THE FIGHT CONTINUES
AFTER THE BATTLE
The Report of
the Secretary of Defense’s Advisory Committee
on Prisoners of War
PRQt#ERTYOF U.S. AAMY THEJUDGEADVOCATEGENERAL’S SCHOOL
Letter of Transmittal
II. A Brief Look at History
III. The American Fighting Man and’ Korea
A Code of Conduct for the Future
VI. The Road Ahead for America and the Armed Forces Addenda
THE DEFENSE ADVISORY COMMITTEE ON
PRISONERS OF WAR
Mr. Carter L. Burgess, Assistant Secretary of Defense (Man
power and Personnel)-Chairman. General John E. Hull, USA (Ret)-Vice Chairman. Dr. Frank B. Berry, Assistant Secretary of Defense (Health
and Medical). Mr. Hugh M. Milton, II, Assistant Secretary of the Army (Manpower and Reserve Forces). Mr. Albert Pratt, Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Personnel and Reserve Forces). Mr. David S. Smith, Assistant Secretary of the Air Force (Manpower and Personnel).
Lt. General Frank W. Milburn, USA (Retired).
Vice Admiral C. A. Lockwood, USN (Retired).
Lt. General Idwal H. Edwards, USAF (Retired).
Major General Merritt A. Edson, USMO (Retired).
Mr. Stephen S. Jackson-Oommittee Oounsel.
Mr. Theodore Roscoe–8pecial Advisor.
Mr. Edward Wetter-Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Research and Development).
Colonel Horace E. Townsend, USA-8taff Director.
Colonel John C. Steele, USA-Deputy Staff Director.
Lt. Colonel Robert B. Rigg, USA-Member.
Commander Fred W. Frank, Jr., USN-Member.
Lt. Colonel Robert E. Work, USAF-Member.
Lt. Colonel F. B. Nihart, USMO-Member.
Major Donald B. Churchman, USA-Administration.
OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY OF DEFENSE
WASHINGTON 25, D. C.
July 29, 1955
Defense Advisory Committee on Prisoners of War
Dear Mr. Secretary:
Your Defense Advisory Committee on Prisoners of War has
been in constant session for the past two months and is pleased
to submit this report of its deliberations and findings.
We are certain that many persons have expected this Com
mittee to recommend courses of action which would be as
revolutionar.vas the speed and techniques of the latest guided
missile or jet aircraft.
However, our task deals with human beings and the Nation. We can find no basis for making recommendations other than on the principles and foundations which have made America free and strong and on the qualities which we associate with men of integrity and character. It is in this common belief that we have determined on courses of proposed action which we are convinced are best for the United States and for its position among free nations.
The Code of Conduct we recommend sets a high standard and a reasonable course for members of the Armed Forces of the future. The conscience and heart of all America are needed in the support of this Code, and the best of training that can be provided in our homes, by our schools and churches and by the Armed Forces will be required for all who undertake to live by this Code.
America no longer can afford to think in terms of a limited number of. our fighting men becoming prisoners of war and in the hands of an enemy in some distant land. Modern warfare has brought the challenge to the doorstep of every citizen, and so the Code we propose may well be a Code for all Americans if the problem of survival should ever come to our own main streets.
And then too the United States must constantly be aware of her high position of world leadership, and the Code we propose must consider the standard of the Ten Commandments and of our Constitution, as well as our pledge to the United Nations.
No Code should overlook the watermarks of America’s
greatness or bow to the easier courses which might entrap
more easily our men as alleged war criminals and weaken
their fiber for the many ordeals they may face. We must
bear in mind the past and future significance of the reserva
tion made by Soviet Russia and other Communist nations to
Article 85 of the Geneva Conventions of 1949 on prisoners
Past history, the story of Korea and the crises which faced
our prisoners of war in that conflict from capture through
Operation Big Switch and after, were all carefully considered
and are presented in our report. The prisoner of war situa
tion resulting from the Korean War has received a great deal
of adverse publicity. As is stated in our account, much of
that adverse publicity was due to lack of information and
consequent misconceptions in regard to the problem.
A few statistics may prove reassuring to anyone who thinks
the Armed Forces were undermined by Communist propa
ganda in Korea.
A total of about 1,600,000 Americans served in the Korean
War. Of the 4,428 Americans who survived Communist im
prisonment, only a maximum of 192 were found chargeable
with serious offenses against comrades or the United States.
Or put it another way. Only 1 out of 23 American POWs was
suspected of serious misconduct.
The contrast with civilian figures tells an interesting story. According to the latest F. B. 1. statistics, 1 in 15 persons in the United States has been arrested and fingerprinted for the commission, or the alleged commission, of criminal acts.
‘When one realizes that the Armed Forces come from a crosssection of the national population, the record seems fine indeed. It seems better than that when one weighs in the balance the tremendous pressures the American POWs were under. Weighed in that balance, they cannot be found wanting.
We examined the publicly alleged divergent action taken by the Services toward prisoners repatriated from Korea. The disposition of all cases was governed by the facts and circumstances surrounding each case, and was as consistent, equitable and uniform as could be achieved by any two boards or courts. As legal steps, including appeals, are completed and in light of t.he uniqueness of the Korean War and the particular conditions surrounding American prisoners of war, the appropriate Service Secretaries should make thorough reviews of all punishments awarded. This continuing review should make certain that any excessive sentences, if found to exist, are carefully considered and mitigated. This review should also take into account a comparison with sentences meted out to other prisoners for similar offenses.
In concluding, the Committee unanimously agreed that Americans require a unified and purposeful standard of conduct for our prisoners of war backed up by a :first class training program. This position is also wholeheartedly supported by the concensus of opinion of all those who consulted with the Committee. From no one did we receive stronger recommendations on this point than from the former American prisoners of war in Korea-officers and enlisted men.
In taking this position and recommending this Code, it was pointed out to the Committee, and the Committee agrees, that in return America must always stand behind every American upon whom befalls prisoner of war status and spare no reasonable effort in obtaining their earliest possible release back to our side.
The Honorable Charles E. Wilson The Secretary of Defense
The Fortunes of War
Fighting men declare it is neither dishonorable nor heroic to .
be taken prisoner. In the sense that the victim does not covet
it, but finds himself unable to avoid it, capture is an accident.
Often, like a motor crash, it comes as complete surprise. Often,
too, it is accompanied by injury. Nearly always the upshot is
painful and in the end it may prove fatal. And, as is the case
with many accidents, it is “bad luck.”
Fighting men speak of “the fortunes of war.” In combat,
luck cannot smile on all participants. Some are bound to
lose. The man taken captive is one of the uniucky-a Soldier
of Misfortune. That can be one definition for war-prisoner.
But the prisoner is always a soldier, adversity despite. For
tune can change. In the U. S. Submarine Service there is the
maxim: “Luck is where you find it.” The POW must keep on
searching. It may come by way of chance for rescue or chance
for escape. Opportunity or luck may favor him through pris
oner exchange. They also serve who only stand and wait. The
Lord helps those who hustle in the meantime.
These are the views of fighting men. And of men who have been prisoners of war-those who have “had it.” Their convictions, derived from experience, serve to dispel a popular fallacy-the misconception that a prisoner of war is, perforce, a hero. Conversely, they do not chalk his capture down to inferior performance. Everything depends on the individual and the circumstances involved.
Public Interests and Misconceptions
Clearly one should not generalize about POWs, lump them all into a single slot, or jump from “some to all” conclusions. Public opinion tends to settle for generalities because they are convenient. The “single slot” is easy to handle. The someequals-all deduction, quickly arrived at, does not entail bothersome thinking. But these handy and quick devices serve to distort factuality. Misconceptions result. If, in addition, there has been misinformation or lack of information, public opinion may go far askew.
In the case of American POWs-in particular, those taken prisoner in Korea-misconceptions are abundant. For the most part they are based on erroneous generalities and someequals-all deductions. Too, for reasons which will become
clear, the public has heretofore not been fully informed on the
details necessary for balanced judgment.
Definitions were and are unclear or lacking. To begin with,
just what is a prisoner of war? The man and his situation may
. be readily visualized. But what is his military status? What
conduct is required of the prisoner in regard to enemy interroga
tion? What rilles and regillations must he follow during con
finement? What are his rights and privileges as codified by
various international conventions and protocols?
What treatment may the prisoner of war expect from the
“detaining power,” his captors? What conditions are imposed
by the so-called “laws of war?” Can a POW be tried as a
war criminal? What is a war criminal?
Did the American POW in Korea face some novel and
alarming menace from his Communist captors? Were nearly
all prisoners tortured or “brain washed1” Did many POWs
in Korea adopt Marxist doctrine? Were there hundreds of
subverted turncoats, traitors, voluntary collaborators? In
punishing such malefactors was there divergence in the military
Services-some lenient; others “Spartan?”
On many of these and similar questions the citizen on the
home front has remained largely uninformed. Too often the
POW, himself, has not known the answers.
Appointment of the Defense Advisory Committee Every war has its disturbing aftermath. There is always another side to the Victory coin. If the victory is not clearly imprinted and the war has ended in what seems a stalemate, the coin becomes suspect. In any event, there is usually a post-war inventory. If losses have been heavy and objectives obscure, the coin may seem debased. The inventory after the War of 1812 was unpleasant. There were some rude reactions after the Spanish-American War. In a great war, some battles are inevitably lost. Military leaders study these battles, determined to uncover mistakes, if any were made, so that errors in kind may be avoided in the future. Correction of possible errors and the need for a unified plan for the future led the Department ofDefense to examine closely the prisoner-of-war situation in Korea. The Defense Advisory Committee on Prisoners of War was organized to study the problem.
A BRIEF LOOK AT HISTORY
From the Beginning of Time
For a full understanding of today’s prisoner of war problem,
background knowledge of the past is essential. History has
established precedents which provide the knowledge necessary
to shed light on preparation for the future.
Primitive man and his barbarian descendant annihilated or
enslaved all foemen who were captured. In time it occurred to
the conqueror to hold a captured headman or leader as hostage.
Such a victim was Lot. According to Scripture he was freed
by the forces of Abraham-perhaps the earliest prisoner-rescue
But the vanquished of the ancient world usually faced extermination. One finds in Samuel: “thus saith the Lord of Hosts … go and smite Amalek and utterly destroy all they have, and spare them not.” Saul was considered disobedient because he took a few Amalekite prisoners. Six centuries later Hemocritus of Syracuse was exiled for refusing to slaughter all Athenian’ captives. But it seemed mankind had a conscience. In respect to humane treatment of captives, it found voice in India in the ancient Code of Manu (about 200 B. C.). The Hindu warrior was enjoined to do no injury to the defenseless or to the subdued enemy.
Less humane, the Romans sported with their war-prisoners, often using them for target practice or gladiatorial shows. Captives were tortured for public amusement. Enslaved warriors rowed Caesar’s naval galleys to North Africa and Britain, and were killed when they could no longer pull an oar. “Slay, and slay on!” Germanicus ordered his Rhineland invaders. “Do not take prisoners! We will have no peace until all are destroyed.” Thumbs sometimes went up for the valiant foreign gladiator or the stalwart warrior who begged no quarter. But mercy to the conquered foe was usually a whim.
Chivalry developed in the Western World with the rise of Christian civilization, the concept of “Do Unto Others.” In the Dark Ages, soldiering remained savage, but the codes of knighthood served to temper the warrior’s steel. The true
knight refused to slay for slaughter’s sake. Conquering, he
could be merciful to a gallant opponent. His prisoner was not
a plaything for sadistic entertainment.
If the chivalric code was sometimes more honored in breach
than in observance, the ideal-the Golden Rule-was there.
It was threatened by intolerant ideologies and the fanaticism
which fosters atrocities. Cruel pogroms and religious wars
bloodied Medieval Europe. The Islamic conquests were
savagery untrammeled. Woe to the Unbeliever captured by
the stepsons of Abu Bekrl But even as it clashed with the
sword, the scimitar acquired tempering. Possessed of his own
code, the Moslem warrior could appreciate gallantry.
The knight was called upon to assume the obligations of noblesse oblige. Warrior or liegeman, facing battle, was pledged to remain true to his king or cause, even if captured. Under any circumstance treason would merit retributive punishment. Treachery, the disclosure of a trust or the deliverance of a friend to the enemy, was perfidious-the mark of Judas the Betrayer.
Thus rules for the fighting man in combat or in captivity were linked to knightly concepts of duty, honor, loyalty to friend, and gallantry to foe.
Some time during the Crusades a rule evolved in regard to prisoner interrogation. The captive knight was permitted to divulge his name and rank-admissions necessitated by the game of ransom. A necessity for prisoner identification, the rule holds today, as imposed by the modern Geneva Conventions:
“Every prisoner of war, when questioned on the subject, is bound to give only his name, rank, date of birth, and army, regimental, personal or serial number.”
In Europe during the 17th Century the concept emerged that prisoners of war were in custody of the capturing sovereign or state. No rules for their treatment had yet been formulated, but they were protected from servitude and personal revenge. Later, during the 18th Century, captivity was considered a means of preventing return to friendly forces. This was a step forward. Military prisoners were no longer considered guilty of crimes against the state.
The American Revolution
To discourage desertions during the Revolution, the United States established the death penalty for those prisoners who, after capture, took up arms in the service of the enemy. Amnesty was granted to deserters but not those who deserted to the enemy. Duress or coercion was recognized as mitigating only in event of threatened immediate death. This was the first American definition of required prisoner conduct. In the Treaty of 1785 no standard of conduct was prescribed but conditions of confinement, care and parole were defined.
The American Civil War
During the Oivil War there was some regression in the treat
ment afforded prisoners. About 3,170 Federal prisoners joined
the Southern forces and about 5,452 prisoners of the Southern
armies joined the Federal army.
Prisoner conduct after capture was mentioned in War Depart
ment General Order No. 207, 3 July 1863. Among other things,
the order provided that it was the duty of a prisoner of war to
escape. This order apparently was intended to curb wide
spread practices of surrender and subsequent parole to escape
further combatant service. Prosecution for misconduct was
based on three criteria:
-misconduct where there was no duress or coercion.
-active participation in combat against Federal forces.
-failure to return voluntarily. ‘
Nine years after the Oivil War a declaration establishing the rights of prisoners was drafted by the Oongress of Brussels (1874). It was signed by fifteen nations, none of which ratified the agreement.
World Wars I and II
In 1907 the Hague Regulations established rules pertaining to captivity in war. These regulations led to the Geneva Oonventions of 1929 and 1949. The United States signed all three, and it recently ratified the Geneva Oonventions of 1949. The Oonventions set forth in detail the rights and protections which should be afforded prisoners, but they do not specifically prescribe the conduct which a nation may require of its personnel who may become prisoners. This is rightfully left for prescription by sovereign powers.
There are, however, several provisions of the Oonventions which do require specific conduct. Prisoners are subject to the laws, regulations and orders in force within the armed forces of the detaining power. They may be punished for infractions of rules. They must divulge name, rank, service number and date of birth.
A Code of Conduct
Although all the Services had regulations, the U. S. Armed Forces have never had a clearly defined code of conduct applicable to American prisoners after capture. There are piecemeal legal restrictions and regulations but no comprehensive codification. However, despite this lack of a code, American troops have demonstrated through all wars that they do not surrender easily, they have never surrendered in large bodies and they have in general performed admirably in their country’s cause as prisoners of war.
THE AMERICAN FIGHTING MAN AND KOREA
THE KOREAN BATILE
Our cause was simple and just, but our objectives in the Korean War were frequently confused in the public mind.
