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Women POWs

BuggerAll

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
#1
Were there any women POWs in the Great War or the second war?

There were some SOE agents who were imprisoned after capture and there were feamle prisoners of the Japanese (Tenko etc) but they were not, or were not treated as POWs.

Did we have any?
 

BuggerAll

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
#3
The 'Tenko' women were civilian detainees, and the SOE women were not treated as POW's whether or not they should have been.

The Japanese captured some military nurses, I'm not sure what happened to the one who survived the initial rape and murder phase.
 
#4
'We' had one briefly at Arnhem, enough of a novelty to be photographed by the AFPU.
There are also accounts of French lady snipers in Normandy - assumed to be girlfriends of Germans - who didn't get shot when captured. I imagine they were not granted POW status and were dealt with by the intelligence/security services.
 
#5
BuggerAll said:
The 'Tenko' women were civilian detainees, and the SOE women were not treated as POW's whether or not they should have been.
I think you answered your own question.

The problem was that the statutes of the British Army, Navy and Royal Air Force barred women from armed combat, so there was no legal authority for women to engage in guerrilla warfare.

As insurgents, operating behind enemy lines in civilian clothing, the SOE agents did not have the same protection as POWs under international law. If caught, they could be legally executed as spies. Women were especially vulnerable because the 1929 Geneva Convention and the 1907 Hague Convention on Land Warfare made no provision at all for protecting women, as women were not envisioned as combatants.
here

Beebs
 
#6
blessed baby cakes said:
BuggerAll said:
The 'Tenko' women were civilian detainees, and the SOE women were not treated as POW's whether or not they should have been.
I think you answered your own question.

The problem was that the statutes of the British Army, Navy and Royal Air Force barred women from armed combat, so there was no legal authority for women to engage in guerrilla warfare.

As insurgents, operating behind enemy lines in civilian clothing, the SOE agents did not have the same protection as POWs under international law. If caught, they could be legally executed as spies. Women were especially vulnerable because the 1929 Geneva Convention and the 1907 Hague Convention on Land Warfare made no provision at all for protecting women, as women were not envisioned as combatants.
here

Beebs
There was this one time, right.....

Can't tell you anymore
 
#7
Surely status depends on the Hague/Geneva conventions.
SOE - not in uniform so arguably not eligible for POW treatment - only makes their bravery the greater bearing in mind their treatment and several really ghastly deaths: a book a couple of years ago told how SOE's Vera Atkins tracked down how each of 'her' girls had died and it not a nice read.

The Aussie nurse story is another horror - non-combattants but the Japs still marched one lot into the sea and then machine gunned them. Vivian Bullwinkel was the only survivor. She made it into the jungle and later surrendered, keeping very quiet about the massacre and her own resulting wounds. Later gave evidence at the trials. The Aussie war memorial in Canberra has her dress, complete with bullet holes...
 

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