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British Prisoners of War in First World War Germany

$30.99 (C)

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

  • Date Published: March 2019
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781316648872

$ 30.99 (C)

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About the Authors
  • Over 185,000 British military servicemen were captured by the Germans during the First World War and incarcerated as prisoners of war (POWs). In this original investigation into their experiences of captivity, Wilkinson uses official and private British source material to explore how these servicemen were challenged by, and responded to, their wartime fate. Examining the psychological anguish associated with captivity, and physical trials, such as the controlling camp spaces; harsh routines and regimes; the lack of material necessities; and, for many, forced labour demands, he asks if, how and with what effects British POWs were able to respond to such challenges. The culmination of this research reveals a range of coping strategies embracing resistance; leadership and organisation; networks of support; and links with 'home worlds'. British Prisoners of War in First World War Germany offers an original insight into First World War captivity, the German POW camps, and the mentalities and perceptions of the British servicemen held within.

    • Challenges the exclusion of captivity experiences within the historiography of the First World War
    • Expands our understanding of the direct effects of war captivity on individuals, families and communities
    • Utilises official documents alongside prisoners' diaries, letters, testimonies and magazines to provide wider context to the landscape of captivity for British prisoners of war in Germany
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    Reviews & endorsements

    ‘In this meticulously researched book, Oliver Wilkinson tells us why military captivity in the First World War mattered. Significantly, he demonstrates that POW camps were not a separate universe, divorced from fighting front and home front, but intimately connected with both. This is a story told with passion, but also with scholarly precision and close attention to detail.’ Matthew Stibbe, Sheffield Hallam University

    'Compelling, comprehensive, and original, based on an impressive range of sources, this book is a major contribution to the scholarship on First World War captivity.' Heather Jones, The London School of Economics and Political Science

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    Product details

    • Date Published: March 2019
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781316648872
    • length: 322 pages
    • dimensions: 230 x 153 x 20 mm
    • weight: 0.4kg
    • contains: 25 b/w illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. Behind the Wire:
    1. Capture
    2. The camps
    3. Routine, work and discipline
    4. Necessities of life
    Part II. Prisoner Responses:
    5. Resistance
    6. Leadership and organisation
    7. Friends and feuds
    8. Linking with home
    9. Repatriation, futures and myths.

  • Author

    Oliver Wilkinson, University of Wolverhampton
    Oliver Wilkinson is currently a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in History, Politics and War Studies at the University of Wolverhampton, having researched British captivity experiences in the First World War for a decade. His previous works include contributions to the edited collections War and Displacement in the Twentieth Century: Global Conflicts (2014) and Cultural Heritage and Prisoners of War: Creativity behind Barbed Wire (2012), and to the Journal of War and Culture Studies.

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