Culture Magazine

Badly Wounded Often Exchanged in World War Two

By Sfalcont

7th_Royal_Tank_Regiment_supporting_8th_Royal_Scots_28-06-1944

Churchill tank of 7th Royal Tank Regiment, 31st Tank Brigade, supporting infantry of 8th Royal Scots during Operation ‘Epsom’, 28 June 1944. (photo courtesy Imperial War Museum)

Excerpts from account of wounding and repatriation by Bill Williams of 50th Royal Tank Regiment from the BBC.

“At the end of the action (during which his tank was destroyed in an attack in Sicily July, 1943), I was collected by the German troops with one other survivor. They called, ‘Come, Tommy’… I could not raise my left arm and shouted ‘Wounded!’, which fortunately is similar to the German word and we were taken in to their lines.The soldiers were quite friendly… and took me to the dressing station where my wounds were treated….”

(Fast forward 18 months to January of 1945)

“I was sent to an assembly area for repatriation, where I found quite a lot of Americans and Commonwealth troops.. After a few days we were loaded on to a train which took us through Germany to the Swiss border…. When we reached the border, a train the other direction with German wounded crossed the border at the same time.

Our guards were taken off and replaced by Swiss nurses who looked after us until we reached Marseilles where a hospital ship was waiting to take us to England. We landed at Liverpool and trained to a hospital at Loch Neigh which was rather a gloomy old place but it was home!”

The entire piece is here.

www.bbc.co.uk/history/ww2peopleswar/stories/86/a2889886.shtml

Below is an account from a British Merchant Marine officer about his wartime voyage through German waters to Sweden.

1280px-Postcard_RMS_Arundel_Castle

SS Arundel Castle which sailed from time to time during World War Two from Liverpool with her British merchant crew through the Baltic to Sweden to embark badly wounded British soldiers.

It seems odd that in the middle of total war between the Allies and Nazi Germany, that such formalities as exchanging badly wounded prisoners-of-war were not only negotiated but carried out. British Merchant Marine officer Peter Guy, cited in Convoy: Merchant Sailors At War 1939-1945 by P. Kaplan and J. Currie , describes an exchange which occurred in the late December of 1944.

He was aboard the British merchant ship Arundel Castle and their destination was Goteborg, in neutral Sweden where the exchange would take place.

“We were granted safe passage, and it was a treat to have portholes open and lights showing. On Christmas Eve 1944, we lay off Gibraltar after embarking the Germans at Marseilles, and everyone who was able gathered on the deck to sing a grand selection of carols….Later we passed through a narrow channel in the Skaggerak into the Baltic, and we could see the faces of the German gunners looking down on us from their gun positions. They weren’t impressed when some of our crew gave the V-sign. Arriving at Goteborg, we were surprised to get a welcome from a German brass band playing on the quayside…The saddest part was when close on a hundred of our lads who had lost their sight were led up the gangway. The exchange was all over in about three hours and we sailed home to Liverpool.”

It is important to note that both Norway and Denmark were occupied by the Germans at this time so the German gunners he refers to are stationed in those countries.

Badly Wounded Often Exchanged in World War Two

+

Below is an account from a British Merchant Marine officer about his wartime voyage through German waters to Sweden.

1280px-Postcard_RMS_Arundel_Castle

SS Arundel Castle which sailed from time to time during World War Two from Liverpool with her British merchant crew through the Baltic to Sweden to embark badly wounded British soldiers.

[Images courtesy of Wikimedia and Wayne Ray & the Windfield Photographic Collection and Archives) 

posted by author and historian Charles McCain www.charlesmccain.com


You Might Also Like :

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog

These articles might interest you :

  • Gorgeous Video Fairytale Wedding Mykonos

    Today, we’re sharing with you a fairytale wedding video in Mykonos that you will love! Gaelle and Habib sealed their love in a wonderful outdoor venue... Read more

    10 hours, 42 minutes ago by   Eleni Balkouli
    LIFESTYLE, TRAVEL, WEDDING
  • Cameraless and Twitchy

    Cameraless Twitchy

    On the advice of my friend Cory, I've taken my camera to a professional for cleaning. (Who knew fungus could grow on lenses?) I'll be cameraless for about ten... Read more

    11 hours, 14 minutes ago by   Vickilane
    CREATIVITY, PHOTOGRAPHY
  • Boho Indian Styled Shoot on the Beach

    Boho Indian Styled Shoot Beach

    Today, we’re sharing with you a boho, Indian styled shoot by the beach, so if you’re a free spirit and a boho-lover you’re going to love this as much as we do! Read more

    12 hours, 14 minutes ago by   Eleni Balkouli
    LIFESTYLE, TRAVEL, WEDDING
  • Summertime Neurology Blues

    Summertime Neurology Blues

    We hit the road last week for another trek to see the neurologist. We usually enjoy these long rides up into the heart of Arkansas, but it seems we can’t... Read more

    15 hours, 20 minutes ago by   Livingwithss
    HEALTH
  • My New Boyfriend and Current Running Status

    Boyfriend Current Running Status

    Long time, no blogging. Well, still not running over here. Turns out the PT wants me to be able to do single leg squats on my "bad leg" for two minutes before... Read more

    The 19 June 2018 by   Brisdon
    ATHLETICS, FITNESS
  • Sedo Weekly Sales Led by SecureChain.com

    Sedo reported their weekly sales and SecureChain.com led the way at $30,000. OnlineCasino.mx was the number two sale at 19,600 Euros. ($22,715). 59 .com sales 1... Read more

    The 19 June 2018 by   Worldwide
    BUSINESS, TECH
  • Woodinville Straight Bourbon Review

    Woodinville Straight Bourbon Review

    Woodinville Straight Bourbon is made in Washington and the distillery is one of LVMH’s (Glenmo and Ardbeg) latest acquisitions. Read more

    The 19 June 2018 by   Josh Peters
    DRINK

Paperblog Hot Topics

Magazines