WW II, a British focus  



Memories of Flight Sergeant Harry Tenny

The name "Dulag Luft" was well known to most of the aircrews in the interrogation camp of the Lufftwaffe and was a little feared at home.

But as we arrived at the camp we got a noisy reception by what looked like a hundred different Allied aircrews. We were distributed amongst the various cells that contained six or more of air crews that had been shot down these last few days.

At this time we were losing about thirty aircraft a day.

Many swapped yarns about their exploits but the main thread of the conversation was,"Stick to the Geneva Convention Code and spout your name rank and Number".

Harry Mott was one chap in my cell and I asked him how he got on when he was questioned, and he told me that when asked what happened what happened when the gallant Luftwaffe had shot him down.

And Harry said, "three things happened", the interrogator got his pen out at the double and asked, "yes, yes, what three things?" Harry said after a moments pause, "FLARES GONE, BOMBS GONE, MOTT GONE"

And that was all they could get out of Sgt Harry Mott.

Yet another wise guy told them he had been flying a new type of aircraft and after being plied with John Player cigarettes he told them it was a Huntley and Palmer with Peak Frean engines.

I don't know for how long it threw them, but it lightened our day, as we were all getting a bit despondent by this time.

We had no idea what the future held for us.

After three days we were assembled outside and taken to the local railway siding and put into cattle wagons where we stayed a further three days. Stalag 4B

We were allowed out at intervals to obey the call of bodily functions. Then at last we moved and ended up in a huge camp called Stalag 4B between Dresden and Leipzig in lower Saxony.

At that time it held about twenty thousand Allied POW, eventually however it was to hold forty thousand of every nationality but mostly British and Russian.

The Russians, poor devils, had a rough time of it, and since were not a member of the Geneva Code the Germans took advantage of this and took it out on any individual and indeed the nation as a whole and we saw lots of evidence of how they engineered some atrocities that were not necessary to advance their war effort.