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Barbed Wire DiplomacyBritain, Germany, and the Politics of Prisoners of War 1939-1945$
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Neville Wylie

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199547593

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199547593.001.0001

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The Amateurs Try their Hand

The Amateurs Try their Hand

The Provision of Relief Parcels, 1940–1941

(p.92) 4 The Amateurs Try their Hand
Barbed Wire Diplomacy

Neville Wylie (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter addresses the ‘parcels crisis’ of 1940–41 and shows how the collapse of the supply of relief parcels to German POW camps after the fall of France galvanized the prisoners and their supporters in the United Kingdom and expatriate communities abroad into seizing the initiative and demanding a more responsive attitude from both the government and the Joint War Organization (JWO) of the British Red Cross Society and Order of St John of Jerusalem. The crisis transformed POW wellbeing into an issue of domestic political importance, and gave rise to a powerful POW lobby group within parliament and the country at large. It also forced the government to override the independence of the JWO and assume greater responsibility for POW wellbeing and Britain's relations with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

Keywords:   prisoner(s) of war, relief parcels, lobby group, domestic politics, Joint War Organization, Red Cross, International Committee of the Red Cross

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