Abstract

This article explores the act of surrender on the Western Front during the Great War, focusing on the behavior of Canadian soldiers toward surrendering Germans. Informal rules and symbolic gestures governed actions on the battlefield, and those who successfully negotiated the politics of surrender often survived the murderous first contact between attacking forces. But during the grey area between combat and capitulation, prisoners were frequently executed. The article also examines the politics of memory surrounding the killing of prisoners and, using the soldiers' discourse, analyzes why soldiers freely admitted and accepted these acts on the battlefield.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1543-7795
Print ISSN
0899-3718
Pages
pp. 637-665
Launched on MUSE
2006-07-10
Open Access
No
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