List of World War II prisoner-of-war camps in Italy

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

There were a number of Axis prisoner-of-war camps in Italy during World War II. The initials "P.G." denote Prigione di Guerra (Prison of War), often interchanged with the title Campo (field or military camp). The Italian Armistice, declared on 8 September 1943, ended the Italian administration of the camps, many of which in the Italian Social Republic of northern and central Italy were resecured by the Germans and used to hold new prisoners and recaptured escapees.[1]: 274 

List of POW camps[edit]

Camp Location Notes
German
Dulag 226 Pissignano, Campello sul Clitunno Originally designated "C.C. 77" and then P.G. 77 by the Italian Army. After the Armistice the Germans used this as a transit camp and renamed it Dulag 226. P[2] See P.G. 77 below.
Dulag 339 Mantua Formerly 337, elsewhere listed as a stalag.[2] Distinct from P.G. 339 below
Stalag 339 Trieste Distinct from P.G. 339 below
Italian
P.G. 5 Gavi-Serravalle Scrivia

Piedmont

Some 20 miles (32 km) north of Genoa, the camp was turned over to the Germans when the Italians capitulated. However, for 24 hours, obeying an order of the War Office,[3]: 160–161  the British POW senior officer refused to allow prisoners to attempt an escape. Three days later, J. E. S. Tooes, a Royal Navy submariner, was able to escape when on an outside work detail. Claimed to be the only Gavi fort prisoner ever to escape in 800 years, he crossed into Switzerland in four days.[citation needed]
Photo of Camp 5 fortress photo of lower compound
P.G. 10 Acquapendente Viterbo
P.G. 12 Vincigliata A 13th-century castle near Florence, used to hold about 25 high-rank prisoners, notably several British generals including Major-General Sir Adrian Carton de Wiart, Air-Marshal Owen Tudor Boyd, Lt-Gen. Richard O'Connor, Lt-Gen. Philip Neame, and New Zealand Brigadiers Reginald Miles and James Hargest. There were several escape attempts—one successful with six officers through a tunnel, four being caught soon after. Brig. Miles and Hargest escaped to Switzerland, but only Hargest eventually escaped to England via Spain. After the Italian Armistice in September 1943, 11 officers and 14 other ranks escaped with Italian partisan and SOE help. Most officers made the Allied lines, whilst many NCOs and other ranks were rounded up by the Germans and consigned to camps in Germany until the end of the war.
P.G. 17 Rezzanello Near Piacenza
P.G. 19 Bologna
P.G. 21 Chieti An old convent used as a camp for about 1300 officers.[4] After the Armistice, anybody wishing to leave the camp was forcibly prevented from doing so by the orders of the Senior British Officer who was following to the letter the orders of Allied HQ to remain in the camp and await the arrival of Allied forces.[5] Consequently, the Germans were able to capture them all. They were subsequently transferred to P.G. 78 [Sulmona] and thence to camps in Germany where they remained until the end of the war.
P.G. 23 Vestone near Brescia
P.G. 26 Cortemaggiore Piacenza
P.G. 27 San Romano Pisa
P.G. 29 Veano Piacenza
P.G. 32 Bogliaco Garda lake near Salò, Brescia
P.G. 35 Certosa di Padula Monastery, near Salerno
P.G. 38 Poppi Monastery near Arezzo, Tuscany
Photograph of New Zealand officers
P.G. 41 Montalbo Hilltop 15th Century castle near Piacenza. Held about 300 Allied prisoners, 280 officers and 20 other ranks between 1941 and 1943. In March 1943 the castle was seized by German command when the prisoners were moved to P.G. 49 Fontanellato[6]
P.G. 43 Garessio Cuneo
P.G. 47 Modena Officers, mainly from New Zealand
Photograph of a Ju-Jitsu display photo of building, race
P.G. 49 Fontanellato Orphanage near Parma. For 500 Allied officers and 100 other ranks. After the armistice all 600 men, including Eric Newby and Richard Carver, marched out with the connivance of the Italian commandant and guards an hour before the Germans arrived, thanks to the decision by the Commandant, Colonel Eugenio Vicedomini, to open the gates the day after the Armistice of 8 September 1943.[7][8][9][10][11][12]
P.G. 50 Caserna Genova Cavalleria - storage centre Rome
P.G. 51 Altamura Villa Serena 45 km from Bari - Transit camp
P.G. 52 Pian de Coreglia, near Chiavari About 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) inland from Chiavari, on the northern edge of a town called Calvari on the banks of the Lavagna River, near Pian de Coreglia.[13] Mounted on the side of the bridge is a marble slab erected in 2002, commemorating the site.[14]

