What is Duty to Escape?

Introduction A duty to escape is a requirement that military personnel attempt to escape from captivity if taken prisoner of war. It is referred to in Second World War prisoner of war films including 1963’s The Great Escape but was not actually a duty imposed on British officers at the time. The duty was formally… Read More

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What are Surrendered Enemy Personnel?

Introduction Surrendered Enemy Personnel (SEP) is a designation for captive enemy soldiers (similar to the US Disarmed Enemy Forces). Background It was most commonly used by British forces towards German forces in Europe, and towards Japanese and associated forces in Asia after the end of World War II. On 01 March 1947 the US stated… Read More

What are Disarmed Enemy Forces?

Introduction Disarmed Enemy Forces (DEF, less commonly, Surrendered Enemy Forces) was a US designation for soldiers who surrendered to an adversary after hostilities ended, and for those POWs who had already surrendered and were held in camps in occupied German territory at the time. It was General Dwight D. Eisenhower’s designation of German prisoners in… Read More

The Olympic Games and World War

Olympic Games Abandoned Due to War During World War I and World War II the following Olympic games were abandoned: World War I: 1916 Summer Olympics. World War II: 1940 Summer Olympics. 1940 Winter Olympics. 1944 Summer Olympics. 1944 Winter Olympics. Refer to the 1952 Inter-Camp POW Olympics, the 1936 Summer Olympics, and the 1936… Read More

What was the 1952 Inter-Camp POW Olympics?

Introduction The 1952 Inter-Camp P.O.W. Olympics (Chinese: 1952年战俘营奥运会; 碧潼战俘营奥运会), also known as Inter-Camp POW Olympic Games, was a mock Olympic Games held at the Pyuktong Prisoner-of-War Camp (碧潼战俘营) of the Chinese People’s Volunteer Army during the Korean War. The athletes were all United Nations (UN) Prisoners of War (POWs). It was often used as a… Read More

What is Wounded in Action?

Introduction Wounded in Action (WIA) describes combatants who have been wounded while fighting in a combat zone during wartime, but have not been killed. Background Typically, it implies that they are temporarily or permanently incapable of bearing arms or continuing to fight. Generally, the Wounded in Action are far more numerous than those killed. Common… Read More

What is Missing in Action?

Introduction Missing in action (MIA) is a casualty classification assigned to combatants, military chaplains, combat medics, and prisoners of war who are reported missing during wartime or ceasefire. They may have been killed, wounded, captured, executed, or deserted. If deceased, neither their remains nor grave has been positively identified. Becoming MIA has been an occupational… Read More