Monday, October 26, 2009

Count noun of the morning

During his time in Sicily, Mr. Aluia served in the Italian army during World War II and was a prisoner of war in En­gland for nine years, patrio­tisms that earned him a medal from the Italian Consulate in Detroit approximately four de­cades later.

Inquiring minds also might want to know a bit more about how he managed to be a POW for nine years and still serve in World War II. Can anyone make those patriotisms square up?


Blogger John Cowan said...

The first head-to-head conflict between Italian and British forces was in Libya during June 1940. Many British prisoners were held until 1948, the year in which Aluia is said to have returned to the U.S. So if for "nine years" we read "more than eight years", it's possible.

Technically, after the summer of 1945 the Allied prisoners were not prisoners of war, since that implied a Geneva Convention obligation to feed them at the same level as Allied troops, something that the Allies simply could not do at this scale (10 million prisoners in Germany and Italy alone, to say nothing of the Far East). So they were reclassified as "surrendered" or "defeated enemy forces", who were not entitled to POW rights; some were used in forced labor of various kinds. In 1949, the Geneva Convention was modified to close this loophole.

10:56 AM, October 26, 2009  
Blogger Unknown said...

While he was in Sicily he was in England?

11:32 AM, October 26, 2009  

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