The Korean War had three aspects. There was the Civil War aspect-North Koreans fighting South Koreans for control of a divided country. There-was the collective aspect-the first United Nations’ attempt to stop a treaty breaking aggressor. And there was the Cold War aspect-the Western powers blocking the expansion of Communist imperialism.
The causes of the war, United Nations’ objectives and the need for American intervention were not clearly delineated in the public mind. This lack of understanding prevailed among citizens and American fighting men.
The Communists attempted to exploit to the fullest this condition in both international propaga.nda and in dealing with our prisoners of war.
Armed with Soviet weapons, North Korean Communist forces invaded South Korea on June 25, 1950. Six days later a battalion of the U. S. 24th Infantry Division was rushed to Korea from Japan. The division was soon inaction against the enemy on the outskirts of Seoul.
The United States began a piecemeal build-up of the fighting forces in Korea. The first units to reach Korea were not well prepared for combat. Thousands of reserves were -flown to Korea. Many were veterans of World War II, but five years at a factory or office job can slow up a man’s trigger finger. However, by November 1950, the North Koreans had been completely beaten, their capital was in Allied hands, and their remnant forces were scattered and disorganized. The victory was almost at its climax when the Chinese Red avalanche crashed over the Yalu.
That was on October 25th. A month later the Chinese opened a massive counter-offensive hurling our forces into retreat. Early in December, American and Allied Forces were trapped at the Chang-Jin Reservoir. By fierce fighting they broke the trap and fought their way to Hungnam where they were evacuated. There ensued a winter of back-to-wall battling in subzero cold. It was during this gruelling period that most of the American POWs were captured.
Imprisonment, North Korea
During the Korean War a total of 7,190 Americans were
captured by the enemy. Of these, 6,656 were Army troops;
263 were Air Force men; 231 were Marines; 40 were Navy men.
The Army bore the heaviest burden of prisoner losses.
The captives were marched off to various prison camps in the
North Korean interior. Altogether there were 20 of these
The first ordeal the prisoner had to suffer-and often the
worst-was the march to one of these camps. The North
Koreans frequently tied a prisoner’s hands behind his back or
bound his arms with wire. Wounded prisoners were jammed
into trucks that jolted, dripping blood, along broken roads.
Many of the wounded received no medical attention until they
reached the camp. Some were not attended to until days
The marching prisoners were liable to be beaten or kicked to their feet if they fell. A number of the North Korean officers were bullwhip barbarians, products of a semi-primitive environment. Probably they had never heard of the Geneva Conventions or any other code of war. The worst of this breed were responsible for the murder of men who staggered out of line or collapsed at roadside. They were particularly brutal to South Korean captives. Evidence indicates that many ROK prisoners were forced to dig their own graves before they were shot (an old Oriental custom applied to the execution of criminals). Some Americans, with hands tied behind_back, were shot by the enemy.
So the journeys to the prison camps were “death marches.” Especially in the winter of 1950-1951 when the trails were knee-deep in snow and polar winds flogged the toiling column. On one of these marches, 700 men were headed north. Before the camp was reached, 500 men had perished.
Facilities, Food, and Care Were Poor
The camps were what might be expected in a remote corner of Asia. Prisoner rations were scanty-a basic diet of rice occasionally leavened with some foul kind of soup. The Red
Chinese and Korean authorities pointed out that this larder
conformed with the rules of the Geneva Conventions-the
prisoner received the same food as the soldiery holding him
captive. Of course, the Chinese were inured to a rice diet.
The average American could not stomach such fare. Sickness
broke out in the camps. Many of the men suffered long sieges
The men suffered much from cold in winter and heat in
summer. Water was often scarce; bathing became difficult.
Barracks were foul and unsanitary.
In the best of the camps the men behind the barbed wire
were sometimes given tobacco, a few morsels of candy, occa
sional mail. As will be noted, such items were usually offered
as rewards for “cooperative conduct.”
A few Red Cross packages got through. However, the
enemy consistently refused to permit the International Red
Cross to inspect prisoner of war camps. There was good reason.
Camps Varied from Bad to Worse
In the worst of the camps, the prisoners existed by the skin of their teeth and raw courage. Men ‘in the “bad” camps were known to lose 50 pounds weight in a matter of weeks.
The “bad” camps included theso-called “Bean Camp” near Suan, a camp known as “Death Valley” near PUkchin, another camp called “The Valley,” apparently in the vicinity of Kanggye. Among the worst camps were the “Interrogation Center” near Pukchin and a neighboring disciplinary center called “The Caves.” This last was literally composed of caverns in which the men were confined. Here they were forced to sleep without blankets. Their food was thrown at them. There were no latrine facilities. In “The Caves” the prisoners were reduced to a degree of misery and degradation almost unbelievable. Those sent to “The Caves” were prisoners accused of insubordination, breaking camp rules, attempting to escape, or committing some other crime (so-called). The testimony of survivors suggests that the “crime” was seldom fitted by the punishment. Some men who refused to talk to military interrogaters were threatened with, or sent to “The Caves.”
“Pak’s” Was No Palace
Possibly the worst camp endured by American POWs in Korea was the one known as “Pak’s Palace.” This was a highly
specialized interrogation center located near the city of Pyong
yang. The place was a brickyard flanked by Korean houses.
It was a North Korean establishment dominated by a chief
interrogator, Colonel Pak. Pak was ably assisted by a hench
man who came to be called “Dirty Pictures” Wong by the
The camp was under the administration of a Colonel Lee, and there were several other interrogators on the team. But Pak and Wong were symbolic of the institution. Pak was a sadist, an animal who should have been in a cage. The team employed the usual questionnaires, the carrot-and-prod techniques to induce answers. Failing to induce them, they contrivedto compel them. The “Palace” wanted military information. Coercion was used as the ultimate resort. And for Pak, coercion began ,soon after a prisoner refused to talk. Then Pak would use violence. Abusive language would be followed by threats, kicks, cigarette burns, and promises of further torture.
Several U. S. Army and Navy officers were questioned at “Pak’s Palace!’ A few Army enlisted men went through this brickyard mill. The great majority of POWs held there were Air Force officers. They took a bad beating from Colonel Pak.
But the prisoners found ways to get around the beating. One way was to convince the captors that you were dumb, stupid, the low man in your class. Undergoing interrogation, one officer convinced his inquisitors that he was the stupidest officer in the service. He was awarded a contemptuous slap, and that was about all.
To the surprise of some prisoners at the “Palace,” the interrogation team would sometimes open up with a wild political harangue. Then came the word that the enemy had established a system of indoctrination courses. The prisoner might start the hard way-and be punished by restricted rations and other privations. If he began to show the “proper spirit”-to cooperate with his captors-he was lectured and handed Communist literature. A docile prisoner who read the literature and listened politely to the lectures, was graduated to a better class. Finally he might be sent to “Peaceful Valley!’ In this lenient camp the food was relatively good. Prisoners might even have tobacco. And here they were given all sorts of Marxian propaganda. Th~ graduates from “Peaceful Valley” and others who accepted Communist schooling were called
“Progressives.” Prisoners who refused to go along with the program often remained in tougher circumstances. They were considered “Reactionaries.” But the enemy followed no rigid system. Rather, his treatment of prisoners was capricious. Sometimes he showed contempt for the man who readily submitted to bullying. The prisoner who stood up to the bluster, threats and blows of an interrogator might be dismissed with a shrug and sent to quarters as mild as any-if any prison barracks in North Korea could be described as mild. All in all, the docile prisoner did not gain much by his The prisoner who
docility-:-and sometimes he gained nothing.
defied Pak and his breed might take a beating, but again he might not. The ordeal was never easy. But things weren’t easy either for the combat troops battling out there in the trenches.
Progressives and Reactionaries
The POW “political” schools in North Korea were, of course, patterned after the Soviet Russian design. They were part of a
mass program to spread Marxian ideology and gain converts for International Communism. The Progressives were called upon
to deliver lectures, write pamphlets, and make propaganda broadcasts. Progressive leaders were sent among Reactionary groups to harangue the men. They wrote speeches condemning Capitalism and “American aggression in Korea.” They organized a group known as “Peace Fighters.” Fortunately, only. a few officers were Progressives. However, their influence was unfortunately strong on the enlisted men. If the Captain can do it, why can’t I? If the Colonel signs a peace petition and orders the rest of us to do it, we have to follow orders, don’t we? Altogether the enlisted men were on a spot. That many of them refused to jom the Progressives (and rejected a promise, sometimes unfulfilled, of better food, minor luxuries, and mail call) says something for the spirit of privates and non-corns. The men who gave the Progressives an argument–the active Reactionaries-were a rugged group. Breakdown of leadership was exactly what the enemy desired. Officers were usually segregated. Then as soon as a natural leader stepped forward in a camp, he was removed.And if
Progressives were usually placed in leadership position.
they weren’t obeyed by the other paws, punishments were in store for the “insubordinate prisoners.”
By design and because some officers refused to assume leadership responsibility, organization in some of the POW camps deteriorated to an every-man-for-himself situation. Some of the camps became indescribably filthy. The men scufHed for their food. Hoarders grabbed all the tobacco. Morale decayed to the vanishing point. Each man mistrusted the next. Bullies persecuted the weak and sick. Filth bred disease and contagion swept the camp. So men died for lack of leadership and discipline.
Ordeal by Indoctrination
When plunged into a Communist indoctrination mill, the average American POW was under a serious handicap. Enemy political officers forced him to read Marxian literature. He was compelled to participate in debates. He had to tell what he knew about American politics and American history. And many times the Chinese or Korean instructors knew more about these subjects than he did. This brainstorming caught many American prisoners off guard. To most of themI it came as a complete surprise and they were unprepared. Lectures-study groups-discussion groups-a blizzard of propaganda and hurricanes of violent oratory were all a part of the enemy technique.
A large number of American paws did not know what the Communist program was all about. Some were confused by it. Self-seekers accepted it as an easy out. A few may have believed the business. They signed peace petitions and peddled Communist literature. It was not an inspiring spectacle. It set loyal groups against cooperative groups and broke up camp organization and discipline. It made fools of some men and tools of others. And it provided the enemy with stooges for propaganda shows.
Ignorance lay behind much of this trouble. A great many servicemen were ‘teen-agers. At home they had thought of politics as dry editorials or uninteresting speeches, dull as ditchwater. They were unprepared to give the commissars an argument.
Some of the POWs-among them men who became defectors-had heard of Communism only as a name. Many had never before heard of Karl Marx. And here was Communism held up as the salvation of the world and Marx as mankind’s benefactor.
The Committee heard evidence which revealed that many of the POWs knew too little about the United States and its
ideals and traditions. So the Chinese indoctrinators had the
The uninformed POWs were up against it. They couldn’t
answer arguments in favor of Communism with arguments in
favor of Americanism, because they knew very little about their
America. The Committee heard a number of ex-POWs who
stated that a knowledge of Communism would have enabled
them to expose its fallacies to their camp-mates. The Red
indoctrinators tried hard to win the support of factory workers.
But as one of them put it, “We’d heard all that guff before.
Back home. We knew their line.” Knowledge was a defense
While it might be argued that few of the men became sincere
converts to Communism-indeed, the percentage seems to
have been infinitesimal-the inability of many to speak up
for Democracy distressed loyal POWs. Active collaborators
aside, there were other passive prisoners that “went along.”
They lacked sufficient patriotism because of their limited knowl
edge of American Democracy.
It seemed that these POWs in question had lost their battle
before they entered the Service. Good citizens-loyal Ameri
cans-the responsibility for their building lies with the home,
the school, the church, the community. When men enter the
Armed Forces, the Military Services must carryon with this
The Committee, stressing the need for spiritual and educational bulwarks against enemy political indoctrination, recommends that the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Manpower and Personnel) be directed to initiate exploratory conferences with the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, and other agencies and institutions on pre-service training.
Brainwashing and Indoctrination
The Committee made a thorough investigation of the “brainwashing” question. In some cases this time consuming and coercive technique was used to obtain confessions. In these cases American prisoners of war were subjected to mental and physical torture, psychiatric pressures or “Pavlov Dogs” treatment.
Most of the prisoners, however, were not subjected to brainwashing, but were given a high-powered indoctrination for propaganda purposes.
In either case the members of our Armed Forces should be
given the best education and training possible in the future so
that they can resist and cope with these practices.
The Committee also learned that paws in Korea were not drugged. Other methods such as denial of food or sleep were equally effective and more practical.
Behind the Barbed-Wire Curtain
Perhaps the Red enemy worked harder on the Americans than he did on the other prisoners. An American who signed a propaganda leaflet, a peace petition, or a germ warfare confession, was a big feather in the enemy’s hat. Many Americans in Communist POW camps signed something or wrote something. Out of 78 men under various forms of duress, 38 signed germ warfare confessions. Forty others did not. Both groups were under coercion. Why did some men break, and some refuse to bend?
Many servicemen exhibited pride in themselves and their units. This was particularly pronounced where they had belonged to the same unit for years. They stood by one another like that “band of brothers” inspired by Nelson. If a soldier were sick, his fellow soldiers took care of him. They washed his clothes, bathed him, and pulled him through. They exhibited true fraternal spirit comradeship, military pride. These soldiers did not let each other down. Nor could the Korean Reds win much cooperation from them.
Interrogation went hand in glove with indoctrination. A prisoner was questioned for military information. He was also queried on his home life and educational background. The interrogator made him put it in writing-a biographical sketch. Seldom did the brief autobiography prove sufficient. The prisoner was usually compelled to write more, and in greater detail. If his literary efforts were painful, the discomfort was only a beginning. His autobiography was used against him. The slightest discrepancy, and he was accused of lying. He might discover that he had written a confession of some kind. And in any case, the information supplied the interrogators with a useful leverage for more pressure. The author’s mistake was in taking pen in hand.
Only a handful of the paws in Korea were able to maintain absolute silence under military interrogation. Nearly all of the
American prisoners went beyond the “absolute” name, rank,
number, date of birth restriction.
Reviewing the interrogation matter, the Defense Advisory
Committee felt that the steps taken up to now by the Armed
Forces had been decidedly inadequate.
The Committee recommends that the Department of Defense
devise a special training program to teach American service
men the ways and means of resisting enemy interrogators.
What Can Be Done?
In a war for the minds of men, the enemy’s methods can be
successfully combatted by military training and civilian educa
tion. In battle and in captivity the fighting American is no
better than his training and education. Military schooling can
teach him combat skills. Such know-how is a “must.”
The Committee recommends that the Military Services
initiate a coordinated training program including-
First, general training. This is motivational and informational training to he conducted throughout the career of all servicemen during active and reserve duty. Second, specific training. This is designed for and applied to combat-ready troops. A code of conduct must apply uniformly to’ all Services, and training must be uniform among the Services to the greatest degree practicable.
In all Services training should be adapted to cover the needs of all ranks from the enlisted man to the commander. It must be realistic as well as idealistic. Above all, it must be presented with understanding, skill and devotion sufficient to implant a conviction in the heart, conscience, and mind of the serviceman that full and loyal support of the code is to the best interests of his country, his comrades, and himself.
But skill must be reinforced by will-by moral character and by basic beliefs instilled in home and classroom long before a lad enters the Military Service. Pride in a country and respect for its principles-a sense of honor-a sense of responsibilitysuch basics should be established long before “basic training,” and further developed after he enters the Armed Forces.
The Committee recommends that the Services find an effective means of coordinating with -civilian educational institutions, churches and other patriotic organizations to provide better understanding of American ideals.
