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Old April 14th, 2012, 03:19 PM   #611
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Originally Posted by Bish View Post
beorna, i think you guys are flogging a dead horse here. War crimes are those actions that are against the rules of war at that time. Bombing civilians may not be moral, there can be debates about the right and wrongs of bombing this city over that city. But i do not believe any of these violate the rules of war at the time.
Yes, i am sure we will never come here to an agreement, neither for the bombing nor for any other war crime.

I suppose you have seen in my discussion with redcoat, that there are different perceptions on e.g. the bombing. Redcoat e.g. doesn't see the bombings as war crimes because there is no direct article in the HC that forbides aerial bombing. Well, that is correct, but it is wrong as well.

I have already said it, in the Nuremberg trials the allies even charged ex-post facto. They declared it as common customs and argued, "the Convention Hague 1907 expressly stated that it was an attempt 'to revise the general laws and customs of war,' which it thus recognised to be then existing, but by 1939 these rules laid down in the Convention were recognised by all civilised nations, and were regarded as being declaratory of the laws and customs of war which are referred to in Article 6 (b) of the [London] Charter."

In this relation i want to remind you to the HC "rules of air warfare from february 19th 1923.
"Bombardment

Art. 22. Any air bombardment for the purpose of terrorizing the civil population or destroying or damaging private property without military character or injuring non-combatants, is forbidden.

Art. 24. 1. An air bombardment is legitimate only when is directed against a military objective, i.e. an objective whereof the total or partial destruction would constitute an obvious military advantage for the belligerent;

2. Such bombardment is legitimate only when directed
exclusively against the following objectives: military forces, military works, military establishments or depots, manufacturing plants constituting important and well-known centres for the production of arms, ammunition or characterized military supplies, lines of communication or of transport which are used for military purposes.

3. Any bombardment of cities, towns, villages, habitations and building which are not situated in the immediate vicinity of the operations of the land forces, is forbidden. Should the objectives specified in paragraph 2 be so situated that they could not be bombed but that an undiscriminating bombardment of the civil population would result therefrom, the aircraft must abstain from bombing;

4. In the immediate vicinity of the operations of the land forces, the bombardment of cities, towns, villages, habitations and buildings is legitimate, provided there is a reasonable presumption that the military concentration is important enough to justify the bombardment, taking into account the danger to which the civil population will thus be exposed;

5. The belligerent State is bound to pay compensation for damage caused to persons or property, in violation of the provisions of this Article, by any one of his agents or any one of its military forces.


Art. 25. In bombardments by aircraft, all necessary steps should be taken by the commander to spare, as far as possible, buildings dedicated to public worship, art, science, and charitable purposes, historic monuments, hospital ships, hospitals and other places where the sick and wounded are gathered, provided that such buildings, objectives and places are not being used at the same time for military purposes. Such monuments, objects and places must be indicated, during the day, by signs visible from the aircraft. Using such signs to indicate buildings, objects or places other than those hereinbefore specified shall be considered a perfidious act. The signs of which the above mentioned use is to be made, shall be, in the case of buildings protected under the Geneva Convention, the red cross on a white ground and, in the case of the other protected buildings, a large rectangular panel divided diagonally into two triangles, the one white and the other black."

This convention was signed by the USA and Great Britain e.g. but never adopted in in legally binding form. But
"although these rules were never adopted in legally binding form they are of importance "as an authoritative attempt to clarify and formulate rules of law governing the use of aircraft in war" (Oppenheim/Lauterpacht, International Law, 7th ed., Vol. 2, p. 519). To a great extent, they correspond to the customary rules and general principles underlying treaties on the law of war on land and at sea.". By this these rules should be interpretated in the same way as e.g. the brian-kellog-treaty in the Nuremburg Trial, I remind, "the Convention Hague 1907 expressly stated that it was an attempt 'to revise the general laws and customs of war,' which it thus recognised to be then existing, but by 1939 these rules laid down in the Convention were recognised by all civilised nations, and were regarded as being declaratory of the laws and customs of war which are referred to in Article 6 (b) of the [London] Charter."

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The HC states in chapter I, Means of injuring the enemy, sieges, and bombardments, Art. 22. The right of belligerents to adopt means of injuring the enemy is not unlimited. "

Already in the beginning of the text of the HC stands, "Seeing that while seeking means to preserve peace and prevent armed conflicts between nations, it is likewise necessary to bear in mind the case where the appeal to arms has been brought about by events which their care was unable to avert;
Animated by the desire to serve, even in this extreme case, the interests of humanity and the ever progressive needs of civilization;
Thinking it important, with this object, to revise the general laws and customs of war, either with a view to defining them with greater precision or to confining them within such limits as would mitigate their severity as far as possible;
Have deemed it necessary to complete and explain in certain particulars the work of the First Peace Conference, which, following on the Brussels Conference of 1874, and inspired by the ideas dictated by a wise and generous forethought, adopted provisions intended to define and govern the usages of war on land.
According to the views of the High Contracting Parties, these provisions, the wording of which has been inspired by the desire to diminish the evils of war, as far as military requirements permit, are intended to serve as a general rule of conduct for the belligerents in their mutual relations and in their relations with the inhabitants.
It has not, however, been found possible at present to concert regulations covering all the circumstances which arise in practice;
On the other hand, the High Contracting Parties clearly do not intend that unforeseen cases should, in the absence of a written undertaking, be left to the arbitrary judgment of military commanders.

