Alexander Blackman BBC Interview

My bold; in simple terms, parity of treatment.

Yes, on occasion the Krauts (SS in particular) did indeed murder surrendered PWs at Dunkirk, in Normandy, the Ardennes offensive and other when the Allies were occasions going through Europe. No-one is denying that. But, by & large, a young GI or Tommy going through the bocage, if captured, had a better than even chance of being treated humanely and safely being removed from the area to a holding facility then onward to a PW camp.

Compare & contrast with the Eastern Front, where PWs of either side were lucky (dependent upon your perspective) to survive the capture process, which if indeed you did, would lead to the remainder of your rather pathetic existence in captivity being spent as a malnourished, beaten & abused slave labourer with a life expectancy measured in months. More likely though, you'd get a 9mm round to the neck or a rifle butt to the skull.

If you want the best chances for decent treatment for your blokes when they fall captive, then you have to lead the enemy to believe that their blokes will get the same. The fact that some of their blokes will not keep their side of the bargain is irrelevant; nor do all of ours.

Besides which, it's f***ing inhumane to do anything else, especially out of revenge. Last time I looked we'd moved out of caves several centuries ago.
Of course, it you meet the Shinto religion express train, they might not share your feelings.

The rules will have to become far more flexible. top some scum IRA on Gibraltar and elsewhere, no tears from this c/s.

However, when we engage the Russians (no if) your rules of war will be very interesting to review. Multiple beliefs and systems do not share 'our' understanding of war and POW treatment.
 
My bold; in simple terms, parity of treatment.

Yes, on occasion the Krauts (SS in particular) did indeed murder surrendered PWs at Dunkirk, in Normandy, the Ardennes offensive and other when the Allies were occasions going through Europe. No-one is denying that. But, by & large, a young GI or Tommy going through the bocage, if captured, had a better than even chance of being treated humanely and safely being removed from the area to a holding facility then onward to a PW camp.

Compare & contrast with the Eastern Front, where PWs of either side were lucky (dependent upon your perspective) to survive the capture process, which if indeed you did, would lead to the remainder of your rather pathetic existence in captivity being spent as a malnourished, beaten & abused slave labourer with a life expectancy measured in months. More likely though, you'd get a 9mm round to the neck or a rifle butt to the skull.

If you want the best chances for decent treatment for your blokes when they fall captive, then you have to lead the enemy to believe that their blokes will get the same. The fact that some of their blokes will not keep their side of the bargain is irrelevant; nor do all of ours.

Besides which, it's f***ing inhumane to do anything else, especially out of revenge. Last time I looked we'd moved out of caves several centuries ago.
To your past part, have we? This is sort of the point I’ve been labouring over. There are examples like Blackman in almost every war*, my argument is that this is natural due to the psychological effects of fighting for a prolonged** period. I do think the frequency with which this happens can be reduced through educating troops, good discipline and a chain or command who set the right example.

I think you also need to prosecute those like Blackman when cases like this have been discovered.




*they may have been a rarity but interestingly we rarely seemed to charge people when it happened.
**im not even sure it needs to be prolonged.
 
My bold; in simple terms, parity of treatment.

Yes, on occasion the Krauts (SS in particular) did indeed murder surrendered PWs at Dunkirk, in Normandy, the Ardennes offensive and other when the Allies were occasions going through Europe. No-one is denying that. But, by & large, a young GI or Tommy going through the bocage, if captured, had a better than even chance of being treated humanely and safely being removed from the area to a holding facility then onward to a PW camp.

Compare & contrast with the Eastern Front, where PWs of either side were lucky (dependent upon your perspective) to survive the capture process, which if indeed you did, would lead to the remainder of your rather pathetic existence in captivity being spent as a malnourished, beaten & abused slave labourer with a life expectancy measured in months. More likely though, you'd get a 9mm round to the neck or a rifle butt to the skull.

If you want the best chances for decent treatment for your blokes when they fall captive, then you have to lead the enemy to believe that their blokes will get the same. The fact that some of their blokes will not keep their side of the bargain is irrelevant; nor do all of ours.