War has been defined as H a contest of wills.” A trained hand holds the weapon. But the will, the character, the spirit of the individual-these control the hand. More than ever, in the war for the minds of men moral character, will, spirit are important.
As a serviceman thinketh so is he.
A CODE OF CONDUCT FOR THE FUTURE
The Services Voice Their Opinions
The leaders of the American Armed Forces-the Joint Chiefs of Staff-The Department of Defense Committees-the various planning and policy-making boards-reach decisions through discussion and debate based on facts. In striving to design a Code of Conduct for United States fighting men, the Defense Advisory Committee weighed opposing points of view in regard
to the “name, rank, serial number and date of birth” provision embodied in the Geneva Conventions. The traditional view is that the POW stockade is only an extension of the battlefield where the prisoners must be taught to carry on the struggle with the only weapons remaining
faith and courage. The absolute restriction-name, rank, number, date of birth, and nothing more, has been called the “Spartan Code.” To some persons, such a restrictive code seemed unrealistic. Especially in the light of modern interrogation methods. Authorities on the subject of interrogation insisted that the iron-bound “nothing more” of the Spartan Code was impossible. They pointed out that Communist interrogators had bent such men of steel as Cardinal Mindszenty. Doctors and psychiatrists
generally conceded that “every man has a breaking point.” Many prisoners in World War II were forced beyond “name, rank and serial number.” And nearly every prisoner in Korea divulged something. Why, then, the dis~enters asked, should a man endure purgatory when his “breaking” was inevitable? This view was publicized in an article in a popular magazine. Itwas the author’s opinion that American servicemen should be told that “they may sign any document the Communists want them to, or appear on TV and deliver any script the Reds hand them.”Referring to the case of a Marine colonel, the author pointed to a fine officer who had been coerced into signing a germ warfare confession. Why not let American captives sign anything at all? The United States could announce that all such confessions were obtained under duress, and therefore invalid.
In addition to the “Spartan view” and the “let them talk view” there were numerous advocates of in-between measurestalk, but don’t say anything.
In Axis camps and in Korea many prisoners had stood up against interrogation. Many had refused to sign on any dotted line. The idea that an officer or enlisted man might stand up to a microphone and denounce his country, his President, or ihis faith, remained repellent. Moreover, the man who signed ./ a germ warfare or some other confession let himself in for a
\./ “war criminal” charge: Having obtained such a confession the unscrupulous enemy labeled him a war criminal and claimed that he was beyond the protecting Geneva Convention. The Committee believes that this practice is another strong reason for our prisoners of war adhering to a well defined code of conduct in any future conflict. Pro and Con. There was much to be said on both sides. And there was something to be said by experienced officers who felt that a man could be taught to hold his own in the battle of wits against enemy interrogators. Authorities pointed out that the Geneva Conventions did not impose “absolute silence” on the interrogated war-prisoner. There were clauses indicating that he might discuss his employment, his finances, or his state of health, or “conditions of captivity” if necessity demanded. In short, he did not have to remain mute. The Committee agreed that a line of resistance must be drawn somewhere and initially as far forward as possible.Dhe name, rank and service number provision of the Geneva Conventions is accepted as this line of resistance. However, in the face of experience, it is recognized that the POW may be subjected to an extreme of coercion beyond his ability to resist. If in his battle with the interrogator he is driven from his first line of resistance he must be trained for resistance in successive positions. And, to stand on the final line to the end-no disclosure of vital military information and above all no disloyalty in word or deed to his country, his service or his comrades. Throughout, the serviceman must be responsible for all of his actions. This in brief is the spirit and intent of the Code of Conduct which the Defense Advisory Committee recommends.
Prominent Civilians Stated Their Views The Committee discussed sociological and educational problems with leading educators. It consulted with labor leaders. The religious problem was discussed with leaders of various
faiths. The Committee also sought and received the invaluable views of the leaders of the nation’s veterans organizations. All contributed worthwhile suggestions. All helped to select a code compatible with American precepts”of honor and justice.
The Recommended Code of Conduct (See Addenda 2) After long study and earnest deliberation, the Committee came to its decision. That decision is found in the Code of Conduct now proposed for all members of the Armed Forces. The Committee recommends that the proposed Code of Conduct be promulgated in the form of an Executive Order. The Code demands high standards. To ensure achievement of these, each member of the Armed Forces liable to capture must be provided with specific training designed to equip him better to cope with all enemy efforts against him. He will be fully instructed as to his behavior and obligations in combat and in the event of capture. No prisoner of war will be forgotten by the United States. The support and care of dependents of prisoners of war is prescribed by law. Every practical means will be employed to establish contact with, to support and to gain the release of all prisoners of war.
The United States serviceman, by his service is protecting his nation. Any shirking of this responsibility or any unwillingness to do his full part weakens this defense and invites disaster.
I am an American fighting man. I serve in the forces which guard my country and our way of life. I am prepared to give my life in their defense.
A member of the Armed Forces is always a fighting man. As such, it is his duty to oppose the enemies of the United States regardless of the circumstances in which he may find himself, whether in active participation in combat, or as a prisoner of war.
If individuals and commanders were permitted to surrender whenever a situation seems to be desperate it would become an open invitation to all weak of will or depressed in spirit.
I will never surrender of my own free will. If in command I will never surrender my men while they still have the means to resist.
As an individual, a member of the Armed Forces may never
voluntarily surrender himself. When isolated and he can no
longer infJ.ict casualties on the enemy, it is his duty to evade
capture and rejoin the nearest friendly forces.
The responsibility and authority of a commander never
extends to the surrender of his command to the enemy while it
has power to resist or evade. When isolated, cut off or sur
rounded, a unit must continue to fight until relieved, or able to
rejoin friendly forces by breaking out or by evading the enemy.
The fight is everywhere. Even in the prison camp. When
the use of physical weapons is denied, the mental and moral
“will to resist” must be kept alive in every prisoner.
If I am captured I will continue to resist by all means avail
able. I will make every effort to escape and aid others to
escape. I will accept neither parole nor special favors from
The duty of a member of the Armed Forces to continue resistance by all means at his disposal is not lessened by the misfortune of capture. Article 82 of the Geneva Conventions Relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War of August 12, 1949, pertains, must be explained, and covered in the training programs to be carried out by the Services.
Article 82 provides as follows:
“A prisoner of war shall be subject to the laws, regulations
and orders in force in the armed forces of the Detaining
Power; the Detaining Power shall be justified in taking
judicial or disciplinary measures in respect ot any offence
committed by a prisoner of war against such laws, regulations
or orders. However, no proceedings or punishments contrary
to the provisions of this Chapter shall be allowed.
“If any law, regulation or order of the Detaining Power
shall declare acts committed by a prisoner of war to be
punishable, whereas the same acts would not be punishable
if committed by a member of the forces of the Detaining
Power, such acts shall entail disciplinary punishments only.”
He will escape if able to do so, and will assist others to escape. Parole agreements are promises given the captor by a prisoner of war upon his faith and honor, to fulfill stated conditions, such as not to bear arms or not to escape, in consideration of special privileges-usually release from captivity or lessened restraint. He will never sign or enter into a parole agreement.
The most despicable act an American can commit is to give aid and comfort to the enemy by informing or otherwise harming fellow prisoners. Failure to assume responsibilities commensurate with rank is equally reprehensible.
If I become a prisoner of war, I will keep faith with my fellow prisoners. I will give no information or take part in any action which might be harmful to my comrades. If I am senior, I will take command. If not, I will obey the lawful orders of those appointed over me and will back them up in every way.
Informing, or any other action to the detriment of a fellow prisoner, is despicable and is expressly forbidden. Prisoners of war must avoid helping the enemy identify fellow prisoners who may have knowledge of particular value to the enemy, and may therefore be made to suffer coercive interrogation.
Strong leadership is essential to discipline. Without discipline, camp organization, resistance and even survival may be impossible. Personal hygiene, camp sanitation, and care of sick and wounded are imperative. Officers and non-commissioned officers of the United States will continue to carry out their responsibilities and exercise their authority subsequent to capture. The senior line officer or non-commissioned officer within the prisoner of war camp or group of prisoners will assume command according to rank (or precedence) without regard to Service. This responsibility and accountability may not be evaded. Ifthe senior officer or non-commissioned officer is incapacitated or unable to act for any reason, command will be assumed by the next senior. If the foregoing organization cannot be effected, an organization of elected representatives, as provided for in Articles 79-81 GenevJt Convention Relative to Treatment of Prisoners of War, or a clandestine organization, or both, will be formed.
Every serVICeman possesses some important military information of value to the enemy. By revealing it they may cause the death of comrades or disaster to their unit, or even the defeat of major forces of the nation.
When questioned, should I become a prisoner of war, I am
. bound to give only name, rank, service number, and date of birth. I will evade answering further questions to the utmost of my ability. I will make no oral or written statements dis
loyal to my country and its allies or harmful to their cause.
When questioned, a prisoner of war is required by the Geneva Conventions and permitted by this Code to disclose his name, rank, service number, and date of birth. A prisoner of war may also communicate with the enemy regarding his individual health or welfare as a prisoner of war and, when appropriate, on routine matters of camp administration. Oral or written confessions true or false, questionnaires, personal history statements, propaganda recordings and broadcasts, appeals to other prisoners of war, signatures to peace or surrender appeals, self criticisms or any other oral or written communication on behalf of the enemy or critical or harmful to the United States, its allies, the Armed Forces or other prisoners are forbidden.
Itis a violation of the Geneva Conventions to place a prisoner of war under physical or mental torture or any other form of coercion to secure from him information of any kind. If, however, a prisoner is subjected to such treatment, he will endeavor to avoid by every means the disclosure of any information, or the making of any statement or the performance of any action harmful to the interests of the United States or its allies or which will provide aid or comfort to the enemy.
Russia and the Communist Bloc nations have made a significant reservation to Article 85 of the Geneva Conventions of 1949. Under this reservation a prisoner of war who may be convicted of an alleged war crime under the laws of the captors, loses the protection afforded a prisoner of war by these Conventions. Therefore the signing of a confession or the making of a statement by a prisoner is likely to be used to convict him as a “war criminal” and thus, according to this Communist Bloc device, deny to him any protection under the terms of the Geneva Conventions, including repatriation until his sentence is served.
An American is responsible and accountable for his actions. Prisoner of war status doesn’t change this nor does it change the obligation to remain faithful to the United States and to the principles for which it stands. Throughout his captivity, a prisoner should look to his God for strength to endure whatever may befall. He should remember that the United States of America will neither forget, nor forsake him, and that it will win the ultimate victory.
I will never forget that I am an American fighting man, responsible for my actions, and dedicated to the principles which made my country free. I will trust in my God and in the United States of America.
The provisions of the Uniform Code of Military Justice whenever appropriate continue to apply to members of the Armed Forces while they are prisoners of war. The conduct of prisoners is subject to examination as to the circumstances of capture and through the period of detention with due regard for the rights of the individual and consideration for the conditions of captivity.
A member of the Armed Forces who becomes a prisoner of war has a continuing obligation to remain loyal to his country, his Service and his unit. The life of a prisoner of war is hard. He must never give up hope. He must resist enemy indoctrination. Prisoners of war who stand firm and united against the enemy will aid one another in surviving this ordeal.
V KOREAN SUMMARY
Misconduct by a Minority A total of 4,428 American fighting men were recovered from enemy prison camps in Korea. The prisoner exchanges began with Operation “Little Switch” in April 1953-significantly enough, the month after Stalin died and Malenkov assumed Soviet leadership. The Korean War was over. Some 600 Allied prisoners were returned in exchange for ten times that many Communist Chinese and North Koreans. During subsequent Operation “Big Switch” most of the American prisoners were recovered. At this time it was learned that 2,730 Ameri
cans had died in Korean prison camps. This ghastly deathtoll-38%-was the worst since the Revolutionary War. By joint action of the services, all of the prisoners recovered were screened by military intelligence agencies. Of the 565 whose conduct was questioned, 373 were cleared or dropped after investigation. Of the remaining 192 suspects, 68 were
separated from the services; 3 resigned; 1 received reprimand; 2 were given restricted assignments; 6 were convicted by courtsmartial. As of July 20, 1955, 112 cases are pending. The
cases pending are in various stages of investigation. Many may never come to trial for various reasons. Others will be disposed of by minor disciplinary action or may be cleared. However, it is fairly certain that the number brought to trial will be substantially less than the 112, pending, perhaps less than half that many. Some of these last are men who were discharged soon after war’s end and now have a civilian status. Information which came to light after their separation made further action indicated. The Committee feels that justice must be done in these cases-the men who kept faith with their country and fellow prisoners need have no fear-but those who did not should be brought to trial. The Committee recommends that separated servicemen be brought to trial if they are charged with crimes similar to those which brought about the prosecution of other servicemen. Obviously a change from uniform to civilian clothes does not divest a guilty wrong’:doer of responsibility for a crime. A
civilian criminal would not be permitted to wear Army uniform as protective coloration. If action is indicated, the dischargees should be prosecuted in civil courts. When they cannot be tried in civilian courts and the evidence warrants it, they can be brought to trial under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
The Committee finds the Uniform Code of Military Justice adequate for the prosecution of misconduct cases of prisoners of war in Korea. The Committee recommends that the Uniform Code of Military Justice should govern the final adjudication of cases still pending.
None Were Tried Unjustly Establishing facts in the case against a prisoner charged with misconduct is a lengthy process. Evidence must be studied and assessed. Witnesses must be produced. Depositions must be obtained. In the Armed Forces this amounts to the equivalent of the work a District Attorney’s office must do before it presents a case to a Grand Jury. Consequently, there may seem to be a long delay before an accused service man is brought to formal trial. The Army has not been dilatory in trying the present cases. Rather it has been thorough and exacting in its research and investigation. The Committee finds that those servicemen who have been prosecuted and those who are facing trial were charged with serious crimes. Charges included homicide, and treasonable collaboration with the enemy, combined with informing on fellow prisoners. No man of any service-Army, Air Force, Navy or Marines-who might have been charged with 8uch crimes would have escaped disciplinary action. As in the past, the crimes enumerated are major offenses in the Armed Forces. (Of course, such alleged misconduct must be substantiated by evidence before disciplinary action is taken.) While the six thus far tried and sentenced to prison have been enlisted men, one officer was also disciplined; one was tried and acquitted; and other cases coming up involve officers. They do not make pleasant reading. A typical case involves an officer who is accused by 180 POWs of delivering anti-U. S. speeches, informing on fellow prisoners, hoarding food, teaching classes in Communism, and ordering men to sign peace petitions. There is no evidence he suffered duress. Another case involves a sergeant accused by many witnesses of “ratting” on his prison-mates, beating a sick prisoner, stealing
a wallet from a dying man, forcing a fellow prisoner out into the snow and leaving him there to die, and drowning three
U. N. prisoners crossing a stream. There was an officer who allegedly courted favors of his captors as soon as he reached prison camp. He is charged with confiscating the small tobacco ration dealt to the other men
and eating more than his share of the food. It is recorded that he made the heartless remark, “The more men who die here,
the more food for the rest of us.” He signed peace petitions, made propaganda broadcasts, and evidently “ratted” on other prisoners. There is no evidence that he was coerced. There is evidence that an enlisted man informed on fellow He wrote Red literature for his
prisoners planning to escape.
He was put in charge of a spy system which resulted
captors. in the punishment of “Reactionaries” in his camp. He asked for the job. No “brainwashing” here. Many of the accused informed on their prison-mates, sometimes with dire consequences for the victims who were usually severely punished. The man who tried to escape and was victimized by “ratting” was indeed a Soldier of Misfortune.
