WW1 German POW Uniform Used in US Camps
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About this item
Without doubt one of the more unusual items I have listed is this World War 1 British made POW uniforms taken into use by the U.S.
Constructed in a coarse wool and comprising Jacket and Trousers, the Jacket has a six button front closure with two patch pockets.
Inside there is a War Department stamp and U.S stamp dated 1917 with a contract number.
The matching Trousers have a Belfast maker’s stamp, War Department arrow and size 2.
Overall condition is very good the uniform clearly never having been issued and whilst images appear to show German POWs in American camps wearing their own uniforms, there were no doubt occasions when inmates needed replacements, during and after the war as repatriations did not take place until after the Treaty of Versailles.
Hostilities ended six months after the United States saw its first action in World War I, and only a relatively small number of German prisoners of war reached the U.S. Many prisoners were German sailors caught in port by U.S. forces far away from the European battlefield. The first German POWs were sailors from SMS Cormoran, a German merchant raider anchored in Apra Harbor, Guam on the day that war was declared.
The United States Department of War designated three locations as POW camps during the war: Forts McPherson and Oglethorpe in Georgia and Fort Douglas in Utah. The exact population of German POWs in World War I is difficult to ascertain because they were housed in the same facilities used to detain civilians of German heritage residing in the United States, but there were known to be 406 German POWs at Fort Douglas and 1,373 at Fort McPherson. The prisoners built furniture and worked on local roads. The few dozen who died while incarcerated as POWs were buried at Ft. Douglas, Utah, the Chattanooga National Cemetery, and Fort Lyon, Colorado.
A rare if unusual but important piece of history.
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