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Stalag 13 didn't just exist in the celluloid world of Hogan's Heroes. This training area was called Lager Hammelburg or Camp Hammelburg and it still goes by that name.

The Home for poor children was run by the Benedictine nuns and expanded over the years to take over many of the buildings. When it closed in , over 60, children had been cared for there. Lager Hammelburg in Here is how the camp looked in when an artillery regiment was stationed there: The ghost town of Bonnland is still there and is now used for urban warfare training.

See German Army video. Stalag 13 is Born Gates of Stalag 13, In the summer of , the southern end of the camp was prepared for prisoners of war from the enlisted ranks. The first to arrive were the Dutch, Belgian and French soldiers captured during the Blitzkrieg invasion of France in In , Serbian, Polish and Russian soldiers joined them after battles on the eastern front; the Serbians arrived in the spring, and the Russians in the summer.

Some of the British, Australian and other Commonwealth soldiers captured in the fighting in Crete in also ended up in the camp. More Americans started arriving from camps in the east as the Russian army advanced. As required by the Geneva Convention, different nationalities were housed separately. Junior enlisted prisoners, corporal and below, were required to work. These POW's were assigned to work units in neighboring factories, farms and forests.

The Officers' Camp Nordlager Entrance, Oflag 13B The officers were housed in stone buildings at the northern end of the camp the Nordlager , separately from the enlisted prisoners, except for a handful of privates and NCO's who assisted the officers. The officers' camp was divided into two sections: Serbian and American. In the spring of , 6, Serbian officers arrived, and they witnessed the arrival of the Russian prisoners a few months later.

Judging from the large number of Russians buried at the camp over , the appalling treatment of Russian POW's in general, and a report from a Serbian officer at Oflag 13B, it appears the Russian prisoners were treated very poorly and had a very high mortality rate, unlike most of the other nationalities.

Among the Russian officers arriving in Hammelburg in was the eldest son of Joseph Stalin, Yakov. He only spent a few weeks in Oflag 13 before the SS came and moved him to another camp. The Germans offered to exchange him for Field Marshall Paulus.

Stalin replied, "You have millions of my sons. Free all of them or Yakov will share their fate. In March of , a group of about Americans arrived from Poland after marching hundreds of miles in snow and extreme cold. One of the men was Lieutenant Colonel John K.

Waters, the son-in-law of General George Patton. He later claimed it had nothing to do with his son-in-law being there! He also said it was his only mistake of the war. John K. Waters The men of Task Force Baum, as it was called, ran into heavy resistance coming in but they reached the camp on March 24, The tanks knocked down the fences, but they also started firing at the Serbian officers, mistaking them for Germans.

Lieutenant Colonel Waters came out with a white flag, accompanied by a German officer, to contact the Americans and stop the shooting. Waters was shot in the stomach by a German guard and was taken to the camp hospital. The tanks left, accompanied by many of the able-bodied prisoners, but without Waters. On the way back, the Task Force was ambushed and forced to surrender. Out of the men in the unit, 26 were killed and most of the rest were captured.

Most of the POW's returned to the camp as well. Waters survived and eventually retired as a four-star general. For more information, see Task Force Baum , a very interesting website about this event. After the failed rescue attempt, the Germans moved all of the Western Allied prisoners to other camps, except the ones in the camp hospital.

The Germans were running out of food and fuel and having difficulty getting supplies for the prisoners. Daily calories provided by the Germans were per day, down from calories earlier. The average temperature in the barracks was 20 degrees F or -7 degrees C due to lack of fuel.

Many men were sick and malnourished, and morale and discipline were low. No Red Cross packages had reached the Americans since they started arriving in January. They only reason they didn't starve was the generosity of the Serbian officers, who shared their packages.

The Liberation of Stalag 13 U. Army tank arrives at Oflag 13B, The buildings in the above photo still stand. Go to current map to see where they are now, on the grounds of Lager Hammelburg.

They're inside the restricted area, but can be easily seen from the fence near the main gate. Waters was still there, recuperating in the hospital with some other sick or wounded men.

Otherwise, the only prisoners left were the Serbian officers and the Polish and Yugoslavian enlisted men. His son in the past has posted photos and documents related to his father's captivity; the man on the right facing the camera, shaking hands, looks very much like Sgt. Just after the liberation Freed POW's at Stalag 13C Several days later, the tank battalion left to rejoin the fighting, leaving a supply unit at the camp. For the next month, no one was in charge of the POW's and there was widespread looting of the surrounding villages, including Hammelburg.

When peace came with the German surrender on May 8, , the Americans returned to occupy Lager Hammelburg and restored order in the town. The remaining prisoners were sent home. Stalag 13 After the War The Americans continued to occupy the camp until They renamed it Camp Denny Clark, after a medic who was killed in action.

The northern part of the Stalag 13 was used to intern former Nazi Party members. The camp also housed large numbers of German refugees who had fled the advancing Russian army in eastern Germany as well as ethnic Germans who had been expelled from areas of Poland and Czechoslovakia.

POW Odds and Ends He was a fighter pilot and was shot down flying a P Thunderbolt. He passed away in at the age of To read more about his story, see Robert Hogan Another Stalag The daughter of one of the former prisoners there provides a very interesting account of her father's experience as a Polish POW.

