German Jackboots On Kentucky Bluegrass By Antonio Scott Thompson

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One of Austin Peay State University’s newest faculty members has published his first book, a significant work that tells Kentucky’s story of housing, working and entertaining more than 10,000 German prisoners during World War II. Antonio Scott Thompson teaches a variety of classes like historical methods. His new book called German Jackboots on Kentucky Bluegrass: Housing German Prisoners of War in Kentucky, 1942-1946, highlights Kentucky affiliation with World War II and how it affected the life of the prisoners and all involved.

In the book it describes how during World War II, United States base camps housed

nearly 371,000 German and 51,000 Italian prisoners. About 9,000 of them resided in Kentucky’s camps such as Fort Knox, Campbell, and Breckinridge. These prisoners of war interaction proved a profitable experience for all. The Geneva Convention, ratified by the U.S. in 1932, required that captured enemy troops be supplied with food, clothing and shelter equivalent to the nation’s own personnel. U.S. ships carrying supplies and personnel to Europe often returned with POWs. Kentucky’s first prisoners arrived in the early summer of 1943. …show more content…

Many Americans were uneasy about the POWs but most agreed later with a local reporter (in the book) who stated that “if it weren’t for the bright yellow PW stamped on their trousers, you’d swear they were just a group of American boys …” (p. 24). The prisoners were brought over to help with the war efforts, such as maintaining

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