Typescript of the unpublished war memoirs of J. L. H. Batt [Jack Lynden Batt], of 155th Battery, 172nd Field Regiment, Royal Artillery, entitled 'Nothing Spectacular 41-45', and describing incidents in North Africa and as a POW in Italy and Germany.

J. L. H. Batt [Jack Lynden Batt] (b.1922), of 155th Battery, 172nd Field Regiment, Royal Artillery [POWs; Prisoners of War; Second World War]

Editorial: Undated written in the s?. Covering events from June 1941 to April 1945, 1960
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i + 207pp., 8vo. Perfect bound in green card wraps, with green cloth spine. In good condition: lightly-aged and a little dogeared, in lightly-creased wraps with slight wear to spine. Tipped in onto the last page is an original 'Army Form B. 104-83', signed and stamped with date 16 March 1943, informing Batt's father that he was posted as missing on 27 February 1943 in North Africa. Nine chapters: 'The Western Desert'; 'Italy'; 'Gaschwyz'; 'Leipzig', 'Gaschwyz Again'; 'Boehlen, Leuna, Wiederitsch'; 'Lager Waldfrieden'; 'Russians'; 'Latvians'. A vivid, well written and detailed account, conveying the day-to-day existence of an Allied prisoner-of-war. The first paragraph reads: 'In June 1941 an enlistment order came for me to join the R.A.C. at Bovington, Dorset. I duly reported and spent 5 months there including 3 weeks at Lulworth on a gunnery course. Returning on a Friday after 7 days end of training leave, we were put on a draft, issued with tropical kit and told we were to be ready to leave at 12 on Sunday. However Monday morning we were given 7 days embarkation leave - followed by 5 weeks of false alarms, we had a further 48 hours leave and then we were told we really were going and were given an address.' From Avonmouth Batt's troop ship travels in a convoy to Freetown and the round the Cape to Egypt. There are some nice touches. Of an abandoned German vehicle Batt writes: 'There were some snapshots of the driver, 2 girls and his parents, standing on the steps of a house in Leipzig. There was also a postcard from Leipzig saying why didn't he write, it made them very anxious. I don't suppose he ever wrote again, as in the door was a hole about 4'' and a couple of lumps of flesh.' And in Naples, after his capture: 'first thing after breakfast a girl came into the ward and distributed bags of sweets. I still have the papers they were wrapped in. I did not actually see her face, my bunk being an inner one, but the chap in front of me, from Reading, said she was a gorgeous girl and spoke English.' A description of a close shave in the Western Desert Campaign is characteristic: '[.] all three vehicles were in full view one behind the other, ten yards apart, 200 yards diagonally from my vehicle all facing the head of the column. Curtis got in and said "I don't like that", nodding to the three strange vehicles, "that's guttural voices". Just then the artillery officer drove over in his 15 cwt, straight in front of the first vehicle , when the man standing in the first vehicle shouted "Halt" twice. Then Curtis said "Good God, it's Jerry", and jumped up and out of the cab, ran round the bonnet and past me and off into the desert. I was rather surprised, but thought if he was in a leaguer bashed up two nights before, he knows what to do. I looked ahead and saw a crowd of our chaps all running level with the truck in front. Then the first two vehicles opened fire, first tracer, then H.E. at the head of the column and up went two trucks at once. Then the third vehicle opened fire just clear of our truck, apparently to stop trucks leaving in that direction. By that time I decided to leave the vehicle, and jumped out, grabbing only my tin hat; I saw Curtis running 15 yards ahead. [.]' On 1 July 1942 he is in a lorry of prisoners: 'We kept along driving westward, past the Half Moon NAAFI without its sign, and big signs saying "Are you ready for immediate action if ambushed on the road", and "Swat that fly". There were all sorts of abandoned vehicles of ours here and there along the road, half a dozen Salvation Army canteen trucks, the first I'd ever seen, I don't know where they operated. Groups of tar-boilers and road-making plant, portable stone crushers and screens. What we'd lost!' Batt is imprisoned in Italy, first in Camp 73 (Carpi), and then Camp 53. In September 1943 Batt and the other prisoners are moved to Germany: 'Most of the chaps were hardly carrying any kit, young chaps, twice as stalwart as me, walking with no overcoat or. N° de ref. de la librería

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Título: Typescript of the unpublished war memoirs of...
Editorial: Undated written in the s?. Covering events from June 1941 to April 1945
Año de publicación: 1960

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