Lampedusa

Discussion in 'North Africa & the Med' started by Uncle Target, Sep 10, 2021.

  1. MarkN

    MarkN Well-Known Member

    I don't propose anybody spend time researching traces of this chap on Ustica unless something turns up that specifically points in that direction.

    The reason I originally mentionned Ustica in this thread was not to suggest that was where he ended up, but to highlight that the experiences he retold were more than likely accurate even if it transpires the location was wrong. I chose to use Ustica as an example because the Yugoslav angle which interested me pushed it to the front of the queue.

    Despite some of the information seeming to align, at best, Ustica is just one of several on a list of possible locations if Lampedusa is discounted.

    That having been said, the 'Ustica example' also highlights some of the difficulties in researching for this sort of information. For example, Ustica is not listed as having a POW camp, and yet (Yugoslav) POWs were held there having been designated as 'internal' prisoners. Are there other places that held POWs on a semi-permanent bases which are not listed on a POW camp database? Moreover, the official documentation now extant or reproduced in literature seems to be of less help than the individual account of a camp survivor. It is from the latter that we learn of captured Americans, sanitary conditions, camp conditions and deaths etc.
     
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  2. vitellino

    vitellino Senior Member

    I haven't found any so far.

    Vitellino

    Edited to say:

    Perhaps we should start a new thread on Yugoslav prisoners of war.
    On this topic, and the International Red Cross information on the nationality of prisoners, I have added a table to my website.
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2021
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  3. JimHerriot

    JimHerriot Ready for Anything

    Link below contains wartime photo of the Freya installation (the primary target of the aborted Operation Buttercup) on Albero Sole, plus a few words on a German veteran (Andreas Sander) who served there (photo and text around half way down the page so a little scrolling required, and google translate should give the option of viewing the page in English if required)

    Kind regards, always,

    Jim.

    Die drei Leben des Hans - Karl von Willsen- funkstunde.com
     
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  4. MarkN

    MarkN Well-Known Member

    I doubt there are many, if any, who share my interest in that aspect. But if you wish to create one, then I may have something to contribute.

    As regards, camps designated, organized, run and now historically listed as camps for 'internals' but also having 'foreign' prisoners of war, I've come across a good few while reading around the Yugoslav aspect. Whether that applies also to non-Yugoslav prisoners too, I cannot say. It might be peculiar to the Yugoslav because of the way Italy viewed its occupation of part of Yugoslavia.
     
  5. vitellino

    vitellino Senior Member

    I'm too busy at the moment but will think about it later this year.

    I've found out a fair bit about the Yugoslavs over the years but would need to get this information together.
     
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  6. JimHerriot

    JimHerriot Ready for Anything


    "Perhaps we should start a new thread on Yugoslav prisoners of war."

    Well dear Janet, in my moments of insomnia, why not?

    I've stayed away from this for too long, so I'll get the ball rolling.

    Please see;

    Yugoslav prisoners of war

    Kind regards, always,

    Jim.
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2021
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  7. vitellino

    vitellino Senior Member

    Here's Nino's reply. I arrived at him this morning through the website of Lampedusa Archives - he's the Archivist.

    Unfortunately I have no information regarding the presence of British prisoners of war on Lampedusa during the Second World War. The whole thing seems to me unlikely, as had there been a tented camp housing 500 prisoners of war it would have been mentioned by journalists writing at the time. Perhaps he was referrng to Pantelleria and not to Lampedusa.

    Best wishes,

    Antonino Taranto


    Will have a look at Pantelleria but Ustica is now looking a strong possibilty.
     
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  8. JimHerriot

    JimHerriot Ready for Anything

    Top job Janet, thanks for chasing it down, very much appreciated.

    Kind regards, always,

    Jim.
     
