The Amateurs Try their Hand

Neville Wylie

in Barbed Wire Diplomacy

Published in print April 2010 | ISBN: 9780199547593
Published online May 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191720581 | DOI:
The Amateurs Try their Hand

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This chapter addresses the ‘parcels crisis’ of 1940–41 and shows how the collapse of the supply of relief parcels to German POW camps after the fall of France galvanized the prisoners and their supporters in the United Kingdom and expatriate communities abroad into seizing the initiative and demanding a more responsive attitude from both the government and the Joint War Organization (JWO) of the British Red Cross Society and Order of St John of Jerusalem. The crisis transformed POW wellbeing into an issue of domestic political importance, and gave rise to a powerful POW lobby group within parliament and the country at large. It also forced the government to override the independence of the JWO and assume greater responsibility for POW wellbeing and Britain's relations with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

Keywords: prisoner(s) of war; relief parcels; lobby group; domestic politics; Joint War Organization; Red Cross; International Committee of the Red Cross

Chapter.  12865 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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