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Camp Crossville site.

Afrika Korps POW Camp

Field review by the editors.

Crossville, Tennessee

Camp Crossville opened in November 1942, a former CCC camp turned into prison for German and Italian officers captured in North Africa during World War 2. Because officers were thought to be smart, the POW camp had to be especially remote to thwart escapes.

Historical marker.

In the end, escapes turned out to be not much of a problem. Life at Camp Crossville was pretty easy: the Germans had beer, the Italians had opera records. Only one prisoner ever got out, and he was found working on a farm in Kentucky. After the war, dozens of former prisoners returned to the USA with their families to become American citizens.

Camp Crossville closed in December 1945, and part of the property became a 4-H training center. All that remains on the site for the public to see is a historical marker and map of the camp out by the road. The Military Memorial Museum in town has a few salvaged artifacts, but the Germans and Italians apparently took their beer and records with them.

Afrika Korps POW Camp

4-H Center Drive, Crossville, TN
I-40 exit 317. Turn south onto US-27/N. Main St. Drive one mile. Turn right at the stoplight onto North Side Drive. Drive three miles. Turn right at the stoplight onto US-70. Drive 2.5 miles. Turn left at the brick church onto POW Camp Rd. Drive about three miles. You'll see the historical marker on the left.
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Nearby Offbeat Places

Military Memorial MuseumMilitary Memorial Museum, Crossville, TN - 5 mi.
Rock City BarnRock City Barn, Crossville, TN - 12 mi.
Backcountry Gourd Art SupermarketBackcountry Gourd Art Supermarket, Pikeville, TN - 23 mi.
In the region:
Brushy Mountain State Penitentiary, Petros, TN - 40 mi.

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