Lawrence of Arabia - "You know what they'll do to him if they catch him alive"

Aug 2012
98
Lawrence of Arabia - "You know what they'll do to him if they catch him alive"

I'm watching Lawrence of Arabia and on a few occasions the Arabs say that they kill their wounded so the Turks don't catch them alive, because "You know what they will do to them if they catch them alive."

What WOULD they do to them?
 

Earl_of_Rochester

Ad Honoris
Feb 2011
13,609
Perambulating in St James' Park
Middle Eastern countries had an unfortunate tendency to cut prisoner's thingies off. It's a similar story all over North Africa to Afghanistan where the ladies usually did it* with some of the savage tribes using them to decorate their spears. In WW2 pilots used to carry blood chits so that the Bedouin wouldn't hack it off. Rather bad form all round.

* Bugles & a Tiger, John Masters.
 
Last edited:
Mar 2012
1,211
Magdeburg
Middle Eastern countries had an unfortunate tendency to cut prisoner's thingies off. It's a similar story all over North Africa to Afghanistan where the ladies usually did it* with some of the savage tribes using them to decorate their spears. In WW2 pilots used to carry blood chits so that the Bedouin wouldn't hack it off. Rather bad form all round.

* Bugles & a Tiger, John Masters.



Yeah, they were usually committed by local tribal brigades, as they got order from ottoman officials " deal with them as you like". Or are you referring to turks in this case?
 
Mar 2014
122
San Mateo County, California, USA.
Middle Eastern countries had an unfortunate tendency to cut prisoner's thingies off. It's a similar story all over North Africa to Afghanistan where the ladies usually did it* with some of the savage tribes using them to decorate their spears. In WW2 pilots used to carry blood chits so that the Bedouin wouldn't hack it off. Rather bad form all round.

* Bugles & a Tiger, John Masters.
I see that it's a quotation from John Master's book, so I understand, but I don't agree: In the first place, lumping people throughout the Middle East together under one stereotypical judgment is plum wrong and inaccurate. Also, it was the Ottoman Turks and Kurds who perpetrated the most abuse upon prisoners and civilians. Armenians, Greeks and Assyrians have known that very well.
 

Earl_of_Rochester

Ad Honoris
Feb 2011
13,609
Perambulating in St James' Park
I see that it's a quotation from John Master's book, so I understand, but I don't agree: In the first place, lumping people throughout the Middle East together under one stereotypical judgment is plum wrong and inaccurate. Also, it was the Ottoman Turks and Kurds who perpetrated the most abuse upon prisoners and civilians. Armenians, Greeks and Assyrians have known that very well.
How else does one explain the goolie chit? I was under the impression that bailing out anywhere over north Africa would get you that sort of treatment. Blood chit - Wikipedia pilot memoirs would certainly attest this result. It may not have happened in every Middle Eastern county but it was certainly common enough to warrant the nickname 'goolie' on the paper.
 
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Chlodio

Forum Staff
Aug 2016
4,752
Dispargum
The idea that prisoners of war should be treated with respect and dignity is derived from Medieval chivalry which in turn was heavily influenced by Christianity. It shouldn't surprise us that countries and cultures with different traditions don't understand or practice chivalry. The same explanation applies to Japanese treatment of POWs in WW2 - chivalry is not part of the bushido tradition.

The opposite is also true: soldiers coming from a tradition of chivalry would be especially appalled at the lack of chivalry practiced by their enemies and might be inclined to exagerte the threat.
 

Ancientgeezer

Ad Honorem
Nov 2011
8,899
The Dustbin, formerly, Garden of England
I see that it's a quotation from John Master's book, so I understand, but I don't agree: In the first place, lumping people throughout the Middle East together under one stereotypical judgment is plum wrong and inaccurate. Also, it was the Ottoman Turks and Kurds who perpetrated the most abuse upon prisoners and civilians. Armenians, Greeks and Assyrians have known that very well.
British Servicemen have been issued with "Goolie chits" since the late 18thC right up to, at least, 1976 to my personal knowledge. Perhaps, as you have such an insight into the wonderful, gentle world of Islamic PoW camps you you would like to mention JUST ONE SINGLE Muslim military that has not tortured, beaten or ill-treated its PoWs in a manner that makes the WW2 Japanese and Nazis look like Carmelite nuns. There was a 70% mortality rate among Western prisoners of the Turks in WW1 compared to 27% incarcerated by the Japanese in WW2. The mortality rate of those taken prisoner by Afghans and unransomed in the the 19thC was 100%. Even with the lessons of the 20th C in the potential value of a televised "confession" we all remember pictures of the brutalised captives of Iranians, Somalis, Iraqis--even in the Pakistani Army, where the officer class prides itself on being oh so "correct" and started off with 200 years of European instruction--they just can't help themselves ( see Saurabh Kalia - Wikipedia ).
The biggest question may be why Muslims are so obsessed with genitals and men's bottoms.
 

Earl_of_Rochester

Ad Honoris
Feb 2011
13,609
Perambulating in St James' Park
British Servicemen have been issued with "Goolie chits" since the late 18thC right up to, at least, 1976 to my personal knowledge. Perhaps, as you have such an insight into the wonderful, gentle world of Islamic PoW camps you you would like to mention JUST ONE SINGLE Muslim military that has not tortured, beaten or ill-treated its PoWs in a manner that makes the WW2 Japanese and Nazis look like Carmelite nuns. There was a 70% mortality rate among Western prisoners of the Turks in WW1 compared to 27% incarcerated by the Japanese in WW2. The mortality rate of those taken prisoner by Afghans and unransomed in the the 19thC was 100%. Even with the lessons of the 20th C in the potential value of a televised "confession" we all remember pictures of the brutalised captives of Iranians, Somalis, Iraqis--even in the Pakistani Army, where the officer class prides itself on being oh so "correct" and started off with 200 years of European instruction--they just can't help themselves ( see Saurabh Kalia - Wikipedia ).
The biggest question may be why Muslims are so obsessed with genitals and men's bottoms.
Good to read your stuff AG, I've been pretty busy with work
(getting married next year too). With regards to the OP to be fair I think Western propaganda may play a part in the concept of randy Arabian gentlemen. The Lustful Turk was quite a popular naughty book in the 1700s, then there's the threat of Europe being overrun dating back to the siege of Vienna, the wars against Venice and the Greek war of independence. Stories of debauchery from the harems abound and there's the experience of Napoléon's troops getting sodomised in Egypt. It may be that demonisation of non-christians plays a part, but there's certainly enough evidence to suggest some of the rumours are true.
 

specul8

Ad Honorem
Oct 2016
3,477
Australia
The idea that prisoners of war should be treated with respect and dignity is derived from Medieval chivalry which in turn was heavily influenced by Christianity. It shouldn't surprise us that countries and cultures with different traditions don't understand or practice chivalry. The same explanation applies to Japanese treatment of POWs in WW2 - chivalry is not part of the bushido tradition.

The opposite is also true: soldiers coming from a tradition of chivalry would be especially appalled at the lack of chivalry practiced by their enemies and might be inclined to exagerte the threat.
From Christianity is it ? Is that a joke ? Go look up An-Nasir Salah ad-Din Yusuf ibn Ayyub

Saladin - Wikipedia
 
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