The MegaMilitary Project | Online Edition #343
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Chieti, Campo 21 (P.G. 21) Prison Camp - 1942

Chieti, Campo 21 (P.G. 21) Prison Camp (1942)

A typical prison camp operated by the Italian forces during World War II

Campo 21 (P.G. 21) at Chieti, on the Adriatic coast near Pescara, was typical of the prison camps operated by the Italian armed forces during World War II. The camp comprised eight single-story barracks, each in a U-shape, with additional buildings serving as cookhouse, mess hall, hospital, guard barracks, and administrative office.

The entire camp was ringed by a 12-foot-high (3.7 m) brick wall that was ominous but did not prevent prisoners from enjoying a wonderful view of the Apennines Mountains.

Chieti housed officers captured in North Africa, including British, Australian, New Zealand, and South African army officers and American airmen. On the whole, conditions in the camp were good. Food, clothing, and water were always in short supply, but recreational opportunities were excellent. There were five bands, a theater, film screenings, hikes in the countryside, and swimming in a nearby river. Perhaps most importantly, relations between the prisoners themselves were extremely amicable, something that was not true in all camps.

chieti italian pow camp 1942 1943
Chieti - Campo 21 (P.G.21) - Italian Prison Camp on the Adriatic coast near Pescara

On 21 September 1943, after the capitulation of Italy, German troops arrived in Chieti to move the prisoners northward to captivity in Germany. On 24 September, the evacuation began, and many prisoners were sorry to leave Campo 21. As James Chutter, a former inmate, wrote, "All who knew Chieti hold it in kindly memory".

WWII (1939-1945)
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