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Oral history interview with Stanley Fennell

Oral History | Accession Number: 1995.A.1285.9 | RG Number: RG-50.149.0009

Stanley Anthony Fennell describes being a sapper with the Royal Engineers in Great Britain and North Africa in 1943; being called up for military service in 1942; his transfer to the Royal Engineers in Great Britain in 1943; his opinion of German engineering skills; clearing minefields in North Africa in 1943; the youthfulness of some troops; the use of earth moving equipment; his operations as a sapper with the 23rd Field Company, Royal Engineers in Italy from 1943 to 1944; the effect of Salerno experience on Anzio landings; the conditions in Naples and the behavior of Italian civilians; the change in US attitudes towards the British; night fighting techniques; the vulnerability of Sherman tanks; the German assault on Anzio beachhead and the air war over Anzio; action at Caracetto; the bravery of stretcher-bearers; the ill treatment of German POWs; the reticent attitude of regular soldiers; being captured by Germans in Anzio, Italy in 1944 and his experiences as a POW; being sent to Rome and the hostility of Italian civilians towards POWs; being sent to a transit camp at Nola, Italy then PG 82 Camp in Laterina, Italy; being sent to Stalag VII A, Moosburg, and Stalag VIII B, Lamsdorf in Germany; experiencing problems after eating Red Cross parcel food; seeing Dachau concentration camp; physical state of German guards; an example of Nazi repression and the power of the Nazi party; US Air Force raids on an oil refinery; the hostility of Poles towards British; air raids; the reception of news of D-Day; bomb disposal work carried out by Jewish camp inmates; the POW protest at Nazi salute requirement; Company Sergeant Major Charles Coward’s work for POWs; reactions of POW to war news; seeing Auschwitz concentration camp inmates and Germans shooting stragglers; marching west from Stalag VIII B in 1945; the reception for British POWs by Czechs on arrival in Czechoslovakia; receiving medical treatment for his foot injury; signs of the approaching end of war; the contrasts between of RAF and US Air Force bombing techniques; survival during the march; escaping the march and hiding in a barn; being discovered by a German and receiving sustenance; a German deserter; receiving aid from a German family; being liberated by the US Army and returning to Britain in 1945; American troops behavior towards German POWs; the journey home; the reception by the Women’s Voluntary Service; the psychological impact on Germans of POWs receipt of parcels from home; and the lessons learned from the war.

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Fennell, Stanley
interview:  1981 June 10
7 sound cassettes (90 min.).
Record last modified: 2022-07-28 20:09:49
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