Twenty Days in the Reich: Three Downed RAF Aircrew in Germany During 1945

Twenty Days in the Reich: Three Downed RAF Aircrew in Germany During 1945

by Squire 'Tim' Scott


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On 15 March 1945, a force of sixteen Avro Lancasters from RAF Bomber Command’s Nos 9 and 617 Squadrons was dispatched to attack a viaduct at Arnsberg. The fourteen aircraft from 9 Squadron carried Tallboys, while the two remaining Lancasters, from 617 Squadron, were loaded with Grand Slams.

During the mission, which failed to cut the viaduct, three crew members from one of the 9 Squadron Lancasters baled out from their badly damaged aircraft over the eastern Ruhr. The author of this book, Flying Officer Squire Tim Scott, the Lancaster’s navigator, was one of those men.

All three airmen soon found themselves in quiet countryside but were quickly captured and imprisoned in a village jail. After a short time, they were moved to a prisoner of war camp in what was one of the strangest journeys of the Second World War.

Two German guards led the little group more than 120 miles across the crumbling Third Reich. With the German transport system in chaos, the party had to hitch rides on a variety of farm and commercial vehicles, though they did travel part of the way on one of the few trains still running in Germany.

Conditions on the journey were hash and the nights were bitterly cold. There was also the threat of danger, for the RAF was rife with tales of horrific violence when downed Allied bomber crews fell into civilian hands. But the two guards were sympathetic, and the small party was amazed by the civility of the local people.

At one stage their guards fell asleep and escape was considered, but eventually rejected and the trio was eventually handed over to the staff at a transit PoW camp. Before they were rescued by Allied forces, twenty days after baling out, the three had only spent fifteen days as prisoners and just thirty-six hours behind barbed wire.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781526766632
Publisher: Pen and Sword
Publication date: 04/26/2020
Pages: 224
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.25(h) x (d)

About the Author

A veteran of a complete tour, and having taken part in many famous raids, Flying Officer Squire 'Tim' Scott was on his 31st sortie on the night when he and his two fellow crewmen baled out over Germany. He later found out that they were the only crew to jump, and that their pilot had managed to fly the stricken Lancaster long enough to land at an Allied base in Belgium. The author died in 1992.

Table of Contents

Foreword viii

1 Captured 1

2 To Gaol 13

3 Out of Gaol 27

4 Hitch-hiking 43

5 The Prison at Werl 57

6 Karl and Adolf 69

7 Adolf Takes a Chance 81

8 Adolf's Narrow Escape 91

9 Getting a Move On 101

10 Journey's End 113

11 Dulag Luft 129

12 March out of Wetzlar 141

13 Raising Our Hopes 153

14 Free at Last! 163

15 The Journey Back 179

Epilogue 191

Appendix 193

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