Invariably he was accused of breaking camp rules-a violation which “entitled” his captors to punish him. He might be placed in a hole in the ground and forced to endure an animal He might be
existence. He might be sent to “The Caves.” compelled to stand for hours in a latrine. To the combat veterans, “ratting” was a crime as unforgivable as treason.
The 21 turncoats who decided to stay with the Communistshere was another group of “exceptions.” Their number included men accused of informing-which suggests a good reason for electing to remain in the enemy’s country. Evidence indicates that few of these 21 were “sincere” converts to Communism. Expediency, opportunism, and fear of reprisal doubtless influenced some of the group.
Promises Were Not Broken
It has been stated that men were “lured” back to the American side by promises of clemency. This misconception, like
many others concerning the POWs, is far from the truth. The Army possesses a tape recording of the broadcast made to the men in question. No promise to the effect that they would not be prosecuted was offered. What the broadcast said in substance was this: H the men returned they would not be charged with desertion. “Ratting” was another matter entirely. Also other crimes which were subsequently revealed by investigation.
Finally the Uniform Code of Military Justice is devised for defense as well as prosecution. A military court often bends over backward in the interest of the accused. The man is assured a conscientious defense. If he cares to, he may procure civilian lawyers. There is nothing “star chamber” about a modern military trial. After witnessing the trial of a confessed “Progressive” charged with collaborating (and confessing to the charge), a reporter for the Christian Science Monitor wrote: “…. perhaps a word of advice is not amiss; make a trip to one of your local, federal, state, or municipal courts; watch the procedures, then look in at a general court-martial.”
The reporter went on to observe: “The (military) code provides for post-trial procedure, including automatic reviews by the Staff Judge Advocate of the First Army and a special board of review in the Pentagon. H this does:not satisfy the prisoner-and he can show good’ cause-the conviction and sentence can go to the Court of Military Appeals, composed of three civilian judges appointed by the President.” And clemency is possible through the Executive branch of our government.
rService Action Not Divergent
The public has been under the misapprehension that some of the men court-martialed and sentenced for misconduct while in POW camps “had the book thrown at them” while others went free.
Each of the Services thoroughly investigated all alleged cases of misconduct. They used generally identical criteria in determining the disposition of each case. Criteria considered type of misconduct, duress, and indications of informing or “ratting.”
The Department of Defense maintained surveillance over cases brought to trial.
The disposition of all cases was governed by the facts and circumstances surrounding each case and was as consistent, equitable, and uniform as could be achieved by any two or more boards or courts.
No case was brought for court-martial action in which there was evidence of duress, brainwashing or any other type of coercion.The Committee finds that there was no divergent action among the services. The relatively large number of Army POWs naturally shifted the largest number of misconduct cases into the Army’s column. All services employed the same screening procedures in examining repatriated POWs. All services applied the same standards in weighing alleged charges of misconduct. Resultant service actions were based ! on the evidence in eacJt%case. ~
The Korean Armistice Agreement contained a proviso that “each side would directly repatriate all those prisoners of war who desired repatriation.” The COmlnunists did not honor this agreement. After repatriation operations were concluded, the U. N. cOmlnand listed 944 servicemen as “missing” and presumably in enemy hands. Nineteen of this number were finally accounted for by the COmlnunists. By our own U. S. efforts this list has been reduced to 470, some of whom we have reason to believe were at some time in the hands of the enemy. In the United Nations, the United States has consistently demanded an accounting for them. The Committee believes that the Communists should be held strictly accountable for the 470 men still missing in action. Information indicates they were at one time or another in Communist hands.
All have been declared legally dead. Nevertheless, the Communists should account for them in accordance with a signed agreement with the United States. The Communists admitted holding 15,Air Force men and two
Department of Defense civilian employees. Their detainment was in direct violation of the Armistice Agreement and the Geneva Conventions.
Concern of Ex-Prisoners
The Committee also concerned itseH with the question of service men who were discharged at the close of the Korean War–men who have been returned to civilian status. Also
repatriated POWs who may have remained in uniform. Because of the misconduct charges brought against a small number of POWs, and the accusations of misconduct levelled at
a slightly larger number, some of the former POWs may have grown uneasy about the matter. The Committee considers that no man with a clear conscience need worry about a possible charge.
The repatriated POW has been entitled to special compensation for the period of his confinement. Every repatriated POW could receive this money by applying for it, with this exception: The war-prisoners who voluntarily, knowingly, and without duress gave aid to, collaborated with, or in any manner served the enemy, are excluded. All repatriated prisoners who receive this compensation have been cleared of any such misconduct charge.
THE ROAD AHEAD FOR AMERICA AND THE ARMED FORCES
Total War for the Minds of Men
America must view the Communist treatment of captives as but another weapon in the world-wide war for the minds of men. The nation must recognize the duplicity of an enemy
which pays no more than lip service to the Geneva Conventions. However, the United States cannot oppose duplicity with a similar policy. To do so might be fighting fire with fire. But the United States refuses to sacrifice principle for expediency. Such ajustification of means for end would mean the abandon
ment of the cause for which America fights. The national
conscience would revolt at such a solution. The nation must continue to oppose Communism, or any other threat to Democracy, with American weapons and principles. The machines of war are assured by American enterprise, science and industry. The principles, home-forged by America’s founders, are more than an heirloom heritage for
They are precepts which must be practiced
if the nation is to remain the guardian of man’s liberties that it is. The responsibility for the maintenance and preservation of the United States and all it stands for is one which must be shared by every citizen. Every American is in the front line in the war for the minds of men.
Code of American Conduct
The battlefield of modern warfare is all inclusive. Today there are no distant front lines, remote no man’s lands, far-off rear areas. The home front is but an extension of the fighting front. In the dreaded event of another all-out war-a thermonuclear war-the doorstep may become the Nation’s first line of defense. Under such circumstances, the new code of conduct for the American serviceman might well serve the American citizen.
The Code~s high standards will serve as guides)or .Americans in uniform. Backed by adequate training and education, they will support the assurance of Armed Forces leaders that .American fighting men will be fully prepared to meet the enemy on any front.
The Korean story must never be permitted to happen again.
1. Terms of Reference
2. Code of Conduct
3. Citizens, Former Prisoners of War, and Government
Representatives Who Consulted with the Defense Advisory Committee on Prisoners of War
4. Prisoners of War in History
TERMS OF REFERENCE
THE SECRETARY OF DEFENSE WASHINGTON May 17, 1955
MEMORANDUM FOR THE CHAIRMAN, DEFENSE ADVISORY COMMITTEE ON PRISONERS OF WAR
SUBJECT: Terms of Reference I am deeply concerned with the importance to our national security of providing Americans who serve their country in battle with every means we can devise to defeat the enemy’s techniques. To assure the success of our Armed Forces it is equally as essential to arm them with the best weapons of the mind and body as it is to provide them with the machines of war. Our national military needs must be met. This requires that each member of the Armed Forces be thoroughly indoctrinated with a simple, easily understood code to govern his conduct while a prisoner of war. However, this military need must be met in a manner compatible with
the principles and precepts basic to our form of government. Enforce
ment must be accomplished with justice and understanding.
I have appointed this Committee to advise me on this matter. I request
that you consider the methods we may expect our potential enemy to employ, the obligation which national military needs impose on members of the Armed Forces and the obligation of the United States to afford protection to its citizens in the custody of a foreign power. I direct your deliberation toward the development of suitable recommendations for a Code of Conduct and indoctrination and training on preparation for future conflict. You will also consider certain other related Prisoner of War Problem areas which I will make known.
Staff support will be supplied in the form of a Secretariat, with the Staff Director from the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (M&P), the Deputy Staff Director from the Office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and one officer each from the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps for full-time staff duty.
Legal counsel will be provided by the Office’ of the General Counsel (OSD), and research assistance will be supplied through the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (R&D).
Liaison between this Committee and government agencies outside the Department of Defense will be conducted with the help of the appropriate office in the Office of the Secretary of Defense as coordinated by the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (M&P).
It is desired that this Committee submit its recommendations within two months after its first meeting.
C. E. WILSON.
ADDENDA NO. 3
CITIZEN$, FORMER PRISONERS OF WAR, AND GOVERN· MENT REPRESENTATIVES WHO CONSULTED WITH THE DEFENSE ADVISORY COMMITTEE ON PRISONERS OF WAR
CITIZENS, FORMER PRISONERS OF WAR, AND GOVERNMENT REPRESENTATIVES WHO CONSULTED WITH THE DEFENSE ADVISORY COMMITTEE ON PRISONERS OF WAR
DR. ARTHUR S. ADAMS
President, American Council on Education
and Chairman, Reserve Forces Policy Board
HONORABLE ROBERT B. ANDERSON
Deputy Secretary of Defense MAJOR CLARENCE L. ANDERSON, U. S. Army Medical Corps
MR. MAC ASBELL, JR.
Chairman, Subcommittee for Military Affairs-Peace and Preparednes8 CommitteeAmerican Veterans of World War II
COMMANDER RALPH M. BAGWELL, U. S. Navy
DR. A. BIEDERMAN
Officers Education and Research Laboratory Air Research and Development Command
U. S. Air Force
MR. GEORGE BROWN
Assistant to the President American Federation of Labor
HONORABLE HERBERT BROWNELL, JR.
The Attorney General of the United States
HONORABLE WILBER M. BRUCKER
then General Counsel, Department of Defense, now Secretary of the Army
DR. LEONARD CARMICHAEL
Secretary, Smithsonian Institution
COLONEL A. P. CLARK, U. S. Air Force Chief, Promotions & Separations Division Director of Military Personnel
STAFF SERGEANT RODERICK G. CONN, U. S. Air Force
GENERAL ORVAL R. COOK, U. S. Air Force Deputy Commander in Chief-Europe
DR. MEREDITH P. CRAWFORD
Director, Human Resources Research Office George Washington University
CAPTAIN BERT CUMBY, U. S. Army
MAJOR GENERAL WILLIAM F. DEAN, U. S. Army
DR. HAROLD W. DODDS
President, Princeton University
MR. ALLYN DONALDSON
Director, Office of Special Counselor Services
Department of State
CAPTAIN RAY M. DOWE, JR., U. S. Army
ADMIRAL DONALD B. DUNCAN, U. S. Navy
Vice Chief of Naval Operations LIEUTENANT GENERAL G. B. ERSKINE, U. S. Marine Corps (Ret.) Director, Special Operations Office of the Secretary of Defense
CAPTAIN J. S. FAHY, U. S. Navy
Officer Personnel Branch
Bureau of Naval Personnel
MR. CHARLES E. FOSTER
Assistant Director of Legislation
Disabled American Veterans
REAR ADMIRAL D. V. GALLERY, U. S. Navy
Chief, Air Reserve Training
REAR ADMIRAL ELTON W. GRENFELL, U. S. Navy
Assistant Chief for Personnel Control and
ACNO for Military Personnel Security
Bureau of Naval Personnel
LIEUTENANT COLONEL MONROE J. HAGOOD, U. S. Army
Chief, Returnees Section
G-2 Intelligence, General Staff
CORPORAL JAMES L. HALE, U. S. Marine Corps
FATHER THEODORE HESBURGH
President, Notre Dame University
DR. LAWRENCE HINKLE
New York Hospital
BRIGADIER GENERAL S. W. JONES, U. S. Army
Assistant Judge Advocate General for Military Justice
MR. MILES KENNEDY
Director, National Legislative Commission
The American Legion
MR. OMAR B. KETCHUM
Director, National Legislative Service
Veterans of Foreign Wars MAJOR GENERAL A. M. KUHFIELD, U. S. Air Force The Assistant Judge Advocate General
COLONEL H. S. LEVIE, U. S. Army Chief, International Affairs Division Office of the Judge Advocate General
AMBASSADOR HENRY CABOT LODGE, JR.
United States Representative to the United Nations
COLONEL K. K. LOUTHER, U. S. Marine Corps
Assistant Director of Personnel
LIEUTENANT COLONEL DAVID F. MACGHEE, U. S. Air Force
MR•.S. L. A. MARSHALL
Chief Editorial Writer
The Detroit News
REVERN WILLIA~ MARTIN
Presiding Bishop of Methodist Churches, Dallas, Texas
DR. CHARLES MAYO
The Mayo Clinic
LIEUTENANT COLONEL JAMES L. MONROE, U. S. Air Force
Defense Prisoner Officer
Office of the Director of Plans
REAR ADMIRAL 1. H. NUNN, U. S. Navy
The Judge Advocate General
LIEUTENANT GENERAL EMMETT O’DONNELL, JR., U. S. Air Force
Deputy Chief of Staff, Personnel
CAPTAIN PAUL T. O’DOWD, U. S. Army
DR. WINFRED OVERHOLSER, M. D.
Superintendent, St. Elizabeths Hospital
Washington, D. C.
HOSPITALMAN 3D CLASS TED P AILLETTE, U. S. Navy
GENERAL W. B. PALMER, U. S. Army
Vice Chief of Staff
MAJOR MARION R. P ANELL, U. S. Army
G-3 Operations, General Staff
RABBI DAVID DE SOLA POOL
National Jewish Welfare Board
ADMIRAL ARTHUR W. RADFORD, U. S. Navy
Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff
MR. VICTOR REUTHER
Assistant to the President . Congress of Industrial Organizations
DR. SCOVEL RICHARDSON
Chairman, U. S. Board of Parole
Department of Justice
HONORABLE ROBERT TRIPP Ross
Assistant Secretary of Defense
(Legislative and Public Affairs)
DR. H. J. SANDER
Officers Education and Research Laboratory
Air Research and Development Command
U. S. Air Force
DB. CARLETON F. SCOFIELD
Human Resources Research Office
George Washington University
DR. JULIUS SEGAL
Human Resource8 Research Ojfice
George Washington University MAJOR HENRY A. SEGAL, U. S. Army Medical Corps
GBNERAL LEMUEL C. SHEPHERD, JR.
Commandant, U. S. Marine Corps
DR. FRANK STANTON
President, Columbia Broadcasting System
HONORABLE ROBERT T. STEVENS
then Secretary oj the Army SERGEANT MARVIN E. TALBERT, U. S. Army HONORABLE HAROLD E. TALBOTT
Secretary oj the Air Force LIEUTBNANT COLONEL WILLIAM G. THRASH, U. S. Marin. Corpa
HONORABLE CHARLES S. THOMAS
Secretary oj the Navy
LIEUTENANT COLONEL C. H. THURSTON, U. S. Army G-1 Personnel, General Staff GENERAL NATHAN F. TWINING, U. S. Air Force
Chiej oj Staff
MR. BERNARD WEITZER
National Legislative Director Jewish War Veteran8 oj U. S. A.
DR. HAROLD WOLF
Department oj Medicine Cornell University
PRISONERS OF WAR IN HISTORY
Dungeon, Cell and Stockade
The captive knight languished in a “donjon.” The languishing was
usually rugged. Facing “durance vile,” many Medieval warriors pre
ferred death to capture, refusing to surrender and battling until they fell.
The Medieval foot soldier continued to risk death or enslavement at
the hands of a conquering enemy. But in the 17th Century he found a.
notable spokesman in Hugo Grotius-Dutch lawyer, humanist, one of the
world’s great democratic thinkers. At one time, Grotius himself was
imprisoned. He contrived a remarkable escape. Thereafter, he dedi
cated himself to a study of international law, attempting to devise a set of
rules which combatant nations could follow to mutual advantage. His
efforts to humanize warfare by legal means did not meet with immediate
success. But they did publicize the problem and place it on humanity’s
The concurrent rise of nationalism aggravated the prisoner problem.
