Approximately 9 million soldiers fell into enemy hands from 1914 to
1918, but historians have only recently begun to recognize the
prisoner of war's significance to the history of the Great War.
Examining the experiences of the approximately 130,000 German
prisoners held in the United Kingdom during World War I, historian
Brian K. Feltman brings wartime captivity back into focus.
Many German men of the Great War defined themselves and their
manhood through their defense of the homeland. They often looked
down on captured soldiers as potential deserters or cowards--and
when they themselves fell into enemy hands, they were forced to
cope with the stigma of surrender. This book examines the legacies
of surrender and shows that the desire to repair their image as
honorable men led many former prisoners toward an alliance with
Hitler and Nazism after 1933. By drawing attention to the shame of
captivity, this book does more than merely deepen our understanding
of German soldiers' time in British hands. It illustrates the ways
that popular notions of manhood affected soldiers' experience of
captivity, and it sheds new light on perceptions of what it means
to be a man at war.