Allied POWs in German Hands 1914 - 1918

Rare Photographs from Wartime Archives by David Bilton

 

A continuation of the popular ‘Images of War’ series, this book looks at Allied POWs in German hands during the First World War. An unusual, but well-documented subject, especially from a photographic point of view, as there appears to be at least 300 images of varying quality in this book. Many of the images are staged in an effort to give a false impression to the enemy of how well the POWs are being treated. In some cases this was true, but life was pretty tough in a German POW camp made worse by disease, a lack of food and poor medical care let alone general abuse.

Much thicker than previous ‘Images of War’ books reviewed by Military Modelling, the author has taken great care to not only show what life was really like in captivity but also what it was like to be captured in the first place. What is quite surprising is the number of POWs whose war was not actually over because they were retained on the front lines in support of the German war effort. One fascinating chapter called ‘Camp Life and Death’ presents the numbers of POWs the Germans were copying with. By the end of the war soldiers from 13 countries made up of 36,954 Officers and 2,374,769 Other Ranks were being held by the Germans and 111,879 interned civilians. The arrival of Red Cross parcels made life a little more bearable for the British, but not all nations received them and the likes of Russians were left begging for handouts.

The true hardship of POW life can never be represented in black and white photographs but this book by retired teacher, David Bilton goes a long way towards trying.   

    Highly recommended and thanks again to Pen & Sword for our copy.  

 

ISBN: 978-1473867017

Price: £14.99

Pages: 208

Format: softback – 245mm x 188mm

Publisher: Pen & Sword Military

Website: www.pen-and-sword.co.uk