As national armies grew, so did the complexities of war and soldiering.
Usually the conquering army had few facilities for confining a mass of
captives. Castle dungeons were few and far between. Great bastilles
were built to hold prisoners. The British constructed Dartmoor as a
prison for soldiers captured during the Napoleonic Wars.
As cells overflowed, the captives were crowded into miserable stockades.
They were packed into airless prison ships or bleak compounds. Because
guards were shorthanded, prisoners were frequently chained in droves.
Fortunately for the war-prisoner two lenitives eventually developed. One came in the device of the prisoner exchange. The second stemmed from the concept that the soldier in a national army was a servant of his government. As such he could not be held personally responsible for the actions of that government. Hence, he was not subject to punishment for going to war. The prisoner had right of reparation, and it was due from the “detaining state” and not from individual captors. The point bears on the problem of the “war criminal”-one of the serious questions involving the modern POW.
The issue arose during the American Revolution. So did other issues pertinent to the POW problem of today-questions involving treatment of captive by captor; prisoner conduct and allegiance; prison break and escape; truce exchange or prisoner rescue. The American patriot’s first experience with these issues was not a happy one.
The First American POW’s
George III decreed that all Americans who revolted against Crown authority were war criminals subject to hanging. Doughty Abraham Whipple of Rhode Island reminded the king, “Always catch a man before you hang himl” But every Revolutionary soldier and sailor went to war under shadow of the gallows. The noose was relaxed only because it proved impractical and English liberals deplored suoh high-handed tyranny. Soon after the outbreak of hostilities prisoner exchanges were begun and paroles arranged. Whipple himself was eventually captured. The Red Coats considered the “Informal Commodore” worth more as hostage than hangee.
Captive A,;merican seamen were lodged in the worst of England’s naval prisons, the “Old Mill” at Plymouth. Early in the war Dr. Franklin informed Lord Stormont in Paris, “The United States are not unacquainted with the barbarous treatment their people receive when they htlve the misfortune of being your prisoners in Europe.” Lord Stormont’s answer was blunt. “The King’s Ambassador receives no applications from rebels unless they come to implore His Majesty’s mercy.” Maltreatment of captured Yankees led Paul Jones to raid Nova Scotia in a daring rescue effort. “Justly indignant at the suffering of these Americans, I resolved to make the greatest efforts to succor them.” His sensational raid on England featured an attempt to kidnap the Earl of Selkirk to force a prisoner exchange.
A view of Red Coat prisons in America comes from the pen of Ethan Allen, himself made captive. “The prisoners who were brought to New York were crowded into churches by the slavish Hessian guards …•. I have seen sundry of the prisoneril in the agonies of death, in consequence of very hunger; and others speechless and near death, biting pieces of chips; otherS pleading for God’s sake for something to eat, and at the same time shivering with cold. . . . The filth was almost beyond description…. I have seen in one of the churches seven dead at the same time, lying among the excrement of their bodies…. I saw some sucking bones after they were speechlesil. • . . I was persuaded that it was a premeditated and systematized plan of the British Council to destroy the youth of our land.”
, From Bunce’s Romance of the Revolution comes an equally harrowing account. “Of all the atrocities committed, those in the prison ships of New York are the most execrable •… there is nothing in history to excel the barbarities there inflicted. Twelve thousand (American prisoners) suffeted death • • . • on board the filthy and malignant ships. The scenes enacted in these prisons almost exceed belief.” Worst of the prison ships was the hulk “Old Jersey” anchored in Wallabout Bay, Brooklyn. The many dead, thrown overside, silted the bay with skeletons. A poet patriot engraved the picture in verse:
“Let the dark Scorpion’s hulk narrate,
“The dismal tale of Red Coat hate;
“Her horrid scenes let Jersey tell,
“And mock the shades where demons dwell
The Red Coat leaders countered that the Yankees tarred and feathered Tory loyalists and that captive British soldiers were worked in brutal mines. The claim was made (in some instances substantiated) that Continental Navy captains slew naval prisoners. But “Old Jersey” remained a blot on the record.
In the “Old Mill” at Plymouth, England, some of the Revolution’s greatest sea warriors were imprisoned. The prisoners were chained and placed under heavy guard. Yet the “Mill” featured two of the most remarkable escapes in history-exploits which inspire American fighting men to this day. With almost superhuman determination, Captain Gustavus Conyngham and a group of fellow prisoners tunneled out and made a get-away. Thereby, as Conyngham dryly put it, “committing treason through His Majesty’s earth.” Aided by friends in the English underground, the intrepid Joshua Barney contrived an over-the-wall escape. Eluding pursuers, he bluffed his way across England, and reached Holland in disguise-an exploit to rival anY’thing in Dumas. So was born the tradition that the American POW does not meekly accept captivity.
“The Meaning of Treason”
Laws affecting military discipline were evolving. Of course, the basic
codes prevailed. Treason was punishable by death. Treachery could
not be countenanced. The question of treasonable collaboration while a
prisoner of the enemy came up during the Revolution. The case and
its decision-a precedent-was recorded in 1781. Respublica vs. M’Carty.
The accused fac,ed trial for serving in enemy uniform after capture. He
claimed he was forced to do so under compulsion of duress. The court
held that the duress was insufficient, only the threat of imminent death
would constitute adequate excuse.
Clearer cases of treason were made against enlisted men who deserted
their posts and went over to the enemy. Paul Jones had such a traitor in
his raider, the Ranger. The man, a David Freeman, fled ship at White
haven and tried to alarm the town. If Jones had caught him-I
During the Civil War many prisoners of war changed uniform. Some 3,170 Union captives exchanged blue for gray. About 5,450 Confederates went over to the Federal side. One famous company of “reconstructed Rebs” was sent West to man a frontier outpost and relieve a Union garrison needed on the front.
In cases involving disloyal prisoners of war, the question of duress-or degree of duress–was weighed in the balance. The Union Judge Advocate General recognized coercion as a defense. It was held that “extreme suffering and privation which endangered the prisoner’s life” might justify his enlistment with the enemy. However, if the prisoner made no effort to escape when opportunity offered, he was liable to a desertion charge. War Department General Order No. 207 (July 1863) provided that it was the duty of a prisoner of,war to escape. The order was designed to curb wholesale surrenders by men eager to obtain parole and evade further military service.
The war was opposed by Northern “Copperheads.” Lincoln was inclined to be lenient. Referring to “Copperhead” leaders, he asked, “Should I hang a young soldier, and free a wily politician who induces him to desert?”
Civil War prison camps were harsh. In Southern camps, particularly Andersonville and Florence, men suffered greatly from malnutrition and lack of medication. The Union prison on Johnson’s Island in Lake Erie was a bleak Alcatraz, and Union stockades at Point Lookout on the Potomac were described as “hell holes.”
Humane citizens, North and South, appealed for lenient treatment of captive soldiery. In 1863 President Lincoln requested Professor Francis Lieber to prepare a set of rules for immediate promulgation. Lieber’s
Instructionsfor the Government of Armies of the United States were probably
the first comprehensive codification of international law issued by a
government. Based on moral precepts which recognized the enemy as a
fellow human with lawful rights, they embodied the first code pertaining
to prisoners of war. Lieber’s code contained the following injunctions:
No belligerent has the right to declare that he will treat every captured
man in arms . . . . as a brigand or a bandit.
A prisoner of war is subject to no punishment for being a public enemy,
nor is any revenge wreaked upon him by the intentional infliction of any
suffering, or disgrace, by cruel imprisonment, want of food, by mutila
tion, death. or any other barbarity.
A prisoner of war remains answerable for his crimes committed before
the captor’s army or people. (for crimes) committed before he was cap
tured. and for which he has not been punished by his own authorities.
A prisoner of war . . . . is the prisoner of the government and not of
Prisoners of war are sU,bject to confinement or imprisonment such as
may be deemed necessary on account of safety, but they are to be sub
jected to no other intentional suffering or indignity.
A prisoner of war who escapes may be shot, or otherwise killed ill
flight; but neither death nor any other punishment shall be inflicted on
him for his attempt to escape, which the law of order does not consider
a crime. Stricter means of security shall be used after an unsuccessful
attempt at escape.
Every captured wounded man shaH be medically treated according to
the ability of the medical staff.
Lieber’s code was a milepost on civilization’s highroad. But its commandments were easier to publish than practice. For example, the code stipulated that prisoners should receive rations similar to those issued his captors. Military and economic stringency often negated the intention of this rule. The Confederacy agreed to recognize and apply the code. But under pressure of blockade, the South was slowly starving and Southern soldiers and their prisoners showed the effects of the scarcity of food.
Lieber recognized that war was a harsh taskmaster. Prisoners would have to obey various prison-rules. They would be punished for infractions. During the Civil War, prisoners were sometimes chained together, placed in brutal irons or “bagged” (a suffocating canvas sack tied over the head). They were placed in solitary confinement, and denied water. These vicious measures were seldom used as disciplinary punishments. More often they were employed to wring information from a captive. Such “third degrees” were sub rosa and usually applied by military police or Secret Service agents.
Interrogation and Information
In the American Civil War, espionage, military intelligence,and counterintelligence were important features of the conflict. In the two previous wars fought by the United States few tr!tined intelligence operators had served the American forces. Efforts to gather military information had been haphazard and disorganized. The advent of the Pinker
ton Service which operated with McClellan, the Federal Secret Service
under Colonel Lafayette Baker, and a well-organized Confederate Secret
Service put intelligence-gathering (and defensive counter–intelligence) on
a modernized basis.
Spies were called “scouts.” As old as war was the rule that the enemy
spy, caught in disguise, faced death. They were beyond the pale of
prisoner-of-war exemptions. The Civil War featured many heroic spy
exploits. It also featured daring raids on enemy lines to capture troopers
for interrogation. In every war thereafter, military intelligence would
be closely linked with prisoner interrogation.
The officer or man who gave his captors military information was as
dangerous to country and cause as the deliberate traitor. So soldiers were
enjoined “not to talk.” Lieber set down the rule:
Honorable men, when captured, wiIl abstain from giving to the enemy
information concerning their own army, and the modern law of war per
mits no longer the use oC any violence against prisoners, in order to
extort the desired inCormation, or to punish them Cor having given Calse
Again the rule was easier to recite than observe. On the one hand,
there was the interrogator ordered by his chiefs to acquire vital informa
tion-intelligence which might win a battle and save many lives. On the
other hand, there was the prisoner, sworn to withhold information which
might cost a battle and the lives of his countrymen. Here are the opposing
forces for a cruel contest. By virtue of the fact that he is a captive, the
odds are all against the prisoner. His refusal to talk inevitably invites
some form of duress. Accordingly, Lieber’s Code outlawed violence by
Civilized men did their best to follow the precepts of the Golden Rule
and Christian doctrine.
So another significant effort was made to regulate warfare by ethics. The going was slow but the steps were in the right direction. A promise of something better for the POW was coming from Geneva.
The International Red Cross
In 1864, the Swiss philanthropist Henri Dllnant wrote a book which set the stage for a conference at Geneva and the founding of the International Red Cross. The Red Cross offered relief to all combatants, regardless of the flag they served. All participants agreed that “the sanitary personnel might continue its duty in the presence of the enemy.” Through the determined campaigning of Clara Barton the United States joined the convention in 1882, and the American Red Cross was organized.
Dunant’s work inspired the founding of other prisoner-relief societies. In 1874 a conference was held in Brussels at the instigation of the Russian Government. Delegates of all the major European nations attended. A code, based on Lieber’s, was projected. The Brussels code was not ratified. But it strongly influenced the first Hague Conference which met at the turn of the century.
The devoted men at Geneva and Brussels worked overtime to devise international laws which would be effective. They were confronted with race prejudice, ancient grudges, super nationalism, and mistrust.
Czar Nicholas II sponsored the Hague Conference of 1899 which
broadened the scope of Red Cross operations. Representatives of 26
nations attended the Conference. Discussed were disarmament proposals
and the possibility of establishing a world court. The delegates negotiated
various agreements relating to warfare and war-prisoners.
The prisoner-of-war code adopted at the Hague was based on the one
proposed at Brussels. It embodied many of Lieber’s original stituplations.
Prisoners of war were to be considered as lawful and disarmed enemies.
They were captives of the hostile government (and not in the power of the
individual captors or jailors). Humane treatment of prisoners was
obligatory. And it was agreed that unruly prisoners could be punished
Twenty-four of the attending powers ratified the Hague Convention.
Signers included the United States, Germany, France, England and Rus
sia. A hopeful generation called the Conference the “First Parliament of
Acting on a Russian proposal, the Netherlands called a second Hague
Conference in 1907. During this conference, the powers affirmed their
adherence to the principle’s previously adopted.
So the Red Cross raised its flag in the capitol of every modern nation including Russia. Eventually the Soviet Union agreed to follow the rules laid down by Hague and Geneva Conventions. At the outbreak of the Korean War, the North Koreans and subsequently the Red Chinese announced an intention to observe the rules. While the Red Cross was conspicuous by its absence in North Korea, a few of the POWs did receive mail and packages. And some of the Chinese held their fire when medical troops were recovering wounded. The Red Cross was there in shadow, if not in substance.
The First Total War
Another conference was in the making when the First World War exploded. The German intentions seemed only too clear when the Kaiser’s spokesman described a treaty with Belgium as a “scrap of paper.”
The concept of total war-mustering an entire nation and its forces for the conflict-was not new. But in the modern sense it was first advocated by the elder Von Moltke. If rules and codes abetted the war effort, observe them. If they didn’t, they were unrealistic and to be dispensed with. Total war was no gentleman’s game. Any expedient that spelled victory was justifiable.
Von Moltke’s concept was not entirely accepted by the High Command, but the Prussian school generally endorsed a policy of Schreklichkeit (planned terror or “Frightfulness”) to subdue defiant enemy peoples. Prussian “Frightfulness” was amateurish, and not very effective. But it did represent a 20th Century development in psychological warfare. Its usefulness was countered because it backfired in another area-propaganda warfare.
Organized propaganda was an innovation. The practice of propaganda was as old as preaching, electioneering or salesmanship. Early American war propaganda was written by Thomas Paine whose book Common Sense was the sensation of ’76. Washington urged his troops to read it. And the phrases “summer soldier” and “sunshine patriot” scathed the faint-hearted of the Revolution.
Captain David Dixon Porter, U. -So N., pioneered with propaganda
during the Civil War. Past the Vicksburg forts he floated a dummy gun
boat bearing a huge sign advising: “Deluded Rebels, Cave Inl” Porter
was probably the originator of the leaflet barrage. From one of his gun
boats he flew kites over Vicksburg. A cut string would drop a bag of
letters on the besieged city. “Think of chicken and biscuitsl”
But organized propaganda-contrivedpress releases, editorialcampaigns,
leaflet barrages-the use of all kinds of mass media to reach a national
audience or influence the enemy populace or army-this was something
new. From the outset Germans and Allies saw it as a tremendously
powerful weapon. Offensively and defensively, both sides employed it
to the utmost. Again the Germans went wide of the mark. Their propa
ganda “threatened.” Basically, propaganda is advertising. Force it,
and it becomes repellent.
The Germans introduced another innovation during World War I.
This new element could be called “Political Warfare.” As distinguished
from propaganda, it involved the process known today as political indoc
trination. In 1914 this came as an extraordinary (and an alarming)
machination. The Germans did not employ it successfully or on a large
scale. They were pioneering. But they set the pattern for the future.
