1. Zombie_Chinchilla
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    Zombie_Chinchilla Member

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    Prisoners of War

    Discussion in 'Research' started by Zombie_Chinchilla, Oct 1, 2010.

    In my current work in progress, my main character spends a majority of the story as a prisoner of war.

    Does anyone know about what soldiers would do to their prisoners of war? How were they treated, what did they do to them, etc. Thank you!
     
  2. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    Main character are they male or female, civiliian or service and which war?
     
  3. Zombie_Chinchilla
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    Zombie_Chinchilla Member

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    Female, she's a civilian who has been kidnapped to replace their dead mechanics, and though it's fantasy, I'd consider it a world war. Sorry for forgetting it.

    And may I say, Elgaisma, you are a NINJA. You replied 3 minutes after I posted.
     
  4. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    lol boards so slow been waiting for an interesting post.

    OK so it is Connie Ten Boom or if you can get hold of it Pamela Brown wrote an amazing book called the Finishing School about a teenager in a Japanese POW camp. Mother Maria is an amazing tale of how the force of a good personality can get you admiration of your guards (she did die in the gas chambers)

    The character in the finishing school was forced to teach the soldiers English as she knew a little Japanese. She was almost raped, beaten, tortured and left in a room without food and water when she tried to teach them songs etc The books were boring she wasn't preaching any kind of sedition. She had to escape to find her Mother medicine. And of course they walked miles to get there people dying on the way.
     
  5. art
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    art Contributing Member Contributor

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    It depends on who's the prisoner and who's doing the imprisoning.
    There is no right answer. POWS have been treated respectfully and honourably. POWS have been treated despicably.

    The chief thing you need bear in mind is that a group's approach to treating POWs is a part of, is usually consistent with, their approach to making war per se. Do they have a regard for non-combatants? Are they peculiarly (pathologically) brutal in their killing methods etc etc.?
     
  6. Evelyanin
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    Evelyanin Senior Member

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    As was mentioned, it would really depend on the people. I knew someone who was a German soldier, and was captured during World War II. He was send to a prison in Canada, and was apparently treated very well.

    In your case, I would say that they would treat her decently, since she is just a civilian, and she is a mechanic. Dead or terribly injured mechanics are sort of useless. Of course, if your bad guys are really bad, they might still be extremely nasty, though if they went through all the trouble to kidnap her, she is probably worth enough to keep in one piece.
     
  7. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    since it's fanatasy, they'd be treated any way you want them to be... you're the writer and world/war creator, so design their treatment to best fit the needs of your story... no one can decide that but you...
     
  8. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    I really couldn't answer this without knowing more about the story. It depends on the nature of the antags.
     
  9. Trilby
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    Trilby Contributing Member Contributor

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    It all depends on the captors. Are they decent fair-minded people or are they evil, malicious, sadistic, murderous so and sos?
    It is your story it's up to you.

    Edit- I have just thought of a couple of films that might help;
    Odette, starring Anna neagle

    Bridge on the River kwia, Starring Alec Guinness

    Colditz, starring John Mills
     
  10. Lothgar
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    Lothgar Contributing Member

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    It really all depends on who has captured them.

    In the real world, if you are going to surrender to a military force, the NATO countries are the best to surrender to. Obviously, no one is going to imprison you in the lap of luxury, but countries that have signed and enforce the Geneva Accords tend to at least give you a fair shake. They aren't allowed to murder or torture their prisoners (and will be prosecuted if they do). The Canadians, British, French, American and other NATO countries usually treat their prisoners better than some tin idol, dictatorship third world hell hole would. At least their prisoners get fed regularly and get medical attention when required.

    Barbaric and uncivilized armies, who aren't bound to recognize human rights, hold no reservations about executing their prisoners (Its cheaper than feeding them). If they have a need for slave labor, prisoners can be pressed in service and only the ones who resist would be executed. Alternately, they may just sell prisoners to others who have need of slave labor.

    Heaven help you if they suspect that you have tactical information that might be beneficial to them...and may god have mercy on your immortal soul if they THINK you have information when you actually don't.

    Pirates, Terrorists and rebel bands do not have the resources to imprison enemy soldiers...therefore you'd be damned fool to surrender to them...with the emphasis on "damned".
     
  11. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    It also depends on how the capturing nation feels about keeping whatever allies they have.

    Even the most jaded governments are aware that torturing and killing prisoners of war is likely to turn allies and sympathizers into enemies. Every country depends on treaties with allies, and even with countries that disapprove of them but prefer to remain uninvolved.
     
  12. Zombie_Chinchilla
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    Zombie_Chinchilla Member

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    Okay, thank you everyone. I definitely got my answer. :] I'll make sure read those books/watch those movie. Thanks!
     
  13. Gannon
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    Gannon Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'd also recommend getting your teeth in to Ballard's Empire of the Sun, which is his semi-autobiographical account of his time in a Japanese POW camp.
     
  14. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    also nevil shute's 'a town like alice'...
     
  15. digtersvrou
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    digtersvrou Member

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    I'd look on the red cross site, all they do is humanitarian law, which really should be renamed the rules of war law.

    There are specific sections to POW's.

    Also the Geneva Conventions and both Protocols will be useful. Every kind of torture is dealt with. Spies, torture, drinking water etc.

    Humanitarian law is one of my fields. SO if you want to know specifics, ask.
     

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