The POWs were denied food and medical treatment. The wounded were jeered at. To lower officer morale, the Nazis told British officers that they would lose their rank and be sent to the salt mines to work. They were forced to drink ditch water and eat putrid food.
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“All these guys were abandoning everything they had, any worldly possessions, to get on the boat and get out, because they didn’t want the boats to get weighed down with their cameras,” says Delaney. “You’d expect it’d be the Army who would save the civilians, in this case it was the civilians who saved the Army.”