Besides which, it's f***ing inhumane to do anything else, especially out of revenge. Last time I looked we'd moved out of caves several centuries ago.
On a separate point I think you’re right about parity of treatment, after the Malmedy massacre, and it’s wide use of propaganda my understanding is that a lot fewer SS made it into the bag
 
@Solo Dave
Agree with the rest of your post but this bit below does not apply to any Allah worshipping terrorist group I can think of.
The best treatment you can expect is a bullet in the back of the head.

Quote
If you want the best chances for decent treatment for your blokes when they fall captive, then you have to lead the enemy to believe that their blokes will get the same.
 
Downgraded I believe to manslaughter. Which is just a tad strange given he was caught on camera moving the victim to the site of the murder, was film carrying out the murder and then telling his lads to keep schtum as he had committed a crime. Deliberate unlawful killing being murder...

The grounds for his verdict and sentence being overturned/downgraded should have been mitigation of punishment and not a defence of his actions as a crime.
But apart from that?
 
Of course, it you meet the Shinto religion express train, they might not share your feelings.

The rules will have to become far more flexible. top some scum IRA on Gibraltar and elsewhere, no tears from this c/s.

However, when we engage the Russians (no if) your rules of war will be very interesting to review. Multiple beliefs and systems do not share 'our' understanding of war and POW treatment.
I don’t believe that will be a problem. I thought the Russian attitude to German PoWs was derived from the German treatment of them, and their view of the Russians as ‘untermensch’.
 
I don’t believe that will be a problem. I thought the Russian attitude to German PoWs was derived from the German treatment of them, and their view of the Russians as ‘untermensch’.
The Russians treated all prisoners like shit well before the Germans turned up.
 

UKTAP

LE
To be fair, most of us are murderers, some have had the misfortune to be convicted
No. No we aren't. You ******* chod.

Most of us haven't executed someone who isn't posing a threat to life, nor did they have authority to kill them.

Big difference between conducting military operations and deliberately killing someone without military necessity.

You cock.
 

YetAnotherRock

War Hero
I think that part is largely nonsense. Sociopathy or antisocial personality disorder (ASPD) is mostly to do with low level social issues - people with an actual fixation on killing are a vanishingly tiny subset of this group. Cases such as Blackman and other battlefield incidents appear to be more to do with the temporary mental disorientation of ordinary people under intense stress.
I don’t disagree but would say that sociopathy is more ‘built in’ than contextual. With Blackman the context may well have been different.
The programme makes the point about just how difficult it may be; for soldiers in the American civil war, Vietnam and other conflicts to kill another human.
it says most are putting down fire and hoping to protect their friends and section by doing so.
 
Of course, it you meet the Shinto religion express train, they might not share your feelings.

The rules will have to become far more flexible. top some scum IRA on Gibraltar and elsewhere, no tears from this c/s.

However, when we engage the Russians (no if) your rules of war will be very interesting to review. Multiple beliefs and systems do not share 'our' understanding of war and POW treatment.
Oh well then, we’ll just throw any pretence at civilised behaviour out of the window then, will we.....?????
 

par avion

War Hero
The Russians treated all prisoners like shit well before the Germans turned up.
The poles who were murdered at Katyn and else where, and the thousands who were deported to Siberia before becoming part of the Polish Second Corp in Itatly would testify to that.

The Poles who were captured by the Germans in 1939 were treated the same as Western POWs as Poland had signed the Hague and Geneva conventions.
 

Nemesis44UK

LE
Book Reviewer
* or at least that it was against the law. the manslaughter decision seemed to hinge on the idea that his state of mind was significantly skewed by his exposure to combat....well, duh! of course it was, my opinion is just that this is a natural phenomena. but i still think he knew that what he was doing could have consequences if caught
Exactly.

He had enough presence of mind to know that what he did was illegal and take precautions to avoid being caught doing it.

He was desensitised, traumatised, whatever, but he still knew enough to know it was wrong.

