This introductory chapter surveys the current literature on British prisoners of war in Germany during the Second World War and the state of the archival sources. It also highlights some of the core themes that will be developed in subsequent chapters: the domestic political context within which POW policy was made in London, notably the existence of an attentive lobby group in the form of the prisoners' next‐of‐kin, the Dominion governments' influence over UK policy‐making, the way in which POW issues fed into Britain's broader political relationship with the German government, and finally the particularities of inter‐belligerent ‘POW diplomacy’ and the key role played by neutral intermediaries.
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