A question often raised is: ‘Why were Italian prisoners of war sent to Australia?’
Statistics aid in an understanding of the global situation in May 1943: Italian casualties numbered 400,000. ‘And the figures for the North African campaign were not completed yet.’
1943 ‘EMPIRE CASUALTIES.’, The Port Macquarie News and Hastings River Advocate (NSW : 1882 – 1950), 22 May, p. 2. , viewed 08 Aug 2019, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article106048757
The question becomes then, ‘What do the Allies do with these Italian prisoners of war?’ accommodation, food, water, sanitation, clothing, interpreters, guards, short term strategies and long term strategies….
In a SECRET War Cabinet Agendum 10th September 1943, titled, Prisoners of War. Responsibility and Accommodation, the situation is presented:
- By 1st January 1944, America will have accommodation for 250,00 prisoners. By 1st July 1944, the figure will be increased by 100,000.
- Approximate nubmers of prisoners held various, particularly Empire:-
United Kingdom 76,700; Canada 23,500; Australia 7,100; New Zealand 800; South Africa 49,000; India 67,000; Middle East 71,000; East Africa 60,000; West Africa 600; Persia/Iraq 1,200; Jamaica 600; Caribbean 600.