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The P.O.W. Experience in Photos: Germans


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1-- Capture

2-- Disarmament & field interrogation

3-- Removal from the front

4-- Transport

5-- Camp

6-- Release

2) Field interogation by a rather elderly portly Highlands regiment 2nd Lieutenant, assisted by Military Police. The soldier at far right has "23" straps, but the others visible have "237," which I take to be Reserve Infantry Regiment 237, in 107th Infantry Division-- and so probably this was taken at the Somme in early September 1916?

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2) Possibly taken at the same time, though neither photo (typical!) says anything on back. Highlanders and Military Police guard German prisoners at a makeshift back-of-the-front holding pen.

No date, but boots and uniforms are still good, and steel helmets well issued.

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5) A Holsteiner writes to his sister in law in late June 1918 from a French camp in Orleans: "Es geht mir immer gut..." and hopes all the same for them, and any news of his brother?

Notice the "PG" "Prisonnier de Guerre" stencils on the tunics.

I live nearby a now vanished POW camp from both World Wars, and prisoners here in the U.S. during the Second War were issued old WW1 "Doughboy" tunics stripped of insignia & stencilled "PW" front and back, and on one thigh and seat of the trousers. These cast-offs were still being worn--ironically-- by thrifty rural locals as mucking out gear when I was a child in the 1960s.

Edited by Rick Research
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5) These photos were taken by Offizier-Stellvertreter Otto H?gel, a 25 year old native Brunswicker teaching school in Bremen when the war started. After ripping a leg tendon in October 1914, he was sent back to Braunschweig on garrison duty with home detachments of the 92nd Infantry until his medical discharge in July 1916. "Combed" back out as miraculously "fit" again in August 1917, he ended up in Reserve Infantry Regiment 232, also--coincidentally-- of the 107th Infantry Division. Wounded in the March 1918 great offensive, he was back with the 5th Company as a platoon leader by mid April, and as such was captured near Provart on 11 August 1918 and sent to a British POW Camp.

Where, these photos do not specify. (Donington Hall, NOT, from the lax security-- even if most likely taken in the summer of 1919.)

German POWs, including a naval Deck Officer in riding breeches, stroll along a nominal fence.

And an oddly located guard tower (looking down into showers or latrines?) is... blatantly unmanned!

Edited by Rick Research
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another 5) and... not quite 6)

England's very green and pleasant land held no allure for bored prisoners chafing a year after the Armistice "ended" the war.

Although not grammatical (perhaps not enough material for two verbs), the intent of this brandished sign is quite clear.

H?gel was released and began his journey back to defeated Germany 5 November 1919, only 6 days short of a year after the "11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month."

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These Germans all have the lettering PG so I take it they were prisoners of the French. Of the 2 shoulder straps I can see, one has the number 133 and the other has a crown.

What sort of a hat is the man standing rear middle wearing?

The name Schlaucher is on the reverse.

Tony

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I?m not sure if this British sergeant is the only PoW in a camp full of Germans or if he?s just got in the picture with German prisoners.

The reverse reads: Res. Inf. Regt. 106, 1918 vor Reims.

Tony

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This is my favourite PoW photo, the man seated front left is wearing slippers as is the man standing behind him.

Does anyone have an idea if shield shaped badges may have been removed from the uniforms on the two men at the back or if they are just patches covering holes?

These men are in PGK 966. What does K stand for?

Tony

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 10 months later...

2, 3 and 4) A captured automobil in Tsingtau China.

Car together with German driver, captured by (a lot of) Japanese soldiers. Picture was taken shortly after the fall of Tsingtau (see relaxed Japanese, the German soldier looks a little cramped).

Edited by kunsho
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  • 4 weeks later...

Maybe of interest, maybe not, but the latest issue of the American Historical Review has an interesting article dealing with the experiences of German (and Austro-Hungarian) POWs in Russia:

Alon Rachamimov, "The Disruptive Comforts of Drag: (Trans)Gender Performances among Prisoners of War in Russia, 1914?1920," American Historical Review 111, 2 (April 2006): 362-82

See: http://www.historycooperative.org/journals...rachamimov.html (or try your local library).

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Chris: yes indeed they were. The officer I'm personally aware of (marine Lt dR Zimmermann) ended up in Australia in 1939. He was given his sword back in 1920 that had been carefully stored for him since Tsingtau's surrender in 1914. He was allowed not only to keep and continue using his personal camera, but also all the photos which he had taken DURING the siege!!!! There were literally HUNDREDS of photos in his albums, much like the above, but all gone on to a new owner in pre-computer days.

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  • 9 months later...

I like the address; North Wales, England :unsure: .

You probably know, for many Germans "England" and "Britain" are synonyms - that's why not so well educated german tourists sometimes have problems with the local people in Scotland and Wales :blush: .

I found this interesting form, demonstrating the bureaucracy behind the POW-camps, between my grandpa's sheets of music. It's back was used as scribbling paper and it was much luck I found it:

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  • 8 months later...

Maybe of interest, maybe not, but the latest issue of the American Historical Review has an interesting article dealing with the experiences of German (and Austro-Hungarian) POWs in Russia:

Alon Rachamimov, "The Disruptive Comforts of Drag: (Trans)Gender Performances among Prisoners of War in Russia, 1914?1920," American Historical Review 111, 2 (April 2006): 362-82

See: http://www.historycooperative.org/journals...rachamimov.html (or try your local library).

Ed ; Alon Rachamimov wrote an excellent book titled "POW's And The Great War: Captivity on the eastern front" ISBN 1859735738.

Sort of on the same subject is another good book based on a BBC channel 4 documentary titled "Prisoners of the Kaiser " ISBN 0850527341.

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