POW exchange

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paul.mercer
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POW exchange

Postby paul.mercer » Fri Sep 22, 2017 9:37 am

Gentlemen,
just finished reading a story of a chap who was taken prisoner at Dunkirk and later fell very ill in a POW camp, and he was exchanged in early 1945.
Presumably these exchanges were arranged between the opposing forces via a neutral country and the Red Cross, but were all the exchanges done by a Red Cross ship or did they use aircraft as well with special dispensation to fly over each others territory?

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RF
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Re: POW exchange

Postby RF » Mon Sep 25, 2017 7:53 am

There were all manner of POW exchanges during WW2.

In some instances it provided valuable intelligence, as did some successful POW escapes.
''Give me a Ping and one Ping only'' - Sean Connery.

paul.mercer
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Re: POW exchange

Postby paul.mercer » Thu Sep 28, 2017 9:46 pm

RF wrote:There were all manner of POW exchanges during WW2.

In some instances it provided valuable intelligence, as did some successful POW escapes.


But how were they actually transferred, by ship or plane or both?

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RF
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Re: POW exchange

Postby RF » Fri Sep 29, 2017 8:37 am

Generally by ship or by transfer to neutral territory (such as territory under Vichy French control) under the ambit of the Red Cross.

Smaller transfers were done by aircraft, using agreed diplomatic flights between the UK and Switzerland and also between the UK and Sweden. These usually involved wounded or sick POW's or simply prisoners who posed no military threat and had no intelligence value to the holding power for whom they were a liability in having to house/feed them etc.
''Give me a Ping and one Ping only'' - Sean Connery.

paul.mercer
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Re: POW exchange

Postby paul.mercer » Sat Sep 30, 2017 5:20 pm

Thanks for that.
I suppose that if all the characters in the 'Great Escape' had been real the forger who went blind (Donald Pleasance) would have been exchanged and had no need to escape.

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RF
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Re: POW exchange

Postby RF » Mon Oct 02, 2017 8:08 am

Unlikely.

That character had been involved in previous escape attempts and in the eyes of the Germans was a ''troublemaker.''

He would have far more likely to have murdered by the Gestapo or SS than be set free.

''No military threat'' means not only incapable of fighting but also incapable of helping anyone else to fight and unable to help the Allied war effort in any way whatsoever. Clearly that is not the case with this character.
''Give me a Ping and one Ping only'' - Sean Connery.

paul.mercer
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Re: POW exchange

Postby paul.mercer » Wed Oct 04, 2017 6:55 pm

RF wrote:Unlikely.

That character had been involved in previous escape attempts and in the eyes of the Germans was a ''troublemaker.''

He would have far more likely to have murdered by the Gestapo or SS than be set free.

''No military threat'' means not only incapable of fighting but also incapable of helping anyone else to fight and unable to help the Allied war effort in any way whatsoever. Clearly that is not the case with this character.


Murder a blind man -cowardly bas---rds!


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