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30

Both sides of this tactic has been used throughout human history. On the one hand, mistreating POWs may make soldiers run in fear rather than fight. On the other hand, those same soldiers will be less likely to surrender if they're cornered. Soldiers when in desperate straits lose the sense of fear. If there is no place of refuge, they will stand firm. ...


11

The officers were paroled, and without any ransom as late as at start of WW1. For example the later marshal Tuchachevsky was a "poruchik" (senior lieutenant) then and was taken as a prisoner by Germans. As with all other officers, he was allowed to walk into the town and had his freedom, only he gave his honest word that he'll return into the barracks. But ...


8

Parole is indeed the word that all parties would have used and understood in 1945. In fact, this is a military tradition that has roots going back as far as Roman Empire - for example, Marcus Atilius Regulus was released on parole by the Carthaginians in 250 B.C.. It was relatively common through the end of the American Civil War, where it was done through ...


6

British and American POW's were treated as POW's. Soviet Jewish POW's were usually treated as Jews, if their national origin could be determined. The justification was that Soviet Union did not sign the international convention about POW's. Of course, this was the official point of view, but actual treatment depended on commanders in the field. Official ...


6

I'll try to explain briefly the big picture, because the full answer would be book length. So this answer is simplified and designed to give you a good idea about where to keep learning. The Nazis had a concept of Scientific racism. This led them to define the "Jewish problem" and to therefore define Jews as sub-humans. They then created the ...


6

There are international agreements on the definition of POW dating back to the Lieber Code declared by Lincoln in 1862 Art. 49. A prisoner of war is a public enemy armed or attached to the hostile army for active aid, who has fallen into the hands of the captor, either fighting or wounded, on the field or in the hospital, by individual ...


5

I didn't find the names themselves, but the practice of the British claiming anyone born on British soil as 'deserters' caused a lot of controversy, with U.S. also taking 'hostage' prisoners, and the British claiming more 'deserters' from a later battle as well. You can be sure your ancestor was not among those Original 23. They were not returned to the ...


5

Noble prisoners captured by other nobles would be held by them - in the proper manner- which frequently got so long and expensive the nobleman lost out on the deal. Since ultimately they belonged to the king, who in the 15th Century would be leading the army in the field, the noble would have to pay a fee to the king to keep them - essentially a cut. Or ...


4

There was large difference between Eastern and Western fronts. Generally, Western POW (British, American, French, German) were treated by their western captors according to the "laws of war", that is Geneva conventions. Of course, there were many exceptions, but as a rule they were treated decently. This does not apply to the Soviet POW captured by the ...


4

If you are asking about people who were prisoners of the Germans, then British and Americans did the best, although this was certainly no joyride. According to Wikipedia, German prisoners in the hands of Britain were least likely to die. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allied_war_crimes_during_World_War_II#Comparative_death_rates_of_POWs


3

Military paroles became impractical when mass conscription led to the formation of armies of tens or hundreds of thousands of men that were too hard to keep track of. Military parole was used as late as the American Revolution. This was when "armies" typically numbered in the thousands, and both sides spoke the same language (English). Also, the British ...


3

Escape attempts at Elmira seemed to be fairly common from what I find. One account describes the punishment for prisoners caught in escape attempts, and implies that tunneling was a common way to wind up there. The majority of escape attempts led not to freedom, but rather to an escorted walk to the guardhouse. The building, which measured ...


3

Nazi doctrine developed in the 1920s from pre-existing anti-semitic and other racist tendencies, and placed Jews amongst the Untermensch - essentially "not quite human". The Russians were categorised with Slavs, and were also "not quite human". Western Allied people (French, British, American) fell into a category that was considered to be compatible with ...


3

There is a book "Mercy Ships: The Untold Story of Prisoner-of-War Exchanges in World War II" which covers this topic. The two principal ships used were Swedish: Drottningholm and the Gripsholm. These ships were also used to exchange civilian internees. The total amounts of people exchanged amounted to a few 10s of thousands. In the case of soldiers, it ...


2

In general, the treatment of Jewish POWs was at the "low end" of what it was for others of their "nationality." POWs who were Soviet Jews were treated very badly--because they were Soviets. Things were a bit worse for men who were both Soviets and Jews, but it was basically "Soviet" that determined their treatment. POWs who were American or British were ...


2

I doubt that a generalized answer is possible. Contrary to myth, nazis were not efficient. Many of their policies were made up as they went along. POW camps, concentration camps, and forced labor camps were not the same, but there were similarities in the policies. That being said: I recall reading about a Dutch prisoner in a forced labor camp who ran ...


2

A prisoner captured in battle belongs to the "state" of the soldiers who captured him. In theory, that would be the king of England or France. Now it is possible that with at least some high ranking nobles, the king of England or France would let the capturer keep the prisoner. But this would be a form of "delegation," not a usual practice. But common ...


2

I think your question is impossible to answer because each side held some of their prisoners under conditions which bordered on a release. The usual reason was to use the prisoners for their own war effort, not charity. The US had Operation Paperclip which captured scientists like Wernher von Braun. It is a judgement call when captivity turned into a job ...


2

Picking up on the theme of National Archives War Office records, you might have some luck with WO 28/304, "General Orders issued on behalf of the Commander of the Forces in Canada [Lieutenant General Sir George Prevost] by the Adjutant General's Office at the headquarters in Quebec.", covering 20 February to 18 October 1812. WO 28/303 (similar records from ...


1

It looks like the UK National Archives does contain records of desertions, but perhaps only as far back as the 1812. Still, it might be worth a look if you have access to it somehow (your local library, and in particular your local Librarian may be able to help). It does appear that desertion was the most common reason for calling a court-martial in the ...



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