  9. vitellino

    vitellino Senior Member

    Thanks JIm.
    I've just checked on Pantelleria. About 700 political prisoners were being held there in 1927 and in addition there were some common exiles who were employed in the island's economy. Nothing about POWs, though Wikipedia states that there were still some political prisoners beng held there between 1940-43.
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2021
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  10. vitellino

    vitellino Senior Member

    Well, I wrote that in good faith.

    I wonder if the camp with the 500 men suffering from dysentery might have been the Italian camp he eventually reached, PG 66.

    Edited to say:

    I have had a look at what happened to other RA men captured the day after. They were all taken to Sicily to PG 98 ( WO 417/61 and WO 392/21). Certainly that camp would have had barbed wire and watch towers. A possible scenario is that he DID land on Lampedusa or Ustica, but like the Americans on Ustica was moved on after a few days.

    His next port of call might have been PG 98, which like all the southern camps was emptied before the Sicily landings. The men in that camp who had been sent there from North Africa in late April early May '43 would have been moved on after three or four weeks, which ties in with his testimony. That's when he might have found himself in PG 66.

    Vitellino
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2021
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  11. davidbfpo

    davidbfpo Patron Patron

    This current aerial photo helps to provide context and identifies the three islands at issue here. It is from a website that popped up on Twitter and has nothing to do with WW2 history.
    [​IMG]
     
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  12. vitellino

    vitellino Senior Member

    Thanks for this.

    Have copied and reposted the photo with Ustica indicated. Lampedusa & Ustica.png
     
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  13. Richelieu

    Richelieu Well-Known Member

    The War Cabinet were informed 15 June 1943 that "prisoners captured at Pantelleria, Lampedusa and Linosa amounted to about 15,000. In addition, 110 heavy and 70 light guns had been captured on Pantelleria and some 60 guns on Lampedusa.CAB 65/34/39

    The following Weekly Résumés provided additional information:

    During the night of the 6th/7th, a raid by our light forces in an attempt to destroy the R.D.F. station on Lampedusa was frustrated by enemy mortar and small-arm fire.

    After a bombardment of Pantelleria by two destroyers at dawn on the 11th and intensive bombing, assault forces from Sfax and Sousse, covered by a force of cruisers, destroyers and M.T.Bs. from Malta, approached the island, which surrendered shortly after midday. Five destroyers and 14 other ships were employed transporting prisoners to Africa. The only naval casualty, H.M.S. Largs (landing ship, headquarters), was slightly damaged by a near miss.

    During the following night, Lampedusa was repeatedly bombarded by a force of cruisers and destroyers in conjunction with bombing attacks. Shore batteries were active, but on the evening of the 12th the island surrendered.

    Linosa Island, north of Lampedusa, surrendered to H.M.S. Nubian (destroyer) on the 13th. A landing party was put ashore and 140 prisoners taken.

    It was too rough to land on the island of Lampion, which appeared to have been abandoned.

    On the 14th enemy aircraft sank an M.G.B. and a water carrier off Pantelleria. CAB 66/37/50 Week ending 17/6/43.


    A naval party from H.M.S. Troubridge (destroyer) landed on Lampion Island on the 14th. They found it uninhabited and re-embarked. H.M. ships have embarked a total of 4,000 service prisoners from Lampedusa and over; 10,000 from Pantelleria.

    The harbour of Pantelleria is now in use by our light craft. CAB 66/38/20 Week ending 24/6/43.


    So again, no mention of internees or allied POWs which surely would have been reported to the War Cabinet had they been present in numbers. My guess is that any stop-over in Lampedusa at this late stage would have been unintended and transitory, and that the original account, as related, may be an unwitting conflation of events - it happens!
     
  14. davidbfpo

    davidbfpo Patron Patron

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  15. vitellino

    vitellino Senior Member

    To those who have been following the thread from the outset, the Liberation Report of Gunner X has now been applied for.

    Vitellino
     
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  16. vitellino

    vitellino Senior Member

    Guess what?

    There's no liberation report for him in TNA.
     

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