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Were The Rebels Illegal Combatants?

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  • #91
    Originally posted by hellboy30 View Post
    Thanks, Hellboy.
    In all my perplexities and distresses, the Bible has never failed to give me light and strength.
    Robert E. Lee

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    • #92
      Originally posted by hellboy30 View Post
      And here is another one to back the first up:
      https://www.aleksandreia.com/2009/09...arole-treason/
      Thanks, Hellboy.
      In all my perplexities and distresses, the Bible has never failed to give me light and strength.
      Robert E. Lee

      Comment


      • #93
        Originally posted by Michele View Post
        You're hurting my feelings, after I quoted chapter and verse of a half a dozen treaties and of the Lieber Code.
        I was not addressing you.
        In all my perplexities and distresses, the Bible has never failed to give me light and strength.
        Robert E. Lee

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        • #94
          Originally posted by guthrieba View Post
          What is the definition of illegal combatant? As I recall, some of the criteria include

          a) fighting for a legitimate government,
          b) wearing a uniform openly,
          c) having a defined chain of command.

          There are several other criteria which I cannot recall right now.

          Criterion (a) is perhaps debatable. Certainly, the Confederacy had an established government, albeit without international recognition. Criteria (b) and (c) were certainly met.

          Of course, the Geneva Convention had not yet been formulated, and I don't how prisoners of war were defined at the time.

          There was also a not-so-small matter of reciprocal retaliation which could be visited on captured Federals.
          How is wearing a uniform and having a chain of command illegal? It should be the other way around. By wearing a uniform makes a soldier illegal, what not wearing a uniform do?

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          • #95
            Originally posted by grognard View Post
            How is wearing a uniform and having a chain of command illegal? It should be the other way around. By wearing a uniform makes a soldier illegal, what not wearing a uniform do?
            He obviously meant those criteria (which are not all those needed) for the definition of a "legal" combatant, not an illegal one.
            Michele

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            • #96
              It won't be the first or last time someone screwed up a post in the forum!

              Pruitt
              Pruitt, you are truly an expert! Kelt06

              Have you been struck by the jawbone of an ASS lately?

              by Khepesh "This is the logic of Pruitt"

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              • #97
                On the subject of wearing uniforms , chain of command etc. In 1914 the Germans executed a number of Belgian Gendarmes because , despite being taken in uniform and having a clear command structure the Germans still deemed them not to be soldiers and therefore not legal combatants
                Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe (H G Wells)
                Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens (Friedrich von Schiller)

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                • #98
                  Originally posted by MarkV View Post
                  On the subject of wearing uniforms , chain of command etc. In 1914 the Germans executed a number of Belgian Gendarmes because , despite being taken in uniform and having a clear command structure the Germans still deemed them not to be soldiers and therefore not legal combatants
                  Which was in clear violation of Hague IV 1907. Let's remember the question in post #1 was "would it have been legal...". Examples of actual, concrete behavior by belligerents are important and relevant, obviously, but they are not necessarily what was legal.
                  Michele

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                  • #99
                    Originally posted by Michele View Post
                    Which was in clear violation of Hague IV 1907. Let's remember the question in post #1 was "would it have been legal...". Examples of actual, concrete behavior by belligerents are important and relevant, obviously, but they are not necessarily what was legal.
                    The German argument was that the police were a civil organisation and the uniform was a civilian costume (like a postman's or a railwayman's uniform) and therefore they were not in breach of Hague. I suspect that had proper war crimes trials been carried out in 1919 this would certainly have been challenged not least because the Belgian gendarmes at the time were a para military organisation. The Germans did have a habit of interpreting international law as it suited them but it does illustrate that wearing a uniform was not automatically a protection.
                    Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe (H G Wells)
                    Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens (Friedrich von Schiller)

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                    • Originally posted by MarkV View Post
                      The German argument was that the police were a civil organisation and the uniform was a civilian costume (like a postman's or a railwayman's uniform) and therefore they were not in breach of Hague. I suspect that had proper war crimes trials been carried out in 1919 this would certainly have been challenged not least because the Belgian gendarmes at the time were a para military organisation.
                      And in any case, it would also depend on when the gendarmes fought. I suspect it was not as guerrillas, behind enemy lines, but as the Germans were invading the country. If so, they did not even need a uniform, only to bear arms openly and comply with the laws of war, as members of a levée en masse, entirely contemplated by Hague IV 1907.

