Stalag Luft 3 to Oflag III A Feb 1945 - could this be right?

Discussion in 'Prisoners of War' started by nicolaruby, Nov 1, 2013.

  1. nicolaruby

    nicolaruby Junior Member


    I've recently received my grandfather's POW records from the ICRC, which are very revealing. He arrived at Stalag Luft 3 on 12 June 1944 and was then detained in Oflag III A in February 1945.

    I've managed to find quite a bit of information on Stalag Luft 3, and it is likely that he was moved on in January 1945 and took part in the long march. This would time well with his arrival at the Oflag.

    However, I'm struggling to find any information on Oflag III A. Records suggest it closed in 1942, which would not tally with him being there in 1945. Confusingly there is a Stalag III A in the same place. Could he maybe have been sent there and the records are incorrect? Is this possible?

    I would appreciate it if anyone could help me to shed more light on Oflag III A.

    Many thanks,
  2. Tullybrone

    Tullybrone Senior Member


    Don't know the answer to your query but perhaps a look at his Liberation Questionnaire at Kew might help - if he completed one?

    Steve Y
  3. DPas

    DPas Member

    Hi Nicola,

    If you go to the Imperial War Museum website and search the collections you will find an interview with Edward Frederick Chapman. At the end of reel 2 (About 27 minutes) and from the beginning of reel 3 he talks about Oflag III

    Hope this helps give you a picture of your grandfathers journey,

  4. Son of POW-Escaper

    Son of POW-Escaper Senior Member


    My late father was at Stalag Luft 3 1943-45 in East Compound. His mob, after the Long March, ended up at Stalag 3A in Luckenwalde (near Berlin).

    Could it be that your grandfather simply made an error by calling the camp Oflag instead of Stalag?

    Best of luck,

  5. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Having had a search for some info on this subject it appears:

    1. Stalag Luft lll - location, Sagan, Poland - the camp known for 'The Great Escape'

    2. Oflag lll A - location Luckenwelde, Germany (Luckenwalde, Brandenburg, 52 kilometres (32 mi) south of Berlin.) but it seems only to be known as this until 1942

    3. Stalag 3 A - location Luckenwelde, Germany

    Reading through the info on wiki ( it appears that around the time spoken of (Feb 1945)
    "27 January 1945 to February 1945 – evacuation began at Stalag Luft III, Sagan, to either Stalag III-A at Luckenwalde,............"


    Edited to add
    "12 May 1945 – The Red Army releases Commonwealth and US POWs at Stalag III-A, Luckenwalde"
  6. jacksun

    jacksun Senior Member

    TD, he was in Stalag Luft III June 1944 - Jan 1945 - Stalag Luft III would have been for Airmen, Oflag III would have been for commissioned officers, Stalag III for OR's. During and after the long march it would be unlikely due to the volume of men being moved they would continue the differentiation between Officer, Airman, and OR's, putting them wherever they had space in a camp.

    The fact Oflag III shows as closed in 1942 may be accurate but there are several Oflag III's so one may have closed while others remained open. This move obviously made it onto a German report that was eventually forwarded to the IRC.

    As Tullybrone says his Liberation Questionnaire may be more revealing if he completed one.

    Attached is a map of movements of men from POW camps during early 1945. I also have a list showing Oflag IIIA being at Luckenwalde - may be that Oflag III B or C/Z (others I have listed in different locations) was the one closed in 1942.


    Attached Files:

  7. Son of POW-Escaper

    Son of POW-Escaper Senior Member


    Commissioned officers (including my father) were regularly held in Stalags. Don't confuse the name Oflag with the fact that officers were ONLY held in camps with that nomenclature.

    Stalag Luft 3 was a camp primarily intended to hold commissioned officers. The only NCO's there were held in Centre Compound, I believe, and were led by the irrepressible Dixie Deans. All other compounds were for officers only.

  8. jacksun

    jacksun Senior Member

    Very true Marc, my bad on not qualifying that better in my post

  9. Crepello

    Crepello New Member

    Hello All and nicolaruby in particular,

    I hope to enclose a copy of a letter from the Air Ministry in July 1945, to my father Flt. Lt. 'Bill' Creed DFC, regarding the whereabouts of Oflag III - I hope it may be of some help.

  10. Crepello

    Crepello New Member

    Didn't work - will try again![​IMG]

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