Berlin, Richard E., 1894- / Diary of a flight to occupied Germany, July 20 to August 27, 1945.
Shipping the boys home, pp. 37-39 PDF (754.4 KB)
an invasion. The Colonel in charge said that it was good the invasion was not a year later, as the Germans were developing the coast to a point where it would have been almost impregnable at a later date. Their concrete gun emplacements seemed abso- lutely impervious to air attack-the concrete is from 10 to 15 feet thick, reinforced with steel. The harbor was mined and signs were everywhere warning you not to walk on the beach. It has taken 6 months to get the port in working order. Today this is the principal evacuation point for returning soldiers to America. After the capture of Antwerp, of course, Le Havre was not as necessary as a supply port. The English surveyed the harbor installations, threw up their hands in despair and walked out. Again our engineers tackled the job and did a wonderful piece of rehabilitation, even to the extent of re-building the locks, which were completed December 16th. We inspected the German prison enclosure at Camp Wing. The prisoners slept in bunks, all stood at attention when we walked through with the Colonel, and were rigid and frigid in their salutes. They were cooking their noonday meal-it was thick potato soup with meat. They are fed well about 2,000 calories a day, as they do hard work. Here, as everywhere else, the Germans are great workers-they work 12 hours a day. It is a great sight to see the American flag flying over Camp Wings! Shipping the Boys Home At the office of the Port Command we were briefed for an hour on how the troops were handled. Lucky Strike, which is the largest camp, will hold up to 65,000 people. Philip Morris, Pall Mall, Tarryton, Home Run, and the other camps, some 15 in all, will have a capacity up to 300,000 to 400,000 men. Here the boys are shipped on barges and coast steamers across to 37
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