Prisoner-of-War Camps


A prisoner-of-war camp is a site for the containment of enemy combatants captured by a belligerent power in time of war.

A prisoner of war is a person, whether combatant or non-combatant, who is held in custody by a belligerent power during or immediately after an armed conflict.

A belligerent is an individual, group, country, or other entity that acts in a hostile manner, such as engaging in combat.

A combatant is a person who takes a direct part in the hostilities of an armed conflict.

"allied" treatment of German prisoners of war in a ... by ErdelyMagyar1


It should be noted that there are significant differences among POW camps, internment camps, and military prisons.

Internment is the imprisonment or confinement of people, commonly in large groups, without trial.

Japanese Prisoner of War Camps 1942-1945 by TheRapeOfJustice


Purpose built prisoner-of-war camps appeared at Norman Cross in England in 1797 and HM Prison Dartmoor, both constructed during the Napoleonic Wars, and they have been in use in all the main conflicts of the last 200 years.

The Napoleonic Wars were a series of major global conflicts pitting the French Empire, led by Napoleon I, against an array of European powers formed into various coalitions.

HM Prison Dartmoor is a Category C men's prison, located in Princetown, high on Dartmoor in the English county of Devon.


The main camps are used for coast guards, marines, sailors, soldiers, and more recently, airmen of an enemy power who have been captured by a belligerent power during or immediately after an armed conflict.

Marines, also known as a marine corps or naval infantry, are an infantry force that specializes in the support of naval and army operations at sea and on land, as well as the execution of their own operations.

A sailor, seaman, mariner, or seafarer is a person who navigates waterborne vessels or assists as a crewmember in their operation and maintenance.

A coast guard or coastguard is a maritime security organization of a particular country.


In addition, non-combatants, such as merchant mariners and civilian aircrews, have been imprisoned in some conflicts.

Non-combatant is a term of art in the law of war and international humanitarian law, describing civilians who are not taking a direct part in hostilities; persons—such as combat medics and military chaplains—who are members of the belligerent armed forces but are protected because of their specific duties ; combatants who are placed hors de combat; and neutral nationals who are not fighting for one of the belligerents involved in an armed conflict.

Aircrew, also called flight crew, are personnel who operate an aircraft while in flight.

Ship transport is watercraft carrying people or goods.


With the adoption of the Geneva Convention on the Prisoners of War in 1929, later superseded by the Third Geneva Convention, prisoner-of-war camps have been required to be open to inspection by authorized representatives of a neutral power.

The Third Geneva Convention, relative to the treatment of prisoners of war, is one of the four treaties of the Geneva Conventions.


Not all belligerents have consistently applied the convention in all conflicts.

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