Highly mobile units are faced with a special problem in handling
enemy PWs. From one Middle East theater of operations, it is reported
that no specific procedure seems to have been developed by the British
in this particular theater, for the handling of prisoners of war by
such units. The somewhat general nature of the following remarks seems
to indicate that a great deal is left to improvisation in this matter.
* * *
Units capturing prisoners are responsible for delivering them to the
divisional collecting center. The location of this place is fixed
by the "A" Branch of the Staff [see reference in preceding article] and
notified in operational orders. The provost service takes them over at
the collecting center and is responsible for them until they are
evacuated to the rear.
PWs are sent back in empty transport vehicles under a guard supplied
from the reserve brigade or units. The strength of this guard is gauged
by the physical fitness of the prisoners and the existing
circumstances. One guard to every 10 PWs is considered adequate.
Anticipated fast movements of motorized troops and the conservation of
striking power may preclude the detachment of sufficient guards, in which
case PWs will be immobilized as far as possible, by removal of shoes,
trousers, etc. A lull in the battle may then permit the detachment of
troops for escort or guard duty until "B" echelon (second echelon) transport
is available for movement to the rear.