At Limburg and Zossen, the Germans set up what were known as “politi
cal camps.” To these camps weresent prisoners who seemed likely sub
jects for subversion. The inmates were quartered in comfortable barracks.
Instead of the normal prisoner ration they were fed the best viands avail
able. Tobacco and candy were plentiful. During the first eighteen
months of the war, Irish prisoners were selected for these segregated camps.
As reported by Major H. C. Fooks in his book Prisoners of War: “One commandant talked to his men and stated that the emperor was aware of the downtrodden state of Ireland, and wished that the Irish captive5 be placed in a separate camp, where they would be better fed and treated better than the English captives….. Sir Roger Casement was sent to the Limburg Camp to give a series of lecture’!.”
Casement was a famous Irish rebel-in British eyes an arch-traitor. He had slipped into Germany to organize an anti-British brigade. His attempts with the Irish prisoners of war were a pathetic failure. From Fook one learns: “The lectures were poorly attended and as soon as the real purpose of them was disclosed serious trouble developed in the camp wherever Casement appeared; in fact a guard had to be sent with him to protect him from the indignant Irishmen. After every inducement had been held out for a long time, including freedom of the prison camps, and especially the privilege of having an Irish regiment of their own with green uniforms and a harp embroidered on the coat, only thirty-two men volunteered for the new regiment from four thousand captives. The thirty-two were despised by their compatriots.”
Fook tells of a Roman Catholic priest, an Irishman, who was sent to the Limburg camp by special arrangement with the Vatican. This clergyman, Father Corotty, refused to cooperate with Casement and the Germans. He denounced them both to the prisoners and urged the captive soldiers to remain loyal to their oaths-and their king. Father Corottyat Limburg was a valiant pleader. He would have his counterpart in Father Emil Kapaun-a brave priest who died in a prison camp in North Korea.
One inay find another parallel in the 32 irish converts who joined the
German side in World War I and the 23 defectors who turned the coat
in Korea. A final parallel comes from the World War I account. “Mter
the failure of such methods the Irish captives were subjected to rigid
discipline and limitation of liberty. The leaders in this antagonism
to German diplomacy were removed from the main camp to . . . . .
working camps where they were forced to live on the camp foods without
receiving their packages and letters which would normally have been for
warded to them. Bitter complaints were made to the effect that men
too ill to get out of bed were ordered to leave in violation of the orders
of the medical officers . . .. Reprisals by the Germans were not un
As a footnote to this political indoctrination program, Roger Casement
was captured by British agents when a U-boat landed him in Ireland.
Summarily tried as a traitor, he was found guilty and executed.
At war’s end approximately 2,200,000 prisoners were in the hands of
the Central (Germanic) Powers. The Allies were holding 615,900. The
Americans had captured some 49,000 Germans. The Germans captured
4,120 Americans. A tota! of 147 Americans died in the enemy’s prison
camps. Few Americans escaped from Germany, but daring attempts
By and large, the American prisoners had been well treated. Undoubtedly the Klaiser’s military leaders foresaw the results of America’s entry into the conflict. With the handwriting on the wall it was only expedient to treat captured Doughboys with lenience.
In reviewing World War I-the First Total War-one may note four major developments:
Scientific intelligence warfare.
All dealt with the human mind, and all would be brought to bear on future prisoners of war-in World War II and in Korea.
Star Chamber Confessions
Intelligence warfare, psychological warfare, propaganda warfare and political warfare did not end with the signing of the Armistice. World War II began almost as soon as the First World War was terminated. Out of Europe’s ruins crawled Fascism and Nazism. Communism had already taken root in the wreckage of Imperial Russia.
Began a war for the minds of Europe’s people-those millions contemptuously looked upon by War Lord and dictator as “the masses.” While spies and subversives swarmed across the Continent, the “masses” were deluged with propaganda appeals. Salute with upraised hand, with clenched fist and cocked elbow-here comes the Millennium! The Rebirth of the Roman Empirel The Thousand Year Reichl International Communisml The democratic nations looked on in helpless alarm.
The Fascist Terror seemed mostly bugaboo. But Nazi Germany produced a horror of pogroms. Concentration camps. Torture chambers. Finally, in the early 30’s, Hitler’s Blood Purge.
Then, from the murk of Communist Russia, came a startling series of
In 1937, the Kremlin staged a wholesale purge of Bolshevik traitors and
defectors. Among the number brought to trial were some of Russia’s
toughest Red commissars and no less a figure than Marshal Tukhachevsky,
one of the ablest military strategists in Europe. Western observers were
astounded to hear the accused stand up in court and openly confess to
treason. A number of them read or recited long speeches, admitting to
designs against the Soviet Union and the regime in power, and voicing
penitence for their deeds. With fantastic self-abnegation, some of the
confessors condemned themselves and recommended judgment without
mercy. As they marched off to face firing squads or the oblivion of Siberia,
the world stared after them in astonishment.
The techniques used in the cases of the Russian political prisoners dem
onstrated that they had a very effective means of forcing individuals to
make false confessions. To some extent this special intensive and pro
tractive technique, sometimes referred to as “brainwashing”, was em
ployed on American prisoners of war in Korea. It was used to elicit false
confessions and other statements for propaganda purposes.
Threats. Blows. Days in solitary confinement. Driblets of food and
sips of water. Then questioning, hour after hour, a brilliant light in the
eyes. Exhaust.ion, then, perhaps, sudden leniency. An abrupt shift from
brutality to smiling kindness. Anything to throw the victim off balance.
And if the “kindness” fails, another resort to remorseless punishment.
The simple carrot-and-prod procedure. Months of such treatment could,
and evidently did, crack the staunch commissars. A sensitive man
would succumb sooner. A Dutch doctor coined the term for this type of
psychological and physical pressuring-“menticide.”
The Geneva conventions outlawed duress and physical torture. But a cynical and rutWess enemy would hardly balk at the breakage of humane rules. -Moreover, he might claim that mental torture did not constitute physical torture. In any event, the question seemed academic as far as the Nazi S. S. were concerned. But as Germany marched toward war there was some hope that the professional Wehrmacht commanders would abide by the Geneva Code. It would appear that many of them did.
The Second Total War
Seen as an extension of World War I, the global war exploded by the Axis Powers produced nothing new in the way of warfare until its atomic ending. Unless it could be stated that air raids and buzz bombs extended the battle front to the home front and put every civilian-man, woman, child-on a potential firing line. And for the first time in modern history, thousands of civilians were taken prisoner and impounded in concentration camps.
The conflict that would leave millions of dead was an anthology of atrocities. The civilians suffered most. Rotterdam blasted. Coventry blasted. Lidice destroyed. Thousands of peasants herded to the wall and shot. Victims beaten and tortured by their S. S. captors. Resist(,)rB starved, flogged, mutilated, slain in endurance tests and medical experiments behind the walls of Oranienburg and other “special prisons.”
The horrors endured by captive civilians in Nazi hands defy assessment.
Their sum may never be totaled. The authors of the Blood Purge silencedmany of their captives and saw to it the records were destroyed.
Prisoner Interrogation-A Battle of Wits
During World War II a total of 129,701 Americans were captured bythe Axis enemy.
Perhaps fearing reprisal more than public opinion, the German militarywere fairly punctilious in handling American POWs. Americans captured
in Italy were awarded similarly “correct” treatment. The prisoners wereusually allowed to organize in groups. Captured officers assumed command according to rank.
The POWs often ran their own work details.In lenient camps sports and shows were permitted. Red Cross packageswere distributed, and mail call was the happiest moment of the month.
But the men were behind barbed wire, and Americans behind barbed wireare never happy ·men. In the matter of prisoner interrogation the German. military seem tohave been punctilious enough. At least toward the Americans. Therewas none of the brutalizing that was evident in such Japanese camps asOfuna and Ashio, where American submariners were tortured.The Americans captured by General Homma’s forces on the BataanPeninsula and at Corregidor counted themselves fortunate if they reacheda prison camp alive.
In the “Bataan Death March” General Wainwright’ssurrendered troops endured one of the most excruciating ordeals -of the war.Britons and Australians caught at Singapore were similarly brutalized.The veneer of civilization was thin on the Emperor’s soldiery.
It peeledoff like varnish as the Rising Sun blazed in triumph over the Southwest
Airmen and submariners bore the brunt of interrogation ordeals.Reason: they usually possessed information of more value to the enemythan an infantryman’s.
They may have flown from a carrier or perhaps
from some hidden island base. The name of the flattop, the location ofthe base–this was vital intelligence. The submariner knew a dozensecrets: his sub’s cruising range, its radar and sonar devices, its torpedogear. One of the best kept secrets of the war (and one of the most important) was the depth at which a U. S. submarine could operate.So pilots and submarine sailors who were captured “got the works.”The Japanese did not employ subtle interrogation methods. Nor did theyemploy the methods associated with “menticide.” Prisoners were floggedand tortured. They were treated to such Oriental punishments as judoexperts and hatchet men could devise. One submarine captain who took itwas a skipper whose vessel had been battered into surrender. Cigaretteburning, bamboo splinters under the fingernails-this officer’s ordealhardly bears recital. But the Japanese did not extract from him thediving depth of U. S. submarines.In the South Pacific after the war, Americans found the graves ofcaptured destroyermen. Several of the bluejackets had been beheaded.And on Palawan Island was found a trench containing the bodies ofAmerican prisoners who had been drenched with gasoline and burned alive.Their story was told by a survivor who had escaped this horror.These grim reports from the Pacific may be detailed as the exception.
Late in the war Japanese prison camps were on a par with those in some
backward country at century’s turn. The blockaded Japanese were reo
duced to meager rations. The Philippines and the Home Islands were
undergoing non-stop bombardment. Consequently food and medical
supplies were at barrel-bottom. The POW’s received the leftovers.
But beheadings, torture, Palawan massacre aud “Bataan Death March”
were on the record. Like the Malmedy massacre in the Belgian Bulge,
like Buchenwald and Belsen, they awaited an accounting. The outraged
people of the United Nations demanded retributive justice.
The Germans applied other and seemingly more effective interrogation
methods. Consider the testimony of Hanns Joachim Scharff. Scharff
was an interrogator stationed at Auswerstelle West, Oberursel, Germany.
This was the camp where all captured aviators (except Russian) were
brought for questioning. Every American fighter pilot made prisoner by
the Germans was sent to Oberursel. Scharff questioned 500 of them.
From “all but a handful” he obtained the information he was after. His
work was so successful that he came to the notice of the Department of
Justice. After the war he was brought to America to explain his remark
As it evolved, Scharff’s methods were not so remarkable. It might be
said that he “killed his victims with kindness.” Expecting to face a
Nazi terrorist or anS. S. savage, the captured pilot found himself con
fronting a genial English-speaking German who seemed as polite and
friendly as a new acquaintance on the college campus. Scharff would
open the interview by offering the prisoner a chair and a cigarette. “Lieu
tenant, it is my duty to ask you certain questions. May I have your
name, rank and serial number?”
The prisoner would cheerfully comply. At that date U. S. Army regu
lations required him to “maintain silence” after he had spoken the required
“Now, then,” Scharff would go on amiably. “That number of yours. Are you a bomber? Or a fighter pilot?”-No answer.-“What is your home ad.dress, Lieutenant?”-No answer.-“What type of plane do you iiy?”-The Lieutenant grins and shakes his head. Scharff chuckles. “I see 1 can’t get anything out of you. Here take a look at the latest Stars and Stripes. I’ll be back in a few minutes.”
The chair, the cigarette, the Stars and Stripes~these are stage props cunningly contrived to set the prisoner at ease. The interrogator’s brief retirement gives the prisoner a chance to relax. A relaxed man may be caught off guard. The next move by the interrogator (and in all the moves in this game he has the advantage and maintains what chess players call the initiative) puts him in touch with BUNA. The initials stand for Beute und Nachrichten Abteilung, which translates rougWy into “Booty and Information.” At this BUNA center the Germans assembled everything recovered from downed pilots. The booty included things as innocuous as mess-hall tickets, book matches, bits of maps, lucky pieces, and anything else scavanged from pilots shot down over the lines. More informative items were letters, snapshots, or newspaper clippings found on the dead or taken from prisoners. Needless to say, wrecked aircraft were salvaged whenever possible. If the planes were blown to pieces, the pieces were recovered and shipped to an assemblage base similar to BUNA.
The BUNA center also contained thousands of dossiers on prisoners.
And thousands of dossiers on officers who had not been taken prisoner. Suppose the captured Lieutenant were a football hero. Doubtless when he enlisted the old home town published his name in the paper and his photograph with it. The chances were that BUNA had his name, his address, his picture, and the names of his uncles, his cousins and his aunts. Also his nickname-“Bud.” Perhaps even the fact that his father was president of the local bank. If “Bud” graduated from college or military school or academy, his picture would be in the classbook along with those of his fraternity brothers. All of which made it easier for Interrogator Scharff. (The Germans were not the only ones who assembled such information. It was said that when the war broke out the British knew the name and address of every officer and man in the Nazi Navy.)
Now, the game became relatively simple for Scharff. Armed with background information from BUNA, he would return smiling to’:the contest. “Well, Bud, you see I have found you out. You flew over here in a P-38. Your squadron commander, Jack Williams, is in prison down the line. He’s a nice guy. I couldn’t get anything out of him, but my intelligence boys came across a news clipping. You fellows flew in here from Tunbridge Wells. Nice going. By the way, how’s your little sister Peggy? We’ve got a chap in my outfit who used to live in Oak Park. I understand your father is president of the First Nationa(Bank.”
What could be more disarming than this routine? Of course, it wasn’t always that easy. The Lieutenant might refuse to rise to the bait. BUNA might have more trouble acquiring biographical information. But the illustration suffices. Nine times out of ten a prisoner would be completely “beaten” when the interrogator came up with his nickname, the name of his squadron leader, and intimate details of his home. Not to mention the type of plane he flew, the armament carried by the plane, its rate of climb, and so on.
So Scharff was able to report that he “broke” iiimost 500 American pilots. Mter the opening breach, the follow-through was usually easy. The prisoner would be invited out for a stroll in the park. Scharff would take him to some quiet beer garden for a friendly Bock. A few aimless remarks about nothing at all. Then Scharff would slip in the trick question, shrouding it with indirection-an indifferent tone, an offhand manner, or a yawn. That was the way it was done. A game of words. A battle of wits.
And what if the prisoner proved obdurate and buttoned up into absolute silence? Then would come the glass-of-water trick. Or one of its many variations. There were ways to slip a pill into the prisoner’s glass. Ten minutes after drinking, he might become a very sick man. Nothing fatal or injurious. Nothing worse than something that felt like acute indigestion.
As the prisoner doubles up, sweating, the interrogator is most solicitous. “LieutenantI You are sick! It may be peritonitis! You must go to the hospital immediately. Surely you have a family. You will want us to notify your next of kin if-!”
No prisoner wants to be buried in an unknown grave. Even so, a man might remain defiant. And Scharff would then encourage such defiance. “Hal You won’t tell me the name of your squadron commander. What is the name of your commanding general?” The defiant
Sehr gut, he goes back to his cell. There he
prisoner refuses to speak.
is locked up with his cellmate-a pleasant fellow from Ohio who was
Did they sweat you out?” Andcaptured early in the war. “Huh!
“Bud” nods grimly, “Yeah, but they couldn’t get General Jones’ name out of me.” And at that moment they’ve got it. Perhaps by concealed
microphone. Perhaps from the pleasant cellmate who lived ten years in Ohio before he returned to his home Germany. They were not tortured
So most of Scharff’s victims were tricked.
