World War II 1942-1945
POW Camps in Oklahoma
Battle of Alva
Prisoner of War Camps - continued
22 January 1945, Daily Oklahoman -- Letter To Editor Tells of "Battle of Alva"
The Daily Oklahoman first learned of the Alva disturbance in the following letter to the editor. It adds few facts to the Dallas announcement, but we think you will agree it is more graphic.
January 15, 1945 -- Yesterday began and ended "The Battle of Alva." To our knowledge this was the only engagement fought between American and German forces on this continent. The fighting was brisk and bloody, but there will be no campaign ribbons issued; no battle stars displayed.
Casualties were broken heads and smarting eyes, as 64 American soldiers accosted 1,400 "supermen," former members of Rommel's famed Afrika Korps.
Nazis Retreat As Planned
Armed solely with riot clubs and weak concentrations of tear gas, into the valley of death marches the fighting 64 to storm the Nazi bastion.
The battle was joined as clubs flew and splintered; gas flowed freely, mingled with Nazi tears and blood dripped from many a lacerated scalp. Gradually began the famous strategic retreat, the oft-heard Teutonic expression for a battle lost.
When the smoke had cleared 1,400 supermen stood with a new respect for these unpredictable American soldiers ground into their grimacing faces and the fighting 64 reformed and marched out. Righteous anger and malice were no more.
Prison Guarding Is Hard
If a 2-day restriction and Nazi stubbornness can bring such a change to men -- most of whom are wounded, overseas veterans and limited service men -- how then can we lose?
Note: The trouble started when one compound refused to move out for a routine shake-down. They were asked again and again. Finally, as a last measure, they were given the only treatment they can understand. Brute force and bestiality is all these men will ever understand.
I doubt if the American public will ever understand how difficult it is to treat these POW's with kid gloves, while our boys are treated as war criminals, Geneva convention notwithstanding.
Serviceman's name withheld by request.