Soviet partisans were belligerents

Mar 2017
40
Poland
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Were partisans "lawful belligerents" and thus entitled the status of prisoners of war; and was that status dependent on whether they wore uniform or distinctive military insignia?

On the question of partisans, the tribunal concluded that under the current laws of war (the Hague Convention No. IV from 1907), the partisan fighters in southeast Europe could not be considered lawful belligerents under Article 1 of the convention even though most wore distinctive military insignia (a Red Star sewn onto a uniform cap) and many served in full uniform; as most fought as guerrillas and as such could not consistently conform to all the conditions of belligerency laid down in the Hague Regulations for regular forces; and consequently could be executed without trial.[1] Uniformed irregular forces who engaged in guerrilla warfare could not be lawful combatants. On List, the tribunal stated:

We are obliged to hold that such guerrillas were francs tireurs who, upon capture, could be subjected to the death penalty. Consequently, no criminal responsibility attaches to the defendant List because of the execution of captured partisans...

The Hague Convention No. IV from 1907 states:
CHAPTER I
The Qualifications of Belligerents
Article 1.

The laws, rights, and duties of war apply not only to armies, but also to militia and volunteer corps fulfilling the following conditions:

To be commanded by a person responsible for his subordinates;

To have a fixed distinctive emblem recognizable at a distance;

To carry arms openly; and

To conduct their operations in accordance with the laws and customs of war.

In countries where militia or volunteer corps constitute the army, or form part of it, they are included under the denomination "army."
It seems the Article makes clear the Soviet as well as Balkan partisans were lawful belligerents.

What was the Soviet official stance on that?
 
Mar 2017
40
Poland
Can the ill will to communist partisans be attributed to the fact that the Tribunal was American?
 
Oct 2015
164
scotland
I have a fair amount of books on the partisan movement in Russia. Ive just moved(and im currently at work lol!)so sources and further info will gave to wait till tomorrow.
Until then,think on this,German attitudes towards 'underground ' fighting forces,even those caught wearing german uniform items could vary from being slowly killed to being given POW status.
Also at some point the term 'Bandits ' not partisans or rebels etc became official. For them to have changed the term to describe soviet partisans (in particular)surely shows that there was SOME legal awarness that the partisan groups in russia had at least SOME claim to be legitimate soldiers.