More on Stalag 13B. More to explore

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More Americans started arriving from camps in the east as the Russian army advanced. As required by the Geneva Convention, different nationalities were housed separately.

Junior enlisted prisoners, corporal and below, were required to work. These POW's were assigned to work units in neighboring factories, farms and forests. The Officers' Camp Nordlager Entrance, Oflag 13B The officers were housed in stone buildings at the northern end of the camp the Nordlager , separately from the enlisted prisoners, except for a handful of privates and NCO's who assisted the officers.

The officers' camp was divided into two sections: Serbian and American. In the spring of , 6, Serbian officers arrived, and they witnessed the arrival of the Russian prisoners a few months later.

Judging from the large number of Russians buried at the camp over , the appalling treatment of Russian POW's in general, and a report from a Serbian officer at Oflag 13B, it appears the Russian prisoners were treated very poorly and had a very high mortality rate, unlike most of the other nationalities.

Among the Russian officers arriving in Hammelburg in was the eldest son of Joseph Stalin, Yakov. He only spent a few weeks in Oflag 13 before the SS came and moved him to another camp.

The Germans offered to exchange him for Field Marshall Paulus. Stalin replied, "You have millions of my sons. Free all of them or Yakov will share their fate.

In March of , a group of about Americans arrived from Poland after marching hundreds of miles in snow and extreme cold. One of the men was Lieutenant Colonel John K. Waters, the son-in-law of General George Patton. He later claimed it had nothing to do with his son-in-law being there! He also said it was his only mistake of the war. John K. Waters The men of Task Force Baum, as it was called, ran into heavy resistance coming in but they reached the camp on March 24, The tanks knocked down the fences, but they also started firing at the Serbian officers, mistaking them for Germans.

Lieutenant Colonel Waters came out with a white flag, accompanied by a German officer, to contact the Americans and stop the shooting. Waters was shot in the stomach by a German guard and was taken to the camp hospital. The tanks left, accompanied by many of the able-bodied prisoners, but without Waters. On the way back, the Task Force was ambushed and forced to surrender. Out of the men in the unit, 26 were killed and most of the rest were captured. Most of the POW's returned to the camp as well.

Waters survived and eventually retired as a four-star general. For more information, see Task Force Baum , a very interesting website about this event. After the failed rescue attempt, the Germans moved all of the Western Allied prisoners to other camps, except the ones in the camp hospital. The Germans were running out of food and fuel and having difficulty getting supplies for the prisoners.

Daily calories provided by the Germans were per day, down from calories earlier. The average temperature in the barracks was 20 degrees F or -7 degrees C due to lack of fuel. Many men were sick and malnourished, and morale and discipline were low. I would have been thrilled to be there, even if it had been dreary and boring, but it was nothing of the sort.

It is a pretty little town nestled in a steep valley, with vineyards climbing the hillsides and a medieval castle close by. Vineyards Outside of Hammelburg Stalag 13 itself isn't there, but the area that housed the officers' part of the POW camp, Oflag 13, is still being used as a military post.

Many of the old buildings are gone, but some remain, and it is now occupied by the German Army. One section is maintained as a graveyard for POW's who died there, as well as some brought from other burial sites. Consequently, Hammelburg is swarming with German soldiers, giving it an interesting twist. For more information on what Stalag 13 is like today, see Stalag 13 now. It's been a German army camp since WWI, and has held some famous prisoners.

There's a great aerial view of the TV set on retroweb. Scroll about halfway down the page to the image "40 Acres in " and click to enlarge it.

The enlarged version has the movie and TV sets labeled. Stalag 13 is at the top right, above Gone with the Wind's Atlanta, and the town of Mayberry. This site, www. It appears that Colonel Robert Hogan of Hogan's Heroes was a completely fictional character, and creator Bernard Fein named the character after an actor of the same name, who actually had small roles in two of the Hogan's Heroes episodes Reservations Required in season 1, and Crittendon's Commandos in season 5.

The odd thing is, there really was a POW named Robert Hogan in a Stalag 13, whose story bears striking similarities to the Hollywood version. The "real" Robert Hogan was a pilot flying B24 bombers out of Italy, who was shot down in January of over Yugoslavia and sent eventually to the Stalag 13 camp outside of Nuremberg actually the Oflag 13 camp, since he was an officer.

Stalags were only for enlisted men. This camp was adjacent to Stalag 13 D, not the Stalag 13 C camp outside of Hammelburg, but close enough for the producers of the TV show to be interested when Dr.

Robert Hogan contacted them. Robert Hogan's son told me his father didn't talk much about his POW experiences, but he did mention the following: The POW's were reasonably well-treated by the German guards, though they were gradually starving to death.

Of course, the German guards were not much better off than the prisoners - food was scarce. A young girl from the nearby village would occasionally throw pieces of fruit over the fences for the prisoners. He said that food was the thing they thought and talked about the most The prisoners' rations consisted of only one meal a day: Each barracks also shared one loaf of "bread", baked with a significant amount of sawdust mixed in to stretch it further.

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