Photos: Photo of Camp 52 sketch of Camp 52 Photo of camp money Sketch of "brew-up" Sketch of POW, stove Sketch of bees in Red Cross box

P.G. 53 Sforzacosta Macerata. A large camp, established July or October 1942 – up to 10,000 prisoners, on the site of a disused linen factory at Casette Verdini, to the south west of the settlement of Sforzacosta. Postal mark 3300. The camp was located about 1 mile (1.6 km) from the railway station near Urbisaglia, today called Urbisaglia Sforzacosta. Fairly modern concrete buildings: two tall storage buildings housed about 2,000 men per floor, and a couple of smaller buildings in the middle. However the camp had poor sanitation facilities: just 12 toilets and 3 taps.[15][16][17] Commanded by a "Blackshirt" Colonel who had made the "March on Rome" with Mussolini, and who had under his command a number of elderly officers, sentries, dogs, Carabinieri, and two interpreters.[18] A mountainous area, cold in winter.[19][20]
P.G. 54 Passo Corese, Fara in Sabina 35 km (22 mi) from Rome. 4,000 lower-ranked British, South African and Ghurka prisoners, mostly from the surrender of Tobruk, were held in two compounds of tents,[21] with very poor conditions and food shortages. Many prisoners escaped into the Apennine Mountains when guards deserted as the Italian Armistice was announced on 8 September 1943.[22] It was reorganised by the Germans, became a transit camp and was completely evacuated in January 1944 ahead of the Allied advance.[23] The 1,100 British, South African and American prisoners of war were put on a train to be taken to a camp in Germany. On 28 January 1944, they were crossing the Orvieto Railroad Bridge North in Allerona, Umbria, when the American 320th Bombardment Group arrived to bomb the bridge. Unaware that there were Allied prisoners on the train, they dropped their bombs on their targets. The Germans left the prisoners locked in the boxcars and fled. Approximately half the men were killed by the bombs, or when the cars ultimately tumbled into the river below.[24]
P.G. 55 Busseto Near Piacenza. 4 satellite labour camps.
P.G. 57 Grupignano Near Udine, at Cividale del Friuli. Mostly Australian and New Zealand other ranks
Sketch of Camp 57 Photo of delousing in Camp 57 photo of Cookhouse photo of POWs Photo of camp leader, padre
P.G. 59 Servigliano prison camp Ascoli Piceno[25] Up to 5,000 at a time (Greeks, Maltese, Cypriots, British, Americans, French, Slavs)
P.G. 60 Colle di Compito (de:Colle di Compito) Near the city of Lucca, in the comune of Capannori in the province of Lucca. Held about 4,000 mainly black African prisoners in September 1942. Conditions were reported to be very bad in this camp from late 1941-late 1942. Overcrowded tents, swampy land, mosquitoes, dysentery, heat, no Red Cross Parcels, meagre water supply.[26] Many prisoners were moved to other camps before winter set in.[27] The camp housed more than 3,000 British and Commonwealth prisoners of war over the period of its existence.[28] Two days after the Italian Armistice on 8 September 1943, a German military column from the Tassignano airfield arrived at the camp and demanded that it be handed over. Camp Commander Col Vincenzo Cione, explaining that he had received no such orders, refused to do so, whereupon German soldiers opened fire, killing the Colonel, his second-in-command Captain Massimo Felice and a camp guard named Domenico Mastrippolito. In the confusion that followed this atrocity prisoners fled en masse. Local people who had suffered wartime deprivation then looted the camp. The camp was re-established with wooden huts before the end of 1943. In the early part of 1944 it was used as a detention centre for anti-fascists, civilian prisoners, Jews and foreign enemies, then later abandoned.[27][28]
P.G. 62 Grumello del Piano Near Bergamo. Mostly Indians and Cypriots. Seven satellite work camps, including Gamba, Cremona and Torbole
P.G. 63 Marinaro Aversa Near Arezzo, Tuscany. Mostly Indians.
P.G. 65 Gravina-Altamura Bari, in Apulia in southern Italy.
P.G. 66 Capua Transit camp.[29]
P.G. 68 Vetralla
P.G. 70 Monteurano Near Fermo Ascoli Piceno
P.G. 71 Aversa Near Naples
P.G. 73 Fossoli di Carpi Near Modena
P.G. 75 Torre Tresca, Bari Transit camp. One work camp.
Photo of funeral at Camp 75
P.G. 77 Pissignano, Campello sul Clitunno In August 1942 the camp held about 300 British and Greek prisoners. In December a further 476 Albanian civilian prisoners swelled camp numbers to about 800. Prisoners were accommodated in military tents and suffered from disease and harsh conditions throughout the winter of 1942. After the Armistice [8 September 1943] the camp fell under German command and became a transit camp Dulag 226. It was abandoned on 8 February 1944.[30]
P.G. 78 Sulmona Camp 78 at Sulmona served as a POW camp in both world wars. During World War I, it housed Austrian prisoners captured in the Isonzo and Trentino campaigns; during World War II, it contained as many as 3,000 British and Commonwealth officers and other ranks captured in North Africa. This camp remained intact as of 2003.[31] In September 1943, as the Italian government neared collapse, the inmates of Sulmona heard rumours that the evacuation of the camp was imminent. They awoke one morning to discover that their guards had deserted. On 14 September, German troops arrived to escort the prisoners northwards, to captivity in Germany, but not before hundreds of them had escaped into the hills. One such escapee was the South African author, Uys Krige, who described his experience in a book titled The Way Out (1946). The nearby Villa Orsini was used to house senior British and Commonwealth officers including; Major-General Sir Adrian Carton de Wiart, Lieutenant General Sir Philip Neame, Air Marshal Boyd, General Sir Richard Nugent O'Connor, Brigadier Reginald Miles and Brigadier James Hargest.
Photo of trucks with Red Cross parcels

