Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The Manitoba Winter

Today - 68 Years Ago
November 1, 1943

The news of a "mass breakout" in Riding Mountain spread across the region as RCMP officers constantly patrolled the parks borders, searching for the missing nineteen PoWs. As the police tried getting pictures of the missing men to aid in the search, spelling errors and poor phone communication hampered their efforts. Regardless, patrols were assembled and searched the area around the camp and the major roads. Increasing snowfall, which during the middle of the night had increased to a small blizzard, severely hampered the search effort. Regardless, preparations were made for a manhunt in the morning.

Winnipeg Free Press - November 1, 1943
The story was picked up by the major newspapers, eager for news of what could be one of the largest escape attempts in Canada during the war. The escape made the front page of the Winnipeg Tribune, Winnipeg Free Press, and Minnedosa Tribune and an article was even printed in the Globe and Mail. The attached Winnipeg Free Press article tells most of the story.

PoWs Landmann and Schneider were the first to return shortly aften nine in the morning and seven more followed shortly after. The others arrived after lunch, while the final two were picked up by an RCMP patrol.

What promised to be "Manitoba's largest manhunt" was cancelled as the PoWs were placed in custody. While the camp staff decided the fate of the PoWs, the nineteen men were definitely glad to be back indoors.

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