The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 80, July 1976 - April, 1977 Page: 248
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Southwestern; Historical Quarterly
When the United States entered the war, the question of enemy pri-
soners of war was among the last considerations of a country recover-
ing from a Japanese attack and preparing for a war in Europe. The na-
tion had never held large numbers of foreign POWs in its entire history
and was unprepared for the many problems which would grow to in-
clude their feeding, registration, clothing, housing, entertainment, and
even reeducation. But prepared or not, the country suddenly found it-
self on the receiving end of massive waves of German and Italian pri-
soners by the second year of the war. More than 150,000 men arrived
after the North African campaign got under way in the spring of 1943.
An average of 20,000 POWs arrived each month between May and
October of that year. The Normandy invasion the following June sent
the numbers soaring to 30,000 prisoners a month through December,
and by the last months of the European war, they poured in at the
astonishing rate of 6o,ooo a month. By the end of the war, the United
States found itself holding more than 400,000 enemy captives in 5 II
camps across the country.2
As might be expected, an operation of this size created a vast number
records, especially the Central Correspondence File (Record Group 211) and the
War Production Board records (Record Group 179) are particularly rich in state and
regional reports. Also available in the National Archives are the Annual Reports sub-
mitted by the State Agricultural Extension Directors (Record Group 33) and the
Provost Marshal General's Office records (Record Group 389). The researcher is
also directed to the records of the Provost Marshal General's Office, Prisoner of War
Division, at the Office of the Chief of Military History, Washington, and to the re-
ports by the International Red Cross Committee as published in Revue Internationale
de la Croix Rouge, 1942-1946, located in the Library of Congress.
The following are the most authoritative studies to date: Edward John Pluth, "The
Administration and Operation of German Prisoner of War Camps in the United
States During World War II" (Ph.D. dissertation, Ball State University, 1970), here-
after cited as "Operation of German Camps"; Jake W. Spidle, Jr., "Axis Prisoners of
War in the United States, 1942-1946: A Bibliographical Essay, "Military Affairs,
XXXIX (April, 1975), 61-66; Arnold P. Krammer, "German Prisoners of War in
the United States, Military Affairs, XL (April, 1976), 68-73; Joseph T. Butler, Jr.,
"Prisoner of War Labor in the Sugar Cane Fields of Lafourche Parish, Louisiana:
1943-1944, "Louisiana History, XIV (Summer, 1973), 283-296; Jake W. Spidle,
[Jr.], "Axis Invasion of the American West: POWs in New Mexico, 1942-1946," New
Mexico Historical Review, XLIX (April, 1974), 93-122; Terry Paul Wilson, "The
Afrika Korps in Oklahoma: Fort Reno's Prisoner of War Compound," Chronicles of
Oklahoma, LII (Fall, 1974), 360-369; Robert Warren Tissing, Jr., "Utilization of
Prisoners of War in the United States During World War II. Texas: A Case Study"
(M.A. thesis, Baylor University, 1973); Robert Warren Tissing, [Jr.], "Stalag-Texas,
1943-1945; The Detention and Use of Prisoners of War in Texas during World War
II," Milztary History of Texas and the Southwest, XIII (No. i), 23-34; and finally,
the excellent study by Hermann Jung, Die deutschen Kriegsgefangenen in amerikan-
isher Hand-USA (Munich, 1972).
"U.S., War Department, Army Service Forces, OMPG, Prisoner of War Division,
"Prisoner of War Operations," August 31, 1945 (unpublished, four-volume manu-
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 80, July 1976 - April, 1977, periodical, 1976/1977; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101204/m1/292/: accessed May 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.