Camp 78/1 at Acquafredda was a work camp with, in 1943, approximately 250 New Zealanders, 50 South Africans and several English soldiers. It was sited approximately 2000 ft above sea level.[32]

P.G. 80 Villa Marina Near Rome
P.G. 82 Laterina Near Arezzo, [Tuscany]. 8,000 prisoners. 50% escaped. (2,720 from secret Italia armi document SMRE Stato Maggiore dell'Esercito Italiano)
P.G. 83 Fiume
P.G. 85 Tuturano Transit camp.[33]
P.G. 87 Cardoncelli, Benevento 31 miles north-east of Naples, 6000 prisoners.
P.G. 89 Gonars Udine
P.G. 91 Avezzano
P.G. 97 Renicci di Anghiari Arezzo, Tuscany]
P.G. 98 San Giuseppe Jato Sicily
P.G. 102 Near Aquila Transit camp
P.G. 103 Treviso The Monigo concentration camp, housed in a suburban military barracks, was first occupied by Slovenian and Croatian civilian prisoners but a subsection designated as Camp 103 later accommodated a few hundred South African and New Zealand POWs captured at the fall of Tobruk. Camp 103/6 at Ampezzo was a small subsidiary camp where prisoners worked at the construction of a hydroelectric plant. Prisoners at nearby Camp 103/7, Sauris, near La Maina, among the Dolomites, also worked at the hydroelectric plant.[34]: 223 
P.G. 106 Vercelli This comprised some 25 work camps, mostly housing Australians and New Zealanders. Camp 106/20 was located at Salussola which was then in the province of Vercelli.[35]
P.G. 107 Torviscosa Udine - A collection of work camps including 107/2 (Prati), 107/4 (San Donà di Piave), 107/5 (Torre di Confine), and 107/7 (La Salute di Livenza). Mostly New Zealanders and South Africans
P.G. 110 Carbonia
P.G. 112 Turin
P.G. 113 Avio (Trento) Near Marsciano, Rovereto
P.G. 115 Marciano Near Perugia
P.G. 118 Prato all'Isarco Near Bolzano
P.G. 120 Chiesanuova, Padua Comprising a collection of work camps including Camp 120/5 (Abano Terme) and 120/8 (Fogolana). Other locations included Fattoria Bianco and Cetona,
P.G. 122 Cinecittà Near Rome - several work camps
P.G. 127 Locano Canavese Aosta
P.G. 129 Montelupone Macerata
P.G. 132 Foggia
P.G. 133 Novara
P.G. 136