They were baffled by stage
with thumbscrews and cigarette burns. craft, misleading geniality, glib queries that were as fast as the jabs and feints of a boxer. The average prisoner who faced Scharff was at almost hopeless disadvantage. He was somewhat in the position of a civilian who might be compelled to improvise his own defense against a skilled and wily District Attorney. In the war there were many Scharffs. Not all of them were on the German side. Adept Allied interrogators pumped information from In the closing
case-hardened Luftwaffe pilots and U-boat skippers. days of the war they pumped their rivals-captured Nazi interrogatorsamong them Joachim Scharff. In this duel among experts the Germans found themselves hoist on their own petards. The prisoner in an interrogation center is a fly in a web. The enemy has all the say. At the end of World War II the consensus of the experts was this: It is virtually impossible for anyone to resist a determined interrogator.
But the experts came up with another consensus: Although a determined
interrogator cannot be resisted, he may be evaded by the prisoner.
prisoner may dodge loaded questions.
Treason Trials, World War II
As in World War I, and, indeed, every previous major war, the Second World War disgorged a number of indigestible traitors. Among the first arrested by the United Nations powers were the Quislings who had willingly cooperated with the Nazis.
In Holland, Belgium, Norway, Denmark and other occupied countries
treasonable collaborators were summarily dealt with. Those who had their heads shaved by angry partisans got off easily. Some were tried by
kangaroo court and shot.
Some British servicemen were court-martialed for treasonable col
The accusp,dlaboration with the enemy while they were prisoners of war.
pleaded coercion as a defense. As had the Federal judges of the Civil War, the British military judges took into account “degree of coercion.”
They seem to have been severely exacting in the case of Henry Rose, a Navy stoker. Rose had been captured, beaten, threatened with death, and shown two terrifying corpses. (An example of German interrogation at its worst.) The sailor then blurted out the information his captors
wanted. The British found him guilty of “aiding the enemy,” and
sentenced him to 16 years hard labor (subsequently reduced). On the other hand, Major Cecil Boon, charged with writing a propaganda letter for the Japanese in Hong Kong, and informing them of a prisoner escape plot, was acquitted on the score that they had threatened him with
the “punishment of death.”
American prisoners of war charged with treasonable conduct included
Sergeant John Provoo of the U. S. Army, and Chief Signalman Hirshberg
of the Navy. Another case involved an Army sergeant who wrote to a
Japanese surgeon, offering to aid the enemy. .
Altogether it would seem that the Americans taken prisoner in World
War II established a remarkably fine record for courage, endurance, and
unyielding loyalty. Like their fathers in the A. E. F. of World War I,
they stood up to a ruthless enemy, and stood up better than well. For
the most part, the soldiers or the aviators who talked to German inter
rogators were tricked into talking by experts at the game.
The troops went to Normandy and Guadalcanal knowing Why We
Fight and The Nature of the Enemy. The American soldier and his sailor
team-mate were well informed on Hitler and Tojo.
So American POWs of World War II knew pretty much what it was all
about. There were no Arnolds, but many Wainwrights.
Of the 129,701 American prisoners in Axis captivity, 14,090 died in the
enemy’s prison camps. The percentage-10.9%-was cruel. But un
questionably it would have been higher had morale been as low as it was
in the subsequent Korean War.
Geneva Conventions of 1949
Troubled by the terrible death-toll of prisoners in World War II, dele
gates of the many countries met at Geneva in 1949 to formulate and
define higher standards of treatment for POWs. The articles of the earlier
Geneva Convention were clarified and strengthened. Fifty-seven nations
signed the new Geneva Treaties.
Although the Russians had not participated in the Geneva (POW)
Conventions of 1929, the Soviet Union signed the 1949 Convention. So
did eight other nations in the Communist bloc. The U. S. S. R. and its
satellites held out, however, on certain points. One of their reservatioDs
concerned Article 85, Relative To The Treatment of Prisoners of War.
The Article reads:
Prisoners ‘of War prosecuted under the laws of the Detaining Power
for acts committed prior to capture shall retain, even if convicted, the
benefits of the present Convention.
The Soviet delegate entered the following reservation:
The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics does not consider itself bound by the obligation, which follows from Article 85, to extend the application of the Convention to prisoners of war who have been convicted under the law of the Detaining Power, in accordance with the principles of the Nuremberg trial, for war crimes and crimes against humanity, it being understood that persons convicted of such crimes must be subjected to the conditions obtaining in the country in question for those who undergo their punishment.
This reservation is a disturbing indication of Soviet intention so far as applying the conventions is concerned.
The American Way
The Russians held thousands of German soldiers in captivity at the close of World War II. Brutality breeds brutality. Hitler’s legions had murderedthousands of Russian and Ukrainian peasants. And the patriotic
Slavic soldiers sought reprisal. But the men in the Kremlin had other
designs. Doubtless to the surprise of many Russian Army veterans, the
captured invaders were herded into “political camps.” Instead of shoot
ing Panzer officers and Stuka pilots for outrages committed, the Red com
missars shoved them into colossal indoctrination mills. From dawn to
dark, week in, week out, the prisoners were besieged with Marxian doctrine.
It would seem that their crime, after all, was not invading Russia. They
had been guilty of anti-Communism!
The Soviet campaign to indoctrinate masses of German prisoners with
Communist ideology emerges as one of the strangest war-moves in history.
The Reds, of course, were copying the tactics employed by the Germans in
World War I when they tried to indoctrinate Irish prisoners with Kultur.
But the early German attempt was picayune compared with the Soviet
program. The German attempt failed. The Red indoctrination pro
gram gained hundreds of German converts. Prize of the lot was no less
a figure than General Von Paulus, captured at Stalingrad.
While Soviet Communists were haranguing German war-prisoners, the Chinese Reds, waging civil war, adopted similar tactics. Nationalist prisoners were herded into “political camps” and barraged with the Red Chinese version of Marxian doctrine. But the reindoctrination of a Nazi-indoctrinated German demanded a high-powered approach akin to evangelism.
It was nothing more than a high-gear recruiting campaign. It did not involve “menticidal” pressuring or anything akin to so-called “brainwashing.” Boiled down, it amounted to advertising.
In America there were some who took fright at Communist advertising. Alarmists thought the way to combat it was to hide it. Taboo the subject. Push it out of sight. The fear of Marxist literature, for example, caused the banning of Das Kapital from a number of school and public libraries. Such censorship gave Marx and his writings a stature far beyond their value.
The way to combat such a subject as Communism is not to hide itor hide from it. The way to combat it is to explode it. Americans have the means at hand-The Bill of Rights. Or call it Democracy, or Republican Government, or the American Way. Armed with a knowledge of American principles-and a knowledge of the enemy’s-the American fighting man possesses a sword and shield which cannot be wrested from him in combat or in captivity.
As in the interrogation battle, the war for the minds of men is a war of wits. It will not be lost by the serviceman who is equipped with the necessary education.
ADDENDA NO. 5
The research bibliography used by the Committee contains primarily classified material. For the interested reader the following unclassified articles are suggested.
PRISONER OF WAR DOCUMENTS FROM OFFICIAL
Department of the Navy
NM 001-056.06 NMRI,Bethesda, Md. CDR S. V. Thompson (MC)
Evaluation of the effects of certain drugs on the performance of personnel involved in flying. 1952 NR 143-06Q—University of Rochester, G. R. Wendt STUDIES OF MOTION SICKNESS, 30 June 1954
Vestibular functions and psychological and physiological effects of drugs. NR 173-071-Indiana University, Douglas Ellson DETECTION OF DECEPTION, Sept. 1952
Determination of reliable indicators for deception measurements through graphic recordings of physiological and motor responses. NR 173-181-John E. Reid & Associates, Chicago RESEARCH ON SIDE-TONE DELAY
Interrogation devices and procedures. Project to develop novel and easily used methods of causing lying subjects to think they have betrayed themselves. Completed May 1953.
Office of the Surgeon General, Department of the Army
A paper written by the five surviving Medical Corps officers who were repatriated prisoners from Korea. Medical experiences in Communist prisoner of war camps in Korea. Undated. Presented to the American Medical Association 24 June 1954.
Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (R & D) Publications
Arntzen, F. I., “Psychological Observations of Prisoners of War.” American Journal of Psychiatry, 104, 1948, 446-447. (German PWs in U. S.) Book,F. and Godin, W., Russian Purge and the Extraction of Confession.
Viking Press, New York, 1950 Bettelheim, Bruno, “Individual and Mass Behavior in Extreme Situations,” Journal of Abnormal and Bocial Psychology; XXXVIII 1943, 417-452.
Brill, N. Q., “Neuropsychiatric Examination of Military Personnel Recovered from Japanese Prison Camps,” Bulletin of the U. S. Army Medical Department.
Jeffrey, Manfred, and Bradford, E. J. G., “Neurosis in Escaped Prisoners of War,” British Journal of Medical Psychology, 20, 1945-46, 422-435 Kirman, B. H. “Mental Disorder in Released Prisoners of War,” Journal
of Mental Science, 92, 1946, 803-813 Newman, P. H. “The Prisoner-of-War Mentality,” British Medical JournalljJanuary 1, 1944, 8ff
Geneva”Conventions of 12 Aug. 1949 for the Protection of War Victims, DA Pamphlet No. 20-150, Oct. 1950. Vol. 55, 80th Congress, Public Law 810, Laws Relating to the Department
of the Army, 1948.
Manual for Court Martial, 1951.
Title 18, U. S. Code.
Documents Pertaining to Conduct in Event of Capture
War Dept., FM 27-10, 1947, “Rules of Land Warfare”
Department of State
“Chinese Communist Methods of Extracting Confessions for Political Ends” IR-6198, dated 19 Feb 53
Operations Research qUice, Johns Hopkins University
“Study of Combat Stress in Korea,” ORO-T-41 (FEC), dated Dec 52,
Department of the Air Force
“Psychiatric Report,” AF-RDB Report Control Symbol, DD-RDS (A) 48 ARDCD3, Project 7732, “Unclassified Intelligence Methodology” Article: Col. John J. Driscoll, Air Force Magazine, Nov 1952, Subj:
It Could Have Been You.
Far East Command
“Communist Utilization of Prisoners of War,” Hq. USA, Far East, Advanced, OACofS, G-2.
Department of the Air Force
Memorandum: For Secy of Air Force, Commandant U. S. Marine Corps, by General Erskine, Asst. to the Secy of Defense, Subj: Statements Regarding Biological Warfare by Members of USAF and USMC.
“Are the Cominform Countries Using Hypnotic Techniques to Elicit Confession in Public Trials?”, Irving L. Janis, RM-161, dated 25 April 49
“Technique of Communist ‘Confession’ “, Edward Crankshaw, New York Herald Tribune, dated 10 Dec 52.
“The Policy of the Soviet Union in Regard to Prisoners of War Prior to and at the Start of World War II”, Anthony S. Kawczynski, Undated “New Facts on U. S. Germ Warfare in Korea and China” (Supplement to “People’s China”), 15 Mar 53, (No.6, Issue) (re Schwable and Bley) Selected Articles, 1952-1953, “High Level U. S. Denials of Germ Warfare.”
Department of State
Foreign Service Despatch 2543, Paris, May 19, 1953
American University Field Staff Study
Department of the Army
HQ, 500th Militlj.ry Intelligence Group, item 9-204752, Mimeographed instructions in Chinese dated 25 September 1951, titled “PW Policy and the Handling of PWs,” issued by the Political Section, 422d Regt, CCF. 3 pp, no date.
Washington Evening Star, ” ‘Brain Wash’ Possibility,” April 17, 1953 Washington Evening Star, “20 Exposed to Propaganda Reach Valley Forge Hospital,” May 2, 1953 Washington Evening Star, “Returned POW Says He Signed Petition After ‘Brain Washing’,” May 4 (or 5), 1953 The Washington Post, “Freed AF Captain Tells of Forced Red Study,” April 27, 1953 The Washington Post, “All Released POWs To Be Treated Alike,” May 25, 1953 The Washington Post, “Teaching GI’s to Withstand Communist BrainWashing,” July 11, 1954, by Lloyd Shearer Washington Daily News, “US Fears ‘Confessions’ of POWs,” by Charles Lucey, April 4, 1953 The New York Times, “Some GI Captives May Seem Pro-Red,” April 13, 1953 The New York Times, In The Nation, “Allen W. Dulles Describes ‘Warfare for the Brain’ ” by Arthur Krock, April 16, 1953 The New York Times, “Some Prisoners Report Poor Care,” April 21, 1953 The New York Times, “Ex-Captive Says 17 Took Red Lessons,” April 27, 1953 The New York Times, “Red Lecturers Bored Most P. W.s,” by Mac R. Johnson, May 3, 1953 The New York Times, “Red Torture Cited by Cbinese Bishop,” May 18, 1953 The New York Times, “US Calls on UN to Scan Atrocities by Reds in Korea,” October 29 (or 30), 1953 New York Journal American, On The Line, “Red Torture Techniques,” by Bob Considine, February 25, 1953 New York Journal American, “Tell of Red Propaganda Pressure,” April 20, 1953 New York Mirror, “UN POWs May Get ‘Brain Washings’,” March 31,
1953 New York Mirror, Inside Labor, by Victor Riesel, May 1, 1953 Christian Science Monitor, “Returning GIs Report Indoctrination by
Reds,” April 20, 1953 Christian Science Monitor, “Chinese-Soviet Divergences on Korea Resolved in Favor of China,” by William R. Frye, April 18, 1953
Christian Science Monitor, “LeGay Tells How Reds Aimed to Confuse PWs,” by CpI. Donald LeGay, May 5,1953
Information and Reference Section, Radio Free Asia (SoUrce: International Free Trade Union News, 3-53), “Chinese Observer Says He Saw Reds Torture UN POW’s, Push Indoctrination Program,” March 13, 1953
Sources: Readers Guide to Periodical Literature, May 1945 through 18 December 1953.
