Thursday, February 3, 2011

German Dugouts Built by Afrika Korps in Canada

During the Second World War, some soldiers of Germany's Afrika Korps captured by the Allies were held at the Whitewater Prisoner of War Camp on Whitewater Lake in Manitoba. According to a recent post by marine archaeologist Timothy Dodson on the Wooden Canoe Heritage Association forum:
while interned at the camp the PoWs built several Dugout canoes. They would use them to paddle around Whitewater Lake. The canoes ranged in both size (1 & 2 men) and propulsion method ( Paddle and Sail).
A team of achaeologists is investigating the site, and they've recovered at least two of the canoes which, as shown above, seem to have been quite nicely made. More photos here.

It seems odd that prisoners of war were allowed both the tools to construct canoes, and the freedom to use them. It would be interesting to know more about the security considerations under which this was possible.

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