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A POW'S STORY

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Author(s): C.F. Aquadro

Journal: Scientia Militaria : South African Journal of Military Studies
ISSN 2224-0020

Volume: 19;
Issue: 3;
Date: 2012;
Original page

Keywords: 4th Brigade | Signallers Company | C.O. General Klopper of Tobruk surrendered to the Germans | U.M.R. | Infantry | German Panzer Units | Infantry of the 2nd SA Division

ABSTRACT
In the interest of authenticity, editing has been kept to a bare minimum. This narrative thusappears in virtually its original form, as written in secret, under difficult conditions. Terminologyis often in the vernacular. Details of regiments, titles and place names may also have beenchanged in the interim. Editor.I was serving with the 4th Brigade, Signallers Company, in No. 1 Platoon attached to the U.M.R., Infantry of the 2nd SA Division, Garrison of Tobruk since March, 1942, until the 18th June, 1942, when Rommel made his last main assault on Tobruk, and the same day we were besieged, besieged for three days. On the 21st of June, our C.O. General Klopper of Tobruk surrendered to the Germans unconditionally. That Sunday morning of the 21st of June, we were ordered to destroy all the equipment we had, which we did thoroughly. At about 9 p.m. German Panzer Units rushed upon us, where we were holding a line on the central perimeter, and from there I was taken prisoner. I had a small valice packed with a change of clothing and shaving outfit, the remainder of my possessions I burnt. We were all lined up in three's about one thousand of us with not many German guards with automatic guns, and in the blistering heat we were marched from the perimeter to the aerodrome a distance of six miles. On this aerodome about 25 000 prisoners were massed including officers, everybody mixed. The same day each prisoner was issued with 1 WB. of water, 1 tin of our bully and two biscuits for the day. It is terribly hot and we have no shelter at all. We slept there in the open that night. 

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