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Ideas for shortening the war, 1916

The more comfortable we make it for German soldiers to surrender, the more harshly their officers will treat them

12 November 2016

9:00 AM

12 November 2016

9:00 AM

From ‘How to Shorten the War. I. Prisoners’, The Spectator, 11 November 1916: Unless we altogether mistake the mental character of the German military authorities, they will hold that there is only one effective way of dealing with our invitation to a British fireside in a prison camp, and that is by stamping with the utmost ferocity upon any symptom of readiness to surrender… If once we can set one or two plain questions rolling in the German lines, we shall have done what we want to do. ‘Is it worth while to bear this? Are we doing any good by bearing it? Does not the way we are treated give us a right not to bear it?’ By such questions an atmosphere is bound to be created which from the German point of view will compel treatment which in the case of many thousands of men will be the last straw, and prepare them for surrender. Not merely must ‘Kind Treatment for Prisoners a Speciality’ be our advertising head-line, but we must add to it: ‘Every Facility for Quick and Easy Surrender Provided in the British Trench Line. Do it Now.’

 


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