                      The Germans did have a habit of interpreting international law as it suited them but it does illustrate that wearing a uniform was not automatically a protection.
                      Well, yes and yes.
                      Michele

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                      • Originally posted by Michele View Post
                        In 1815, less than 500 French and foreign servicemen who had chosen Napoleon for his 100-day stunt were murdered or lynched, and one (Ney) was put to death by a regular court. Lots more lost their jobs, a few thousands went on trial, some of these were given prison terms, and a few more chose exile. All in all, not a large-scale butchery.

                        "Civil war", after all, means that citizens are enemies, and that enemies are citizens. Much depends on whether one considers the other side citizens like him first and enemies secondarily, or viceversa. In the aftermath of Napoleon's second defeat, it was probably easier for many Frenchmen, save the most intransigent royalists, to consider the men who had served Napoleon as Frenchmen first of all (vide Ney's famous statement at his trial). Conversely, after (and during) the Spanish Civil War, the winners considered the "reds" as un-Spanish, and we know what happened.
                        I'll leave it to other posters to assess, if they wish, where the attitude of the winners towards the losers in the American Civil War should be placed along this scale.
                        No, not large scale at all but still far more than the US executed after the Civil War.

                        IIRC, that only 1 Confederate was executed post-war and that was for war crimes rather than treason or being a leader of a failed rebellion. Not real sure on this though.

                        If anybody knows of more Rebs being executed, please give examples. The only one I know of is Henry Wirz, former commander of Andersonville.
                        Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.

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                        • Originally posted by R. Evans View Post
                          No, not large scale at all but still far more than the US executed after the Civil War.

                          IIRC, that only 1 Confederate was executed post-war and that was for war crimes rather than treason or being a leader of a failed rebellion. Not real sure on this though.

                          If anybody knows of more Rebs being executed, please give examples. The only one I know of is Henry Wirz, former commander of Andersonville.
                          Note that the figure of 500 or less that I mention is for lynchings and murders carried out by enraged royalists. A sizable share of this is the infamous slaughter of Napoleon's Mamluks.
                          But if we want to compare regular trials, then we have the one that found Ney guilty of treason.

                          As to CSA men being executed, I did not know about any, but a quick lookup of Wirz shows a handful were - as war criminals, spies, or guerrillas (as to the latter, please again note I'm talking about formal trials). None for treason.
                          Last edited by Michele; 19 Feb 16, 09:06.
                          Michele

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                          • Originally posted by Michele View Post
                            Note that the figure of 500 or less that I mention is for lynchings and murders carried out by enraged royalists. A sizable share of this is the infamous slaughter of Napoleon's Mamluks.
                            But if we want to compare regular trials, then we have the one that found Ney guilty of treason.
                            Ney was as they say here banged to rights for he had publicly sworn an oath of loyalty to Louis XVIII in 1814 when Napoleon was in Elba and he was effectively a general in the king's service when he went over to Napoleon in 1815
                            At least Lee etc resigned their US Army commissions first
                            Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe (H G Wells)
                            Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens (Friedrich von Schiller)

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                            • I think the fact that they were recognized as belligerent makes them legal combatants. It certainly did for the commerce raiders.
                              “I do not wish to have the slave emancipated because I love him, but because I hate his master."
                              --Salmon P. Chase

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                              • Originally posted by Savez View Post
                                I think the fact that they were recognized as belligerent makes them legal combatants. It certainly did for the commerce raiders.
                                Good point.

                                What were the "rules of warfare" during the era? Obviously the ACW took place before Hague and Geneva, so were there "rules" that most nations more or less followed?
                                Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.

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