Barbed Wire Diplomacy: Britain, Germany, and the Politics of Prisoners of War 1939-1945

Hardcover | May 1, 2010

byNeville Wylie

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Barbed Wire Diplomacy examines how the United Kingdom government went about protecting the interests, lives and well-being of its prisoners of war (POWs) in Nazi Germany between 1939 and 1945. The comparatively good treatment of British prisoners in Germany has largely been explained by historians in terms of rational self-interest, reciprocity, and influence of Nazi racism, which accorded Anglo-Saxon servicemen a higher status than other categories of POWs. By contrast, Neville Wylie offers a more nuanced picture of Anglo-German relations and the politics of prisoners of war. Drawing on British, German, United States and Swiss sources, he argues that German benevolence towards British POWs stemmed from London's success in working through neutralintermediaries, notably its protecting power (the United States and Switzerland) and the International Committee of the Red Cross, to promote German compliance with the 1929 Geneva convention, and building and sustaining a relationship with the German government that was capable of withstanding thecorrosive effects of five years of warfare.Expanding our understanding of both the formulation and execution of POW policy in both capitals, the book sheds new light on the dynamics in inter-belligerent relations during the war. It suggests that while the Second World War should be rightly acknowledged as a conflict in which traditionalconstraints were routinely abandoned in the pursuit of political, strategic and ideological goals, in this important area of Anglo-German relations, customary international norms were both resilient and effective.

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Barbed Wire Diplomacy examines how the United Kingdom government went about protecting the interests, lives and well-being of its prisoners of war (POWs) in Nazi Germany between 1939 and 1945. The comparatively good treatment of British prisoners in Germany has largely been explained by historians in terms of rational self-interest, re...

Neville Wylie is Associate Professor in Politics at the University of Nottingham.

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Britain, Switzerland, And The Second World War
Britain, Switzerland, And The Second World War

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:320 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.98 inPublished:May 1, 2010Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199547599

ISBN - 13:9780199547593

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Barbed Wire Diplomacy: Britain, Germany and the politics of prisoners of war during the Second World War1. Explaining coordination and cooperation in Anglo-German relations, 1939-19452. Building the interwar POW regime3. POWs and Anglo-German relations, 1939-19414. The amateurs try their hand. The provision of relief parcels, 1940-415. The POW regime, October 1941 - December, 1942: from 'cooperation' to 'coordination'6. The shadow of the shackling crisis, 19437. The role of the Dominions in British POW policy8. The limits of attraction: British policy and the 'Great Escape', 19449. Avoiding Gotterdammerung, 1945Conclusion