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Ah but, in the 18th century it was very common for the entire force to surrender. Think of the many seiges of the 1700s. The garrison would receive the "honours of war" and march away to fight another day. Professional soldiers were too valuable to waste. They were "exchanged" through an elaborate system of rules with what we would see almost as umpires. War gamers would have loved it.
It wasn't until the AWI that the modern prison camp was invented after the Convention Army of General Burgoyne was seized in violation of the "convention" (the term surrender was avoided). The British faced the problem of how to treat "rebels". The military museum at Edinburgh Castle has a really good exhibit on this topic. "Rebel" and French prisoners were kept in the castle in the AWI.
In the Napoleonic wars and the wars of the 19th century there were again many prison camps. During the American Civil war the status of prisoners was again under question as one side did not recognize the nationhood of the other. The condiditions on both sides were terrible, exemplified by Andersonville in Georgia. One might have expected better from fellow countrymen but civil wars often bring out the worst in people.
In both the AWI and the ACW the "rebels" had an advantage on POW treatment in that during the early days of the conflict they were successful in obtaining a number of POWs that could be held as hostages, thus insuring that their own POWs would be treated as POWs rather than as traitors.
I think that prison camps in America preceded Burgoyne's surrender. A great many American POWs were kept in hulks in NY harbor, and the Americans kept a fair number of Brits and their supporters in various facilities throughout the country. As for the ACW, the conditions on both sides, while never ideal, deteriorated significantly after Grant stopped the POW exchanges.
It was just a joke I think all Nations have had there moments which they would rather forget, for me the British surrendering to a much smaller Japanese force at Singapore springs to mind.
Hope there's no hard feelings Brian
No problem, Brian...
As I wrote I don't feel resposable for what italians did years before my birht! And I'm not just talking about the last war: I coud go back to the colonial wars too, and the piedmontese "invasion" of southern Italy, down to romans and etruscans!!
There is an italian "core" in all the people who lived this country in the past, but I don't agree with anything they did of course; they're not "me" so I don't feel hungry if someone offends them.
Useless to say that that anyone should understand that later italians are different from the former... just like in any country!!