Dishonourable men? the Australian army, prisoners of war and Anglo-German POW repatriations in the Second World War

Seumas Spark

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The return of Australian prisoners of war (POWs) from the Second World War did not begin in 1945. Hundreds of Australian servicemen, exchanged with enemy personnel at POW repatriations, returned home during the Second World War. Very little is known of these POW repatriations. This article examines the effects of the first, second and third Anglo-German POW repatriations on Australian POW policy. A particular focus is the manner in which the POWs involved in these repatriations were received on return to Australia. The article argues that the Australian Army was hostile to Australian soldiers who had been captured by the enemy, and that this was reflected in its treatment of these men. The article contributes to our understanding of the position of ex-POWs in Australian society.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)242 - 265
Number of pages24
JournalAustralian Historical Studies
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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