calmly donned a pair of white gloves so that his signals could plainly be seen by his remaining boats.Standing to his full height,he turned his back to the enemy and raised his arms above his head to halt the advance.At the same time he shouted,Go back! For God's sake go back! His warning came almost too wait.Scores of mortar shells landed among the remaining seven boats.Two were sunk immediately,but the other five boats turned,wounded but still afloat.Enemy machine gun fire cut down this gallant a few seconds after he stood up to warn his men to go back.
The Royal Marines who did manage to land were cut to pieces in the surf.Only a handful reached the shelter of a burnt out tank and under the command of Lt Smale R.M,they engaged the enemy with Bren guns in a brave but futile act of defiance as they awaited the end.One of the boats that had turned about after Phillips' warning returned once more to the scene of carnage to pick up the survivors.Under the command of Captain R.R Deveraux,R.M, they dragged the Royal Marines abroad before they fell to enemy sharp shooters.
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