Work Commando 311/I

American Paratroopers Become Forced Laborers for the Nazis

Claire Swedberg

Publication date:
November 2017
Publisher :
Stackpole Books
Format Available     Quantity Price
ISBN : 9780811737074

Dimensions : 230 X 151 mm
This book is available


Private Dan Jones was captured by Nazi sergeants in a smoke-filled forest in Holland. He and a small group of American prisoners, mostly paratroopers from the 101st and 82nd Airborne, were taken to the squalid barn loft that was to be their home for the rest of the war. In the Work Commando 311/I, Nazis forced them to work as slave laborers, repairing and maintaining German railroads that had been damaged by Allied bombs. The ill, weary prisoners, once proud members of elite U.S. fighting units, suffered unaccustomed disgrace. Bickering over the meager food supply added to their anxious depression and hopelessness.
Tired of the men's morose outlook and individualistic ways, Herbert Marlowe, their unofficial leader, held a meeting one evening in the barn loft. Marlow explained that their infighting and irritability were not only keeping their spirits low by also amusing the Germans. He encouraged the prisoners to retaliate against their captors in careful, nonthreatening ways. Jones suggested that they work s