A Very Rude Awakening: The night the Japanese midget subs by Peter Grose

By Peter Grose

In might of 1942, the battle appeared very distant to such a lot Sydneysiders - till the evening the 3 jap midget submarines crept into the harbour and prompted an unforgettable evening of mayhem, excessive farce, chaos and braveness. A ground-breaking new examine the most outstanding tales of Australia at battle.

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It was about this time that the Germans established a formal satellite of the main camp at the Schützenhaus, and soon a number of French officers of White Russian origin were transferred there in the hope that a less strict regime might make them susceptible to blandishments about their joining the Germans in a ‘crusade against World Bolshevism’. On 17–18 July the camp received a visit from the Orthodox Bishop of Dresden accompanied by members of the choir of the Church of St Simeon Stylites. Using the celebrations as a cover, Lt.

As a result, Oberst Schmidt ordered an immediate tightening of the security regime: additional, random roll-calls were now to be added to the daily timetable, the frequency of security patrols was increased, barbed-wire fences were both reinforced and heightened, and, crucially, searchlights were installed in the outer castle yards where they were positioned to play upon the castle walls and courtyard interiors, where they could immediately illuminate any prisoners attempting to escape. The first British escape attempt was made on 10 May when a group of French labourers came to the castle in order to collect a number of straw mattresses.

Although Hitler’s policy towards the Jews had not, as yet, openly manifested itself throughout occupied Europe, Colditz was now beset by a wave of anti-Semitism from within as a number of French officers turned on their erstwhile comrades-in-arms, petitioning Kommandant Schmidt to forcibly segregate the French contingent into Jews and Gentiles. Although many felt this to be unfair, the ‘official’ British position as decided by Lieutenant-Colonel Guy German, the senior British officer, was that it was a private matter for the French and that the British should not become involved.

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