Until a more complete code of the laws of war has been issued, the High Contracting Parties deem it expedient to declare that, in cases not included in the Regulations adopted by them, the inhabitants and the belligerents remain under the protection and the rule of the principles of the law of nations, as they result from the usages established among civilized peoples, from the laws of humanity, and the dictates of the public conscience.
They declare that it is in this sense especially that Articles I and 2 of the Regulations adopted must be understood."

For me it is very clear, that the bombing directive is violating as well the legally binding convention from 1907 as the rules of Air warfare from 1923. And i have to confess, that it is hard to understand for me, that people do see it different.

What is more impressive for me is, that people deny the killing of POWs as war crime, especially those of the Waffen-SS. But I haven't seen somebody who was stating, that the killing of allied POWs wasn't a war crime, too. Even more I was impressed by a statement of a mod, who claimed, that all german and japanese scientists should have been put on a wall, "Should have lined up all those Nazi and Japanese scientists against the wall and been done with them."
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Old April 14th, 2012, 03:54 PM   #612

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Quote:
Originally Posted by beorna View Post
In this relation i want to remind you to the HC "rules of air warfare from february 19th 1923.
Here we go again

As you said yourself amongst a lot of waffle, these rules were never adopted by any nation.
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Old April 14th, 2012, 04:03 PM   #613
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Originally Posted by redcoat View Post
Here we go again

As you said yourself amongst a lot of waffle, these rules were never adopted by any nation.
I agree its tiring to read beornas often interesting but mostly very long ad detailed posts. Im loging out of discussion here.
But he already wrote:
Quote:
For me it is very clear, that the bombing directive is violating as well the legally binding convention from 1907 as the rules of Air warfare from 1923. And i have to confess, that it is hard to understand for me, that people do see it different.

Last edited by MetaWorldPeace; April 14th, 2012 at 04:27 PM.
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Old April 14th, 2012, 04:54 PM   #614

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Folks, this thread has become mired in difficulty, misunderstanding and personal recrimination and needs to close. Please make any final statements and I'll close the thread in 6 or 8 hours or so.
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Old April 14th, 2012, 06:01 PM   #615

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to conclude so i will give my own assessment on the whole debate

there is no doubt that allied soldiers did commit acts that can be defined as war crimes such as the maltreatment of prisoners which involved beatings, torture and murder. people here have in effect made common remarks that these were excused because of the holocaust and massacres committed by members of the SS. yet that is a tu quoque fallacy so there is no justified excuse for any war crimes committed by allied troops, a war crime is a war crime however you spin it. people have made the generalised remark as well that since they were germans and therefore 'the bad guys' then they got what they deserved yet you can't generalise all the german soldiers as being psychopathic monstars just as you can't generalize all allied troops as being white knights of justice and liberty. things are gray in war there are both good and bad eggs on both sides and while we may try to understand why such acts took place maybe by stress, anger or whatever that still don't excuse them and their perpetrators still need to be punished whatever flag they may be under. that fact that most allied crime have been swept under the rug is a terrible injustice and removes all moral justification they may say they had and this is regardless of what was happening in the death camps. the common german soldier can not be held totally responsible for that as he had little to do with it so it is totally unfair when people seem to think that allied soldier gunning down german prisoners is some kind of justice, clearly here people are paying for crimes they didn't commit and that stands as the worst part of it all.

we still live with the ghost of WW2 yet until we take a step back and acknowledge the actions of all then we will never get the full picture which will then allow us to move on. perhaps this is the best quote to end with and should be said from the perspective of all those involved be they british, german, american, polish, russian etc.

"Battle not with monsters, lest ye become a monster, and if you gaze into the abyss, the abyss gazes also into you"-Friedrich Nietzsche
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Old April 14th, 2012, 08:51 PM   #616
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All I can say is the war crimes during WWII had been defined by the victors and it was the victors court that litigated it.

I agree with Irishcrusader that there were war crimes that the allied forces committed but they are nothing as compared to Nazi atrocities which the ideology itself is eschewed.
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Old April 14th, 2012, 11:26 PM   #617

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I think this thread has gone as far as it can go. The debate on bombing cities will go on for a long time yet.

But when it comes to things that are clearly war crimes, it is clear that some people think it is excusable to commit them if you are fighting a bigger evil. Its also clear that people who accuse others of things they havn't stated in defence of this.

Allied war crimes during WW2 is somthing that has been buried for years. And clearly some want to leave it buried. By accuseing others of trying to sweep German crimes under the carpet or claiming its an attack on a certain allied country.

If the truth is so harmful, then i think history is the wrong subject to have an interest in. There are not many countries that don't have somthing to be ashamed of in their past, or even present.

But the end result is clear. The Allies did commit war crimes. While clearly not on the same scale as those of Germany or the SU, they were still commited and they were still crimes.

That this happened is a fact of war. That these went un punished is something to be ashamed of. Germany has excepted its guilt, and is still ashamed of it.

Its time we excepted ours.
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Old April 15th, 2012, 12:13 AM   #618
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"Its time we excepted ours."

If all were like you, I had hope.
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Old April 15th, 2012, 12:18 AM   #619
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redcoat View Post
Here we go again

As you said yourself amongst a lot of waffle, these rules were never adopted by any nation.
As there was no crmes against peace existing in 1945 or crimes against humanity. But I suppose we both agree, that the nazis were sentenced for it correctly.
BTW, sorry that my postings are for you waffle.

Have agood time you all!

Last edited by beorna; April 15th, 2012 at 12:27 AM.
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Old April 15th, 2012, 12:27 AM   #620

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Good, good.


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