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 Stalags XI B and 357

On the afternoon of Monday 16 Apr 1945, the recce group of 8th Hussars, 7th Armoured Division, commanded by Captain Pierson liberated the two camps. The Germans, apart from leaving a few snipers had withdrawn from the town.
On arrival at Stalag XIB, shortly after liberating Stalag 357, it was noted that; "Despite the enthusiam of the men inside you could see at a glance that there was order and discipline. The remarkable RSM Lord, Grenadier Guards, of the 1st Airborne Division had already taken charge and was busily engaged in his office giving peace-time orders to his Orderly Warrant Officers". It was also stated; "For these men didn't look like prisoners; their battle dresses were pressed and clean, here and there web belts and gaiters were scrubbed white and the brasses gleaming".
The total freed from Stalags XIB and 357 was some 10,000 British and American prisoners, and 12,000 Allied nationals. After liberation, as was often the case, there were ugly incidents in which freed Soviet prisoners and forced labourers began to pillage the surrounding countryside. A number of barrack blocks were burnt down and a luxurious officers' mess destroyed. RSM Lord contained these incidents by deploying patrols and providing guards for the farms and many local people owe their lives to his action. Nine days after liberation, the last group of ex-prisoners, with RSM Lord among them, left Stalag XIB forever.
 
RUSSELL, J. (9 Jun 1994) No Triumphant Procession: Forgotten Battles of April 1945, Weidenfeld Military: London
 

 




The POW Camp
 
The following six pictures The following 6 pictures were taken on the site of Stalag XIB, 1960. 
Left- One of the many hut foundations. Right - A washroom with part of a trough.
Courtesy of Mr John O'Meara
 
Left - Steps up into the now demolished hut. Right - "The Honey Pot" Cess pit of one of the huts.
Courtesy of Mr John O'Meara
 

Left - Washing troughs. Right - Another hut base.
Courtesy of Mr John O'Meara


The wall foundations can just been seen in what is now an overgrown wood.


Same as above.


Erected in 2005 by 2 Bn REME to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Stalag XIB. What was funny was that barbed wire was not to be used on top of the gates for health and safety reasons. If only the Germans had thought the same....