Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Escape from Bowmanville

In 1943, Nazi officials arranged an escape plan for several German prisoners including Otto Kretschmer, a top U-Boat ace in the Nazi army.

The Germans arranged for a U-Boat to pick the prisoners up on September 27, 1943, off the coast of New Brunswick. To meet their deadline, the prisoners began digging a tunnel beneath the POW camp in Bowmanville.

Tin cans and a crude railway system hauled the dirt out of the tunnel and into the attic of one of the camp buildings. At one point, the ceiling of the building that held the dirt collapsed, however, by this time the camp guards and the RCMP were aware of the Germans' plan and chose not to intercept. Closer to the date of escape, the RCMP finally moved in, collapsed the tunnel and seized the POW’s responsible for implementing the plan. Otto Kretschmer did not escape.

A part of the elaborate escape plans life size dummies would be made to fool guards into believing that all POW's were accounted for.

Otto Kretschmer was one of Hilter's favorite's, a U Boat commander responsible for sinking the greatest tonnage of allied shipping. He personally ordered that a plan be put in place to rescue him from Canadian hands. The RCMP however,foiled the effort.

Some of the high ranking Nazi officers held at Camp 30