Prisoners dig 187-ft To Freedom

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Title

Prisoners dig 187-ft To Freedom

Description

Relates how after tunnelling 187 feet to escape from internment camp in Algeria, 29 soldiers were recaptured. Tunnel took seven months dug in relays 24 hours a day. After escape Arab guards tracked them down and they were sent back to prison.

Creator

Publisher

Sunday Chronicle
IBCC Digital Archive

Date

1942-10-29

Contributor

Roger Dunsford

Rights

This content is available under a CC BY-NC 4.0 International license (Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0). It has been published ‘as is’ and may contain inaccuracies or culturally inappropriate references that do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the University of Lincoln or the International Bomber Command Centre. For more information, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ and https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/legal.

Format

One newspaper cutting

Language

Type

Identifier

NSmithEA151029-030003

Coverage

Temporal Coverage

Transcription

Page 8 [symbol] SUNDAY CHRONICLE, November 29, 1942
PRISONERS DIG 187-FT. TO FREEDOM
Captured, Freed
By MARGOT BECK
AFTER tunnelling 187 feet to escape from an internment camp in Algeria 29 soldiers were recaptured.
The armistice signed after the fall of Algiers set them free again, and some have just reached Britain.
Their camp, they told me, was at Laghouat, an oasis on the edge of the Sahara, and its conditions were appalling.
But it was the terrible boredom that affected the prisoners most. All day they had nothing to do but sit in the blazing sun thinking.
They decided to plan their escape, and started to dig a tunnel from one of the prison cells.
Dug in relays
For seven long months they dug in relays for 24 hours a day. As they went further underground they had to deal with the problem of lighting their work. They solved this by stealing some wire and joining it to the electric power.
Soon they had burrowed under the inner wall – then underneath the courtyard – under the thick outer wall, and finally out into the desert and freedom!
But not for long. Arab guards soon tracked them down, and they were sent back to prison.
Yesterday Sergt. J. D. Shanahan of Toronto, said to the “Sunday Chronicle”: “We heard the news of the Allied landings over the camp radio. At first it seemed too good to be true. The French, who were forbidden by the Germans to listen to Allied broadcasts, took a lot of convincing. We certainly were glad to leave that place.”

[photograph]
This was Toulon Before French Defied Hitler

Here is an Air Ministry photograph of the great French harbour of Toulon with the French Fleet lying at anchor there. When the German columns marched into Toulon, Admiral de [missing word] gave the order [missing words] the 73 war-
[missing words]
battleships Strasbourg and Dunkerque. This picture shows the French vessels at their anchorage. A, the 25,000-ton battleship Strasbourg; B and B1, 8-inch cruisers; C, 6-inch cruisers; D and D1, large destroyers; E, destroyers; and F sub- [missing words]

Collection

Citation

Margaret Beck, “Prisoners dig 187-ft To Freedom,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed August 7, 2020, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/10939.

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