“Caution at Panmunjon”, Apr 1953, 89: 65 “PWs: A Red Sop?”, May 2, 1953,89: 99 “Pros on Trial”, Aug 29, 1953, 89: 511 “Wind-up of Operation Big Switch”, Sep 19, 1953,89: 585 “Resistance to The Death by PWs”, Oct 3, 1953, 98: 1 “Pro-Communist 23”, Oct 10, 1953, 90: 35 “Conflict Over paws”, Oct 17, 1953, 90: 63 “Operation Persuader Backfires”, Oct 31, 1953, 90: 115 “India Learns About Reds; Neutral Nations Repatriation Commission,”
Nov 1, 1953, 90: 167 “Puzzlement in the Pentagon”, Nov 14, 1953, 90: 102-3 “Atrocities in Korea”, Dec 12, 1953, 90: 283
“Nor Prison Bars A Cage”, Nov 14, 1953, p. 157
Djang, R., “What Do They Confess”, Aug 20, 1952, 69: 946-8 Stockwell, F. G., “What Is Brainwashing?”, Jan 28, 1953, 70: 104–5 ”’Back to The Days-of Hostages”, Mar 18, 1953, 70: 308 Foreman, K. J., Jr., “What Is Brainwashing?”, (Reply and Rejoinder),
May 6, 1953,70: 537-8 “Korean Missionary Prisoners Freed”, May 6, 1953, 70: 531 “Prisoners Describe Reality of War”, Aug 12, 1953, 70: 907 “Prisoner of War”, Nov 4, 1953, 70: 1254–6
Spellman, F., “How Red China Tortures Protestant and Catholic Missionaries”, May 10, 1952, 129: 15-17 Victoria, Sister Mary, “I Was A Prisoner of The Chinese Reds”, May 9, 1953, 131: 68-73 Fay, B., “It’s Easy To Bluff Americans”, May 16, 1953, 131: 20-3
B. Stapleton and T. D. Harrison, “Why Didn’t Some GIs Turn Communist?” Nov 27, 1953, 132: 25-8
“Brainwashed”, May 15, 1953,58: 138 Hock, S., “Heresy, Yes: Conspiracy, No”, May 15, 1953, 58: 155-6 “Exchange of Prisoners”, Aug 21, 1953, 58: 479 “Prisoners; Perversion of Loyalties”, Oct 16, 1953, 59: 26-9
“Indian Village; Prisoner Exchange”, Oct 30, 1953, 59: 75
“Disposition of POWs; Complete Text”, Sept 1953, 25: 181-4
Department of State Bulletin
“Thought Control in The Soviet Union,” Nov 5, 1951, 25: 719-23: Nov 26,
1951, 844-51: Dec 3, 1951, 895-903 “Communist War In POW Camps,” Feb 16, 1953, 28: 273 ‘.’Release of Anti-Communist Prisoners From UN Camps and Corre
spondence”, June 29, 1953, 28: 905-8 “Communist Charges Regarding Release of Korean Prisoners”; Text of
Letter Sent On June 29, 1953, July 13, 1953, 29: 46-7 “Communist Retention of U. S. POWs”, July 20, 1953, 29: 73-4 Dulles, J. F., “Report of POWs: Witnessing the Return of U. S. POWs
in Korea”, Aug 24, 1953, 29: 235-6
Mayo, C. W.; “Role of Forced Confessions In The Communist Germ Warfare Propaganda Campaign; Statement Oct 26, 1953”, Nov 9, 1953, 29: 641-7
“Germ Warfare: The Lie That Won”, Nov 1953, 48: 92
“Issues Before The 8th General Assembly”, Sep 1953, 493: 6
“Back Mter Eight Years,” Apr 6, 1953, 34: 30-1
“Photos Reveal Some GIs Not On Exchange List,” May 11, 1953,27-31
“Into Eager Arms A Few Come Home,” May 11, 1953,36-40
Brinkley, William, “Valley Forge GIs Tell of ,Brainwashing Ordeal,” May 25, 1953, 108-124 Heiden, K., “Why They Confess,” June 20, 1949, 92–4 Fahy, E. E., “Burial Above Ground,” Sep 8, 1952,33: 126-130 “Big Switch Is Open,” Aug 17, 1953, 35: 22–3 Lee, Kyoo Hyun, “Heroism of General Dean Is Revealed When Most Famous POW Is Set Free,” Sept 14, 1953, 35: 45
“Prisoners of Pardon,” Oct 5, 1953, 35: 26
“POWs of the Reds Do Not Want To Come Home To America; Photographs,” Oct 19, 1953 “We Got Everything You Wanted,” Oct 19, 1953, 35: 45 “Panmunjon Dilemma,” Oct 19, 1953, 35: 45 “Prisoner’s Door To Freedom,” Oct 26, 1953, 35: 44-5 “Prodigal and His Kin,” Nov 2, 1953, 35: 45 “Big Lie; How Reds Got Germ Confessions,” Nov 9, 1953, 35: 51 Martin, D., “Iron Empire of Panmunjon,” Nov 30, 1953, 35: 137-8
Wilson, Richard, “How U. S. l’risoners Broke Under Red ‘Brainwailhing’ “, June 2, 1953, 80-83 .
“Brainwashing At Valley Forge,” May 23, 1953, 176: 425-6 Oct 10, 1953, 177: 281
“New Dangers Ahead In Korea; Chinese and North Korean Soldiers Under Indian Custody,” Oct 12, 1953, 129: 3 “Dogs, Rats and Now, Men, Germ Warfare Tortures,” Nov 9, 1953, 129: 8
New York Times Magazine
Lawrance, W. H., “Why Do They Confess?,” May 8, 1949, 7 Palmer, C. B., “War For The POW’s Mind,” Sept 13, 1953, 13
“How The Reds Treat American paws and How The UN Cares For
Communist paws,” Dec 17,1951,38: 36-7 “Communist Trial,” May 12, 1952, 39: 106 (Robert A. Vogler) “Snafu At Valley Forge,” May 18, 1953, 44-46 “And Buddy-Buddy; Washed Brains of paws: Can They Be Rewashed?,”
May 4, 1953,41: 35-7 “UN Tells Panmunjon Reds: ‘Time, Patience Running Out’,” May 11,
1953, 37-38 “Without Honor,” July 13, 1953, 42: 30 “What About Reds Among Freed U. S. Prisoners?,” Aug 17, 1953, 42: 21 “Terror And Torture: 5 Prisoners’ Stories,” Aug 17, 1953, 42: 32 “Sick paws,” Aug 17, 1953,42: 58 “Propaganda and Reality; Photographs,” Aug 17, 1953, 42: 30 “Back From Red Death Camps, paws Rediscover Freedom,” Aug 17,
1953,42: 29 “Rats,” Aug 24, 1953, 42: 30 “UN Reds Move Into New Phase,” Sept 21, 1953, 42: 40 “Op. Big Switch,” Sept 21, 1953, 42: 90 “Riots And Repatriation Rules,” Oct 12, 1953, 42: 36 “Lo, The Poor Indian Troops, Berated and Belabored By All,” Oct 19,
1953, 42: 58 “Father Mao Thrown For Loss But POW Came Far From Over,” Oct 26,
1953, 42: 60 “There’s Joy in Crackers Neck,” Nov 2, 1953, 42: 22-3 “Captive Sales Audience,” Nov 2, 1953, 42: 81 “Stalled Truce,” Nov 2, 1953, 42: 42 “Son Of A Dog,” Nov 9, 1953, 42: 38 “Thimayya of India and Korea,” Nov 16, 1953, 42: 40 “Fear In No Crime,” Nov 16, 1953, 42: 47 “It Is Inhuman,” Nov 16, 1953, 62: 32 “Korea Bunkers: Winter Watch,” Nov 23, 1953, 42: 38 “July 4 on January 22,” Nov 30, 1953, 42: 47 “Patriot’s Tears,” Dec 14, 1953, 42: 24
Swift, S. K, “How They Broke Cardinal Mindszenty”, Nov 1949, 55: 1-10
“Sent To The Cleaners”, May 26, 1953, 8: 2
“Indians Test”, Oct 27, 1953, 9: 2
“Panmunjon-Out”, Nov 24, 1953,9: 31-2
Wolfe, H. C., “Story Of A Shock”, May 10, 1952, 35: 14-15
Saturday Evening Post
Gallery, D. V., “We Can Baffle the Brainwashers”, 22 Jan. 1955. Martin, H. H., “They Tried To Make Our Marines Love Stalin”, Aug 25, 1951, 224: 25
White, L., “I Was Stalin’s Prisoner” (R. A. Vogler), Oct 27, 1951, 224: 17-19; Nov 10,1951,29; Nov 3,1951,36-37; Nov 17,1951,29; Nov 24, 1951, 30; Dec 1, 1951, 30.
Bryan, Robert T., Jr., “I Came Back From A Red Death Cell”, Jan 17, 1953, 28: Jl6-118; Jan 24, 1953, 34: 58-63; Jan 31, 1953, 27: 83-:86; Feb 7, 1953, 28: 114-118
“GIs Outshine Eggheads In Resisting Reds”, Oct 31, 1953, 226: 10 “What Price UN Pledge To The Anti-Red paWs?”, Oct 31, 1953, 226: 10 “Asiatic paws Throw The Book At Reds”, Nov 14, 1953, 226: 10 “Red Murder of 6,000 GIs Finally Angers Us”, Nov 28, 1953, 226: 10
Keempffert, W. “Prescription For Our paws”, Dec 1953, 34: 29-30
Science News Letter
“Forced Confessions; Menticide”, July 21, 1951, 60: 43 Vogler, R. A. “Analyze Mind Washing”, May 16, 1953, 310-311 “Not Necessarily Commie”, Oct 11, 1953, 64: 230
“Torture Techniques of Communist Prosecutors In Iron Curtain Countries”, Mar 15, 1950, 56: 22 “Lie Detector: Message Claimed To Have Been Signed By 38 American
Officers Who Are paws”, Sept 27, 1950, 57: 13 “Freedom For A Few,” Apr 29, 1953, 62: 14 “They Refuse To Go Home”, Oct 7, 1953, 63: 17 “They Chose Freedom”, Oct 28, 1953, 63: 12 “Prisoner Talks Stalled”, Nov 4, 1953, 63: 19-20 “Red’s War Crimes Bared; Red Explainers Fail”, Nov 11, 1953, 63: 33 Dean, W. R., “American Hero; Interview”; Nov 18, 1953, 63: 6
“Brainwashing”, Oct. 8, 1951, 58: 39-40 “Brainwashing At Work”, May 26, 1953, 59: 41 “Welcome To Freedom”, Apr 27, 1953,32 “Prisoners: Only 149 American”, May 4, 1953, 33 “The Boys Come Home”, May 11, 1953,30 “Big Switch”, Aug 17, 1953, 62: 20 “Ugly Story”, Aug 24, 1953, 62: 18 “Reactionaries”, Sept 7, 1953, 62: 32 “Blackmail Scheme”, Sept 21, 1953, 62: 33 “Tough Prisoners”, Sept 21, 1953,62: 28-9 “Just A Stone’s Throw; Anti-Communist North Korean and Chinese
Prisoners”, Sept 28, 1952,62: 19 “23 American”, Oct 5, 1953, 62: 33 “Sin of Omission”, Oct 12, 1953, 62: 26 “To A Young Progressive”, Oct 19, 1953, 62: 32 “Frustration At Panmunjon”, Oct 19, 1953, 62: 42 “One Who Won’t Return”, Oct 26, 1953, 62: 27 “Door to Taiwan”, Oct 26, 1953, 62: 32 “Story of Blood”, Nov 2, 1953,62: 27 “Stymied”, Nov 2, 1953, 62: 28 “One Changed His Mind”, Nov 2, 1953, 62: 25-6 “Cowardice In Korea”, Nov 2, 1953, 62: 31 “Germ Warfare: Forged Evidence”, Nov 9, 1953, 62: 22 “2nd Humiliation; The Explainers”, Nov 9, 1953,62: 26 “Go Slow”, Nov 16, 1953, 62: 24 “Towards Disenchantment In India”, Nov 23, 1953,62: 35 “Towards January 22”, Nov 30, 1953, 62: 41 “Soldier’s Soldier”, Dec 7, 1953, 62: 27
”’Other Side”, Dec 14, 1953, 62: 40
U. N. Bulletin
“Prison Breaks Threaten Armistice”, July 1, 1953, 15: 8-10
U. N. World
Domaitre, E., “Why Do They Confess”, Dec 1949, 3: 22-4
U. S. News and World Report
Hayes, John D. “I Saw Red China From Inside”, Mar 13, 1953, 26-32
Dulles, Allan W., “Brain Warfare–Russia’s Secret Weapon”, May 8, 1953, 54-58 (It Explains The “Confessions” of Captured Americans) “Real Story of Returned Prisoners”, May 29, 1953, ’54-63 (Tape Record
ings of GIs Back From Korea) “Korean War Prisoners-It’ll Be a Long Trail Home”, June 5, 1953,22 “Prisoners Who Broke”, Aug 1, 1953,35: 30 “Report of POWs’ Text of Agreement and Supplementary Agreement”,
Aug 7, 1953, 35: 92-4 “Missing In Action: 8,000 Now Known To Be Dead”, Aug 7, 1953,35: 28 “Truth Vs Promises In Korea”, Aug 14, 1953, 35: 35
“General Clark Reports on Korea; Text of Discussion at The Pentagon, Aug 6, 1953”, Aug 14, 1953, 35: 82-5 Peterson, C. B., “Prisoners Swayed; Didn’t Fall, Interview”, Aug 28, 1953, 35: 28 “Back To The Germ Warfare Hoax, Tortures; U. S. Officers’ Own Story”, Sept 18, 1953, 35: 20-4, Sept 4, 1953, 35: 24 “Korean Puzzle: Americans Who Stay”, Oct 9, 1953, 35: 38-40 Russell, R.B., “For The Prisoners Who Broke, Kindness or Punishment? Letter to Defense Secretary Wilson With Statement by Mr. Wilson”, Oct 16, 1953, 35: 51-3 “Articles From The Macon (Ga.) Telegraph: Fliers Ready to Die Rather Than Confess Germ Warfare”, Oct 16, 1953, 35 “Big Flop At Panmunjon”, Oct 30, 1953, 35: 30-2 Mayo, G. W., “Destroying American Minds; Russians Made It a Science; Text of Report To Political Committee, UN”, Nov 6, 1953,35: 97-101 Dickenson, S. S. “Why Some GIs Stay With Reds: Interview”, Nov 13, 1953, 35: 33 “Where are 944 Missing GIs?”, Dec 18, 1953, 35: 77-8 Lawrence, D., “To The Unreturned Prisoners”, 35: 100
Lew, D. H. “Brainwashing In Stalinist China”, June 1, 1952, 18: 497-501
Douglas,P. E., “Korean POW Issue”, July 1, 1953, 19: 568-70
Sokolzky, O. X. “Where Are Our Sons?”, Sept 1, 1953, 19: 678-9
Sheen, Fulton, “Changed Concept of Man”, Nov 15, 1953, 20: 83-5
ADDENDA NO. 6 CHARTS NO.1 POW BREAKDOWN NO.2 BREAKDOWN BY SERVICE NO. 3 HOW POW’S WERE PROCESSED NO. 4 HOW SUSPECTS WERE INVESTIGATED
OUT OF 1.6 MILLION IN KOREAN CONFLICT
20 JULY 1955 7,190 WERE CAPTURED NO I
AN ADDITIONAL 470 WERE MISSING
• 21 Refused Repatriation
• II Retained by the Communists Against Their Will
Advisory Committee (Subsequently Released) ~ on Prisone·rs ot War
7,190 CAPTURED· KOREA
20 JULY 1955
t• tttttt,tt; NO 2
AIR fORCE ,
MARINE CORPS ;
, • 10′
Prepared by Defense ——-t~————~
on Prisoners o:t War
HOW THE 4,428 POW’s WERE PROCESSED
20 JULY 1955
JOINT SERVICE ACTION SCREENING
ARMY 3,973 __••••
~epared By Defense Advisory Committee ~ on Prisoners of \~ar
. 31 s+ 565 REQUIRED FURTHER 200 INVESTIGATION
LITTLES wlTe H
co~ HOW THE 565 WERE INVESTIGATED 20 JULY 1955
…. STATUS NO 4
EoAs of20Ju Iy 1955
..ARMY G2 Convicted
S’E~IAL COUNCIL 179
~! ‘ending 112’
!’ :fq MARINES
.~ Restricted”0 52 Assignment
…..z~z ~I ‘” !! AIR
~ FORCESeparated”s-Resigned ~} 10
~ f0 87
Bl *(112″”rIlY) stili undergoing intensive..
li Prepared by !leteose investigation. No estilllate of the MAXIMUMAdvisozy COlIIlIlittee nUlIlber whose behavior warrant! •• . 192 POSSIBLEon Prisoners of War punishment Is possible. Possibly less
than. half will ultimately receive
sOllie f~r-of punishment. CASES