C.A.R.E

Bologna
P.G. 145 Campotosto, Montorio al Vomano (Province of Teramo)
P.G. 146 Mortara Pavia
P.G. 148 Bussolengo Near Verona. Labour camp for 250 prisoners, mostly New Zealanders, but also English, Scottish, Egyptians, South Africans, Americans, Indians. 14 satellite work camps at Isola della Scala, Lazise, Mozzecane, Vigasio at San Bernardino, Montecchia di Crosara in the Cava Basalti stone farm, Legnago/Vangadizza at Rosta, Zevio at Villa da Lisca, San Martino Buon Albergo, Bonavigo, Oppeano in the Mazzantica Village, Mozzecane near the church, Angiari. Closed following the mass outbreak of prisoners in the days after the Italian Armistice was announced on 8 September 1943.[36]
P.G. 201 Bergamo Hospital in an almshouse
P.G. 202 Lucca Hospital in a monastery in Bergamo district
Photo of Italian nursing sisters
P.G. 203 Bologna Hospital in Castel San Pietro
P.G. 204 Altamura Hospital in a school
P.G. 206 Nocera Hospital near Rovello
P.G. 207 Milan Hospital
P.G. 339 Pisa
P.G. 454 Brindisi Mainly Indians

In film[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Mason, W. Wynne (1954). Events Preceding and Immediately Following the Italian Armistice at Victoria University of Wellington. Part of The Official History of New Zealand in the Second World War 1939–1945
  2. ^ a b Samuelsen, W. David (2008). "List of POW camps". USGenWeb Archives. Retrieved 22 May 2012.
  3. ^ Lamb, Richard (1993). War in Italy 1943-1945 : A Brutal Story. London: John Murray. ISBN 0-7195-4933-7.
  4. ^ Capt F. W. Stone - private papers
  5. ^ Rollings, C. (2007), p. 281
  6. ^ Pte P. J. L. Randles (S. Africa) private letters
  7. ^ Note: Colonel Vicedomini was imprisoned in Germany as a result of this act of humanity and died soon after the war.
  8. ^ English, Ian (1997). Home by Christmas?. Revised and reprinted 2017. recounts the remarkable adventures experienced by some of the 600 prisoners of war who marched out of camp PG49 at Fontanellato after the Armistice on September 8th 1943 Obit of Ian English
  9. ^ Newby, Eric (1971). Love and War in the Apennines.
  10. ^ Carver, Tom (June 2010). Where the hell have you been?. Allen & Unwin. Excerpt
  11. ^ Tudor, Malcolm (2009). Beyond The Wire - A True Story of Allied POWs in Italy 1943-1945. Emilia Publishing. ISBN 9780953896455.
  12. ^ See also in Further reading, a newsletter which includes an escape plan map from this camp.
  13. ^ Here you can see a bridge over the Lavagna river on the northern edge of Calvari, near Pian de Coreglia.
  14. ^ "Camp 52, Chiavari". WW2Talk. 12 July 2011. Retrieved 28 May 2020.
  15. ^ "German Camps –British & Commonwealth Prisoners of war 1939-45". Forces War Records. 3 June 2019. Retrieved 26 May 2020.
  16. ^ "PG 53 Sforzacosta Macerata". Prisoners of War in Italy. Retrieved 26 May 2020.
  17. ^ NOTE: Google Maps shows the Urbisaglia Sforzacosta transit station, which is nearly 7 km from the city of Macerata.
  18. ^ "P.G. 53". The Pegasus Archive. Retrieved 26 May 2020.
