An Overview of the Forced Labour of Germans after World War II

Introduction In the years following World War II, large numbers of German civilians and captured soldiers were forced into labour by the Allied forces. The topic of using Germans as forced labour for reparations was first broached at the Tehran conference in 1943, where Soviet premier Joseph Stalin demanded 4,000,000 German workers. Forced labour was… Read More


What is the Detainee Treatment Act 2005 (US)?

Introduction The Detainee Treatment Act of 2005 (DTA) is an Act of the United States Congress that was signed into law by President George W. Bush on 30 December 2005. Offered as an amendment to a supplemental defence spending bill, it contains provisions relating to treatment of persons in custody of the Department of Defence,… Read More

What was the Commando Order?

Introduction The Commando Order (German: Kommandobefehl) was issued by the OKW, the high command of the German armed forces, on 18 October 1942 (refer to World War II). This order stated that all Allied commandos captured in Europe and Africa should be summarily executed without trial, even if in proper uniforms or if they attempted… Read More

What is the Hannibal Directive?

Introduction The Hannibal Directive (Hebrew: נוהל חניבעל) (or “Procedure” or “Protocol”) is a controversial procedure that Israel Defence Forces (IDF) have used follow to prevent the capture of Israeli soldiers by enemy forces (refer to prisoner of war). It was introduced in 1986, after a number abductions of IDF soldiers in Lebanon and the subsequent… Read More

An Overview of Captives in American Indian Wars

Introduction Captives in American Indian Wars could expected to be treated differently depending on the identity of their captors and the conflict they were involved in. During the American Indian Wars, indigenous peoples and European colonists alike frequently became captives of hostile parties. Depending on the specific instances in which they were captured, they could… Read More

Civil Resettlement Units: Getting in Shape for Civvy Street

Introduction Civil Resettlement Units, or CRUs, was a scheme created during the Second World War by Royal Army Medical Corps psychiatrists to help British Army servicemen who had been prisoners of war (POWs) to return to civilian life, and to help their families and communities to adjust to having them back. Units were set up… Read More

An Overview of Non-Germans in the German Armed Forces during World War II

Introduction Non-Germans in the German armed forces during World War II were volunteers, conscripts and those otherwise induced to join who served in Nazi Germany’s armed forces during World War II. In German war-time propaganda those who volunteered for service were referred to as Freiwillige (“volunteers”). At the same time, many non-Germans in the German… Read More