THE UNITS FOR ADMINISTRATION OF POW'S
1945 - 1948
liberation of Belgium, September 1944, the Government badly
for the reconstruction of the coalmines, and for their exploitation.
The monthly output was 1.500.000 tons of coal, with a labour force of 114.000 men.
One of the
primary objectives of the new Belgian Governement was to augment
the output with 700.000 tons a month.
In May 1945 the Belgian Government received 15.000 German POW's from the Allied High Command.
A few months
later this number was already insufficient, and the Belgian
the "delivery" of a new considerable contingent of German POW's.
High Command agreed to deliver an additional 30.000 POW's on
that sufficient lodging could be provided.
|Death Card from Corporal VAN DE VOORDE René, 1st Watch Battalion.|
1945, area of Zwartberg, Limburg, Belgium.
Men of the 1st Watch Battalion in front of a signpost.
31 POW camps
were build : 7 in the Povince of Limburg, 9 in the Province of Liège,
6 in the area of Charleroi, 3 in the centre of the country, and 6 in the Borinage.
POW Camps were build in the Ardennes
for lodging the POW's working under the supervision of the Forestry units.
1947 35.750 German POW's worked in the Belgian Coalmines
and an additional 4.000 POW's worked as woodcutters.
More than 1.000 German POW's also worked with the Belgian Bomb Disposal Units.
|German POW's, with some guards, on their way to work.|
|Distribution of post and parcels.|
and administrate this army of POW's, a High Command, 6 Regional
4 Watch Battalions and some small units were raised.
The High Command was called "Commandement Supérieur des Camps de Prisonniers" C.S.C.P.
The Regional Commands were called "Commandement Régional des Camps de Prisonniers" C.R.C.P.
Command for the Forestry Units was called
"Commandement Régional des Camps de Prisonniers Forestiers" C.R.C.P.F.
|Letter with heading from the C.R.P.G.F.|
The POW Camps were called "Camps de Prisonniers" C.P.
The Bomb Disposal POW Camps were called "Commandement des Camps de Prisonniers" C.C.P.
German POW's were liberated in the Spring of 1948,
and the last POW units were disbanded on June 30 1948.
|C.S.C.P.||July 9 1945||
|C.R.C.P. Limburg||May 12 1945||June 30 1948||Beringen
|C.R.C.P. Liège||August 6 1945||June 30 1948||Ans
Poix Saint-Hubert (1)
|C.R.C.P. Charleroi||August 29 1945||June 30 1948||Fontaine
September 16 1947
|June 30 1948||Maurage
+ C.P.'s Borinage
from Sep 16 1947
from Sep 16 1947
|C.R.C.P. Borinage||September 30 1945||September 16 1947||Tertre
|May 1 1946||November 15 1947||Forestier
Poix Saint-Hubert (2)
|C.R.C.P.F.||May 1 1946||?||POW
near Forestry Units
|C.C.P. Kalmthout||October 15 1945||November 15 1947||Kalmthout||?|
|C.C.P. Wenduine||August 10 1945||November 15 1947||Wenduine||?|
|Territorial Battalion Namur||February 12 1945||July 16 1945||-||?|
Watch Battalion N° 1
July 7 1945
|March 31 1946||-||Senior Captain EBBERECHT|
|Watch Battalion N° 2||July 16 1945||March 31 1946||-||Major DEPREZ|
|Watch Battalion N° 3||June 16 1945||August 10 1945||-||Major HERMAN|
|Watch Battalion N° 3||October 19 1945||March 31 1946||-||?|
(1) Until June 1 1946. From then under the command of the C.R.C.P.
(2) Comes from an other C.R.C.P.
As far as known only the 3 Watch Battalions wore some kind of a Formation Badge.
A black figure 1,2 or 3 on a scarlet rectangle.
|Formation Badge of the 2nd Watch Battalion||Private from the 1st Watch Battalion wearing the Formation Badge.|
Belgian Rank Insignia were worn.
On the left sleeve a white "BELGIUM" arm title was worn.
On the right sleeve the Belgian national colours were worn, black facing front.
No flash was was worn.