Exporting British Policing during the Second World War: Policing Soldiers and Civilians

Emsley, Clive (2017). Exporting British Policing during the Second World War: Policing Soldiers and Civilians. London: Bloomsbury Academic.

URL: https://www.bloomsbury.com/uk/exporting-british-po...

Abstract

This book deals with the British civilian police officers who served in two distinct policing roles in the army during the Second World War. The first group created the detective division (SIB) of the Royal Military Police to investigate the thefts of military equipment from docks, stores and supply dumps. This was rather more dangerous overseas since the Mafia were involved in Italy and the Red Army in Germany and Austria – though the Soviet high command insisted that offenders be labelled as ‘persons in Red Army’ uniforms. The second half of the book looks at the role of police officers sent to restore civil society and law and order in the aftermath of allied liberation of Nazi and Fascist occupied territories, and eventually in the territories of the defeated enemies themselves. They did their best and ensured that people were fed, black markets at least restricted and that services were reconnected, but they were not particularly successful in the British government’s hope that they could turn Carabinieri, agenti and Schutzmänner into traditional British Bobbies. Their role had largely been forgotten by the time of the recent Anglo-American involvement in Afghanistan and Iraq.

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