The POW Regime, October 1941–December 1942

Neville Wylie

in Barbed Wire Diplomacy

Published in print April 2010 | ISBN: 9780199547593
Published online May 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191720581 | DOI:
The POW Regime, October 1941–December 1942

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This chapter charts the decline in Anglo‐German POW relations from late 1941 until December 1942. It shows how mutual confidence diminished under the pressure of events, on and off the battlefield, in Europe and the Far East, and how authorities on both sides came to adopt a more restrictive attitude towards their reciprocal relations. The chapter closes with a discussion of the ‘shackling crisis’ of late 1942 and demonstrates how, contrary to perceived wisdom, Churchill's determination to match German reprisals, while failing to bring the crisis to a satisfactory conclusion, had a salutary effect on German attitudes towards the POW regime. Though the level of cooperation declined, both sides remained conscious of the value of the POW regime and were prepared to coordinate their behaviour for mutual benefit when required.

Keywords: Anglo‐German relations; prisoner(s) of war; coordination; cooperation; reciprocity; shackling crisis; Winston Churchill

Chapter.  13725 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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