Stalag 383 Bavaria: A History of the Camp, the Escapes and the Liberation
Stalag 383 was somewhat unique as a Second World War prisoner of war camp. Located in a high valley surrounded by dense woodland and hills in Hofenfels, Bavaria, it began life in 1938 as a training ground for the German Army.
At the outbreak of war it was commandeered by the German authorities for use as a prisoner of war camp for Allied non-commissioned officers, and given the name Oflag lllC. It was renamed Stalag 383 in November 1942. For most of its existence it comprised of some 400 huts, 30 feet long and 14 feet wide, with each typically being home to 14 men. Many of the British service men who found themselves incarcerated at the camp had been captured during the evacuations at Dunkirk, or when the Greek island of Crete fell to the Germans on 1 June 1941. Stalag 383 had somewhat of a holiday camp feel to it for many who found themselves prisoners there. There were numerous clubs formed by different regiments, or men from the same town or county. These clubs catered for interests such as education, sports, theatrical productions and debates, to name but a few. This book examines life in the camp, the escapes that were undertaken from there, and includes a selection of never before published photographs of the camp and the men who lived there, many for more than five years.