Camp Layout

 

18A plan (117kb) Plan of Stalag 18A (117kb) based on an original drawn in 1945 by a draughtsman POW (probably Charles Fairman) for the Camp Authorities.
(Thanks to Ken O'Kennedy for filling in the details.)

The camp was divided into three compounds. That for the British and Commonwealth POW's contained about 300 men. Next to that were the French and then the Russians. Originally, most of the British and Commonwealth POW's were housed in an old stable, divided into two with an ablution area in the middle. The rest were held in wooden huts, each holding about thirty. Each hut was filled with three-tier bunks and a stove in the middle, with permanent washing lines hanging everywhere.

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Main Gate, looking West Watch Tower No. 11 Back of British huts towards Guard Tower 11 Taylor's & Boot Repair Hut Between British huts looking West
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Main gate, 1941 Interior of Hut 21 Detention Block Medical Block Between British huts looking East
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Small group in Hut 21 Camp in winter Back of Dentist's and Medical Report From Watch Tower 9 towards Medical Block Towards Main Gate, French huts on left
 

To give some idea of the context of the photos shown above, I have added them to the following map of the camp. Click on the arrows.



Stalag 18A today

The last original building from the camp was demolished as recently as 1998. Today it requires a certain amount of imagination to visualise the camp. The area is a rather curious mixture of an industrial estate and private housing. In August 2002, I visited the area and, after much wandering around, I am fairly certain as to the original site of the camp. The only clearly visible reminder is the road 'Lagerstrasse' which runs through the estate.

The west, south and east boundaries of the camp were bounded by St Thomaser Strasse, Schwabenhofstrasse and Klagenfurter Strasse respectively. The northern boundary is not so obvious as the area between Arlingbachweg, a narrow lane,  and the Arlingbach stream  is heavily wooded. Lagerstrasse seems to enter the camp area from Klagenfurter Strasse at or near the position of the Main Gate of the old camp. The bend in the middle of Lagerstrasse is near the position of the old Sports Ground.

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Approximate position
of the camp boundaries
Aerial view of the estate
with camp outline added

The following two photos were taken on 10th May 1945 by John G. Follansbee, a gunner on a B-24 Liberator. They show the western side of the camp. I have marked various locations on the photos.
(Photos provided by Scott Follansbee, his son.)

Aerial Photo 1 Aerial Photo 2

Views of the Industrial Estate (2011)

The arrows and numbers on this map refer to the photos shown below
1 2 3 4
Looking down Lagerstrasse from
where the main gate was located.
Looking down Arlingbachweg On the corner of Arlingbachweg.
Bruckenweg is just visible in the distance.
Bruckenweg sign
5 6 7 8
Looking right along Bruckenweg. Looking towards the far end of
Arlinbachweg
 Looking left along Bruckenweg. The houses
here existed at the same time as the camp.
Looking left from the main gate location.
9 10 11 12
Looking up Schwabenhofstrasse
from the corner of the camp.
Further along Schwabenhofstrasse. Looking along Schwabenhofstrasse at
the junction of Lagerstrasse.
Lagerstrasse sign.
13 14 15 16
Looking along Lagerstrasse.
Wolfsberg Castle in the distance.
Schwabenhofstrasse sign. Looking along St Thomaser Strasse at the
junction with Schwabenhofstrasse
Looking along St Thomaser Strasse to the
junction with Karl Krobath Strasse.
17 18 19 20
looking down Karl Krobath Strasse. Looking along St Thomaser Strasse to the
bridge over the Arlingbach
On the bridge over the Arlingbach. Looking down the Arlingbach
back towards the camp.
 

Buildings still standing

The aerial photos shown below were taken on 10th May 1945 by John G. Follansbee, a B-24 gunner. They show the western side of the camp and part of St Thomaser Strasse. The buildings that I have ringed are still there today.

Map showing the location of the buildings Photo 1 Photo 2
Building 1 Building 2 Building 3

The Stalag 18A Plaque

Bill Fountain, son of Gnr William Fountain, 5th Fld. Rg., 2NZEF, visited Wolfsberg in 2008 and has sent me the following photos of the only surviving memorial to the POW camp. It is attached to the outside wall of a small chapel on the Klagenfurter Strasse just to the north of the entrance to Lagerstrasse, near to a cemetery.

View of the chapel Bill Fountain with the plaque

On the other side of the chapel is an interesting memorial for any student of WW2. The memorial is dedicated to the dead and missing of a German Mountain Regiment which presumably came from the Wolfsberg area. It lists the Battle Honours of the regiment, in particular the action at Narvik in Norway in 1940, in which the regiment came up against a British force. The wreath that the eagle is holding in its claws would have once have held a swastika. This has been carefully removed! For comparison, I include an image of the badge issued to soldiers who fought in the Narvik action.

The memorial, without swastika The badge, with swastika


 


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