Prisoners of War, Prisoners of Peace: Captivity, Homecoming, and Memory in World War II

By Bob Moore; Barbara Hately-Broad | Go to book overview

-3-
British Perceptions of Italian Prisoners
of War, 1940–7

Bob Moore

Between June 1940 and the surrender signed by Marshal Badoglio on 8 September 1943, British Imperial forces took more than 400,000 Italian servicemen prisoner, primarily in the African theatres of war. Often captured in huge numbers, they were held initially in makeshift POW camps that were little more than patches of desert or scrub surrounded by a rudimentary barbed-wire fence. Later they were dispersed across the Empire and remained in captivity until the end of the war in Europe and beyond. Their treatment, dispersal and subsequent employment seems to have been based primarily on the 'official' British military, governmental and civil service perception of the prisoners as largely docile, uncommitted to Fascism and posing few real threats to security. The first part of this chapter therefore seeks to explain the origins and development of this view. Following the dispersal of the prisoners across the British Empire, the Italians also came into contact with a broad cross-section of the civilian population, and a second part of this discussion is devoted to an assessment of the general public's view of the enemy in its midst. Finally, some attention has been devoted to the attempts at political re-education carried out by the British during the war. It would be impossible to do justice to these questions across all the Imperial territories and this therefore represents a case study that deals more or less exclusively with the United Kingdom.


British Perceptions of Italy and the Italians before 1940

The ways in which the British government and public saw their Italian enemies during World War II were inevitably coloured by long-standing cultural perceptions developed over many generations and then 'refined' and built upon by cartoonists and propagandists after war was declared in June 1940. Italians had been a feature in many British communities since the mid-nineteenth century. They had arrived as immigrants and itinerants, as organ-grinders and street sellers, often subsequently establishing themselves in the service sectors as hoteliers, restaurateurs, cooks and

-25-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Prisoners of War, Prisoners of Peace: Captivity, Homecoming, and Memory in World War II
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 270

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.