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"Justice in Asia and the Pacific Region, 19451952" Topic


9 Posts

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19 Apr 2019 4:44 p.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

  • Removed from Modern Media boardCrossposted to WWII Discussion board


Areas of Interest

World War Two on the Land

253 hits since 19 Apr 2019
©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

Tango0119 Apr 2019 12:56 p.m. PST

Of possible interest?

PDF link

Amicalement
Armand

goragrad20 Apr 2019 11:07 p.m. PST

Once again, the losers get tried for war crimes. In this case crimes committed primarily by subordinates acting without orders.

Murvihill21 Apr 2019 7:13 a.m. PST

So the commanding officer is not responsible for the actions of his subordinates? That's news to practically every CO in history.

Marc33594 Supporting Member of TMP21 Apr 2019 7:18 a.m. PST

It doesnt matter if by subordinates acting without orders. Ultimate responsibility always falls on the commander. It comes with the territory and is part of each US officers training. A Navy ship's captain's career is essentially over, for example, if the ship runs aground even while the captain is sound asleep in his bunk and it is the bridge crews error.

Tango0121 Apr 2019 3:27 p.m. PST

Thanks!.


Amicalement
Armand

goragrad22 Apr 2019 1:23 p.m. PST

So how many US generals were indicted and prosecuted for the killing of Japanese POWs by American troops during the pacific Campaign? As noted elsewhere there were rewards of ice cream and 3 day passes being offered to GIs in order to get them to actually deliver prisoners to the rear areas to be interrogated it was so bad.

And then –

On 4 March 1943, during the Battle of the Bismarck Sea, General George Kenney ordered Allied patrol boats and aircraft to attack Japanese rescue vessels, as well as the survivors from the sunken vessels on life rafts and swimming or floating in the sea. This was later justified on the grounds that rescued servicemen would have been rapidly landed at their military destination and promptly returned to active service.[67] These orders violated the Hague Convention of 1907, which banned the killing of shipwreck survivors under any circumstances.

Don't see any mention of his trial in the histories.

The Rheinwiesenlager (German: [ˈʁaɪnˌviːzn̩ˌlaːɡɐ], Rhine meadow camps) were a group of 19 camps built in the Allied-occupied part of Germany by the U.S. Army to hold captured German soldiers at the close of the Second World War. Officially named Prisoner of War Temporary Enclosures (PWTE), they held between one and almost two million surrendered Wehrmacht personnel from April until September 1945.

Prisoners held in the camps were designated disarmed enemy forces, not prisoners of war. This decision was made in March 1945 by SHAEF commander in chief Dwight D. Eisenhower: by not classifying the hundreds of thousands of captured troops as POWs, the logistical problems associated with accommodating so many prisoners of war according to the Geneva Convention governing their treatment were negated.

Most estimates of German deaths in these camps range from 3,000 to 6,000. Many of these died from starvation, dehydration and exposure to the weather elements because no structures were built inside the prison compounds.

Of course that was not just a technicality used for those camps but was applied to all German POWs – I can't imagine any Axis commander getting away after the War using such a technicality to justify the treatment of POWs.

Marc33594 Supporting Member of TMP23 Apr 2019 6:20 a.m. PST

Ah the claims by author James Bacque in his 1989 book "Other Losses" which has pretty much been debunked. While one has to be careful of Wikipedia a good discussion of these claims can be found at link

Read the discussion and draw you own conclusions. I do find the chart at the bottom rather interesting.

And it seems the argument is shifting. From a defense of subordinates who acted without orders to now one of the other side wasnt held accountable.

Legion 423 Apr 2019 8:33 a.m. PST

Once again, the losers get tried for war crimes.
Yep … reality … for better or worse.


So the commanding officer is not responsible for the actions of his subordinates? That's news to practically every CO in history.
So very true … And all I ever commanded was a Rifle PL and Mech Co.
Ultimate responsibility always falls on the commander. It comes with the territory and is part of each US officers training.

Yep … You are responsible for everything your subordinates do and fail to do. Again … for better or worse.

Bill N23 Apr 2019 10:53 a.m. PST

The concept of war crimes where the losing side in a battle or war is held criminally accountable by the winning side is nothing new in the history of warfare. Forcing the defendant to go through a show trial before undergoing punishment is again nothing new in the history of warfare. The idea of permitting the alleged war crime defendants to present evidence and arguments at trial that among other things might challenge the "justness" of the victor's cause or methods and which were made available to a larger audience, while not unheard of, were a somewhat novel aspect of the post WW2 war crimes trials.

Was it in the end "victor's justice"? Of course it was. That is also why it is nave to expect that allied leaders might have been subjected to similar treatment for similar acts.

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