  19. ^ McKenna, Josephine (3 January 2017). "British veteran donates to Italian earthquake victims who saved his life during World War 2". The Telegraph. Retrieved 26 May 2020.
  20. ^ Collinson, Roger (2009). "June 1943". Diaries written by Roger Collinson whilst a prisoner of World War II, 21st February 1943 to 18th May 1945. Archived from the original on 4 July 2016. Retrieved 22 May 2012. 16th June - Travelling - Supposed to have travelled through Rome - Arrived at Campo Concentramento P.G. 53 (Sforzacosta) - Searched thoroughly - sleeping on floor owing to lack of beds - good sleep. [June 1943]
  21. ^ "History - Campo P.G. 54 - Fara Sabina". pg54.org.uk. 2012. Retrieved 22 May 2012.
  22. ^ Mallen, John (2006). "Gunner John Mallen - P.G. 54". pegasusarchive.org. Retrieved 22 May 2012.
  23. ^ There are photographs and several eyewitness accounts of Camp P.G. 54 on the Allerona bombing website
  24. ^ Dethick, Janet Kinrade (21 September 2011). "The Bridge at Allerona - 28 January 1944". bombedpowtrain.weebly.com. Retrieved 22 May 2012.
  25. ^ "The History of the Servigliano Camp". casadellamemoria.org. 2001. Archived from the original on 25 April 2012. Retrieved 22 May 2012.
  26. ^ Personal memoirs of Corporal Ron Myburgh, published on "PG 60 Colle Compito Lucca". Prisoners of War in Italy. Retrieved 26 May 2020.
  27. ^ a b A. R. Irvine-Fortescue visited camp and given guided tour by former camp guard Antonio Dell'Immagine in 2016. On-site visitor information.
  28. ^ a b Angelini, Silvia Q. (2018). "Colle di Compecito". In Megargee, G. P.; White, J.R. (eds.). The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Encyclopedia of Camps and Ghettos, 1933–1945, Volume III: Camps and Ghettos under European Regimes Aligned with Nazi Germany. Indiana University Press. p. 421. ISBN 978-0-253-02386-5. Retrieved 26 May 2020.
  29. ^ Collinson, Roger (2009). "March 1943". Diaries written by Roger Collinson whilst a prisoner of World War II, 21st February 1943 to 18th May 1945. Retrieved 22 May 2012.
  30. ^ A. R. Irvine-Fortescue visited camp in 2016. On site visitor information.
  31. ^ Johnson, Graham (2010). "Pictures of Camp P.G. 78, Sulmona (taken in 2003)". gcjonline.co.uk. Retrieved 22 May 2012.
  32. ^ Duncan, Gordon. b. 1919. "Account of escape from Camp Concentramento P.G. 78/1". MS papers 8872 Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand
  33. ^ "Il Portale di Tuturano (BR) - Il Campo P.G. 85". tuturano.com (in Italian). 2012. Retrieved 22 May 2012.
  34. ^ Mason, W, Wynne (1954). The North African Campaigns of 1942–43—Prisoners in Italian Hands at Victoria University of Wellington. Part of The Official History of New Zealand in the Second World War 1939–1945
  35. ^ Photo of a group of prisoners at Camp 106/20, Vercelli from Hall D. O. W. Prisoners of Italy in The Official History of New Zealand in the Second World War 1939-45
  36. ^ "Prigionieri di guerra in Italia". mauroquattrina.jimdo.com (in Italian). 2012. Retrieved 22 May 2012.

Further reading[edit]

Useful POW websites[edit]

Other publications[edit]