It could be months before the Government decides whether to pardon 5,000 soldiers branded deserters and blacklisted for fighting for Britain against Nazi Germany, it has emerged. The troops, regarded as idealists by Justice and Defence Minister Alan Shatter, were dismissed en masse under special powers introduced during the Second World War. But officials are concerned a blanket pardon for desertion between 1939-45 would cause major issues for other soldiers court martialled for going Awol.