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Imprisoning the Enemy (Hardback)

How 12 million Axis POWs were held in captivity during WW2 and after

Military

By Nikolaos Theotokis
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Pages: 224
Illustrations: 50 mono illustrations
ISBN: 9781036100018
Published: 30th September 2024

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Prisoners of war (POWs) are an important part in the history of the Second World War. Nikolaos Theotokis, in this vividly written book, examines the subject, taking a closer look at the hundreds of thousands of Axis military personnel, including women (mostly German), who were held in POW camps, POW cages, prisons or forced labour camps, after being captured by or surrendering to Allied forces, between 1940 and 1945, in the North African, European and Pacific theatres of operations.

Hundreds of cases of officers of the Wehrmacht and the SS, as well as of the Royal Italian and the Imperial Japanese Armies have been grouped by the author in two main categories: those who were taken prisoner by Allied forces and those who surrendered to them. This is not a book about military might, but about people, many of whom were proven innocent victims of circumstance. Officers who committed suicide to avoid capture and others who were charged and punished as war criminals are separately presented, along with a great number of foreign volunteers who were captured by or surrendered to Allied forces during the war, after joining units of the German or the Japanese Armies. Members of the military and secretarial staff of Adolf Hitler who were imprisoned after the German capitulation are also highlighted in the book, along with cases of high-ranking officers in co-belligerent Romania, who were harshly punished by their country’s post-war communist authorities for being anti-communists and for having fought against the Red Army. Another category also examined by the author are the German prisoners who were handed over to Joseph Stalin by the western Allies in May 1945 as a gesture of friendship, although the Soviet Union had not signed the Geneva Convention. This book is a concise, authoritative account of the Axis POWs, being also an unrivalled source of information on the subject.

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About Nikolaos Theotokis

Nikolaos Theotokis, a former Greek army paratrooper, is a journalist who has reported on conflicts around the world, including the Iran-Iraq War, the Gulf Wars, the Yugoslav conflict, the Falklands War and the Troubles in Northern Ireland. He has also written extensively on defence matters and has worked for newspapers, magazines, radio and television stations in Athens. He is the author of the book, published in Greek, Γυναίκες και Πόλεμος (Women and War).

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