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Colonial Captivity during the First World War
Internment and the Fall of the German Empire, 1914–1919


Part of Studies in the Social and Cultural History of Modern Warfare

  • Date Published: July 2019
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781108406444

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About the Authors
  • With the outbreak of war in 1914, an estimated 30,000 German civilians in African and Asian colonies were violently uprooted and imprisoned. Britain's First World War internment of German settlers seriously challenged the structures that underpinned nineteenth-century imperialism. Through its analysis of this internment, this book highlights the impact that the First World War had on the notion of a common European 'civilising mission' and the image of empire in the early twentieth century. Mahon Murphy examines the effect of the war on a collective European colonial identity, perceptions of internment in the extra-European theatres of war, and empires in transition during war. Policymakers were forced to address difficult questions about the future rule of Germany's colonies and the nature of empire in general. Far from a conflict restricted to European powers, the First World War triggered a worldwide remaking of ideas, institutions and geopolitics.

    • Addresses a widely unknown aspect of the First World War and colonial history
    • Offers an integrated analysis of internment in British colonies around the world
    • Explains how the First World War fits into the history of the downfall of imperial powers
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Deeply sourced in British, US, Swiss, German, and Japanese archives, as well as the best modern publications, this study fills a neglected corner of war captivity research. Highly recommended.' G. H. Davis, Choice

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    Product details

    • Date Published: July 2019
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781108406444
    • dimensions: 230 x 153 x 15 mm
    • weight: 0.38kg
    • contains: 2 maps
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    List of maps
    Part I. Empire, Internment and the First World War:
    1. Internment in the First World War and the global context
    2. The geography of internment
    Part II. The Experience of Internment:
    3. Rum, solitary and the lash: violence against prisoners of war
    4. Der Krieg ist kein afternoon tea! Identity and internment
    5. The propaganda of internment: presenting the colonial conflict to Europe
    Part III. Global Connections:
    6. The British Empire and the global internment system
    7. The end of German colonial rule: repatriation

  • Author

    Mahon Murphy, Kyoto University, Japan
    Mahon Murphy is Research Fellow at the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science at the Graduate School of Law, Kyoto University, Japan.

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