In 2008, Vince Li was on a Greyhound bus in Canada, when he stabbed a fellow passenger to death. He then proceeded to cut off Tim McLean's ears, lips and tongue, before eating his eyes and heart, finally decapitating the young man and parading up and down the bus with his "trophies."

Everybody bailed out of the bus and locked the doors until the police could attend. They found his victim's tongue in Li's pocket "to eat later."

Vince Li is free today and walking Canada's streets after serving just seven years in a secure hospital. A court found that he was off his meds and not aware of the reality of the world. He showed neither cunning nor deflection in his crime and it was clearly not premeditated.

Blackman doesn't have the same defence. He knew what he was doing was against the LOAC and took precautions to avoid being caught.

For the record, I think the Taliban is scum and no better than vermin. He probably would've died from his injuries, especially without immediate medical care, so the outcome would've been the same.

As others have said, if he'd shot him on the pretence of a sudden movement, nothing much would've been said, but it was Blackman's grandstanding and attempted surveillance evasion that showed a clear desire to shoot someone dead, even when they presented no further threat.
 

Nemesis44UK

LE
Book Reviewer
Reading through some of these posts got me thinking that some people think the LOAC is an outdated concept that we should no longer adhere to.

They say that the Taliban, al-Qaida etc. never signed up for it, so we shouldn't abide by it.

The LOAC wasn't written for any particular combatant, but it is a regulation for soldiers in any theatre of war.

Suppose we tore up the statute books and released the bestiality of men in war. Okay, done - no bothersome restrictions.

How would the UK civpop deal with news that their military is tearing around suspected Taliban villages pitchforking babies and raping teenage girls?

Would anyone feel happy with their child joining an army that commits atrocities? It would make little Johnny's leave a little fraught over the dinner table.

How about taking blowtorches to suspects? Throwing talibs out of moving helicopters? Using white phosphorous to clear out hospitals? Lining up whole villages over mass graves and hosing them down with gimpies?

Carpet-bombing whole swathes of Iraq or Afghanistan? Dropping MOABs onto civilian centres?

Once you go down that route of not caring about civilian casualties, you may as well escalate it to the point of turning the whole area into glass.

To some, the Law of Armed Combat is an outdated relic of WW2, but I still contend that it is vital, even today. Unless you want the UK forces to descend into a Genghiz Khan mindset.
 
Reading through some of these posts got me thinking that some people think the LOAC is an outdated concept that we should no longer adhere to.

They say that the Taliban, al-Qaida etc. never signed up for it, so we shouldn't abide by it.

The LOAC wasn't written for any particular combatant, but it is a regulation for soldiers in any theatre of war.

Suppose we tore up the statute books and released the bestiality of men in war. Okay, done - no bothersome restrictions.

How would the UK civpop deal with news that their military is tearing around suspected Taliban villages pitchforking babies and raping teenage girls?

Would anyone feel happy with their child joining an army that commits atrocities? It would make little Johnny's leave a little fraught over the dinner table.

How about taking blowtorches to suspects? Throwing talibs out of moving helicopters? Using white phosphorous to clear out hospitals? Lining up whole villages over mass graves and hosing them down with gimpies?

Carpet-bombing whole swathes of Iraq or Afghanistan? Dropping MOABs onto civilian centres?

Once you go down that route of not caring about civilian casualties, you may as well escalate it to the point of turning the whole area into glass.

To some, the Law of Armed Combat is an outdated relic of WW2, but I still contend that it is vital, even today. Unless you want the UK forces to descend into a Genghiz Khan mindset.
Offing a prisoner, to clearing a hospital with WP, to Genghis Khan is quite a leap.
 
to be honest it's the attitude you mention and Blackmans subsequent charge of manslaughter rather than murder* which makes me nervous; because i believe that being in combat for a prolonged period of time brutalizes people and changes their state of mind. if he managed to get out of a murder charge because he wasnt in a "normal" state of mind then i worry that that sets a dangerous precedent.


*even if, as i said previously, i'm glad for him.
 

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