Breaker Morant

#1
I have just watched the movie again for the first time in years.

Event allowing for the obligatory Brit bashing of that era of Aussie film it is a good watch.

There are some interesting parallels between the events in SA and the current situation in Iraq and the way the Govt is happy to stitch up its own to curry favour with the locals.

I was also struck by the relevance of the defense councils closing adress. To para phrase dont be suprised it unpleasent things hapen in war, its an unpleasent buisness. Also give clear orders and back your officers when they carry them out.

Any one else got a veiw?
 
#2
Love that film.

If anyone has any doubts as to Brit governments shafting it's own troops for political expediency watch the film. A fact-based account of a fine tradition of soldiers doing their duty and (literally in this case) being shot for it.
 
#3
yeoman said:
I have just watched the movie again for the first time in years.

Event allowing for the obligatory Brit bashing of that era of Aussie film it is a good watch.

There are some interesting parallels between the events in SA and the current situation in Iraq and the way the Govt is happy to stitch up its own to curry favour with the locals.

I was also struck by the relevance of the defense councils closing adress. To para phrase dont be suprised it unpleasent things hapen in war, its an unpleasent buisness. Also give clear orders and back your officers when they carry them out.

Any one else got a veiw?
Good film. Historically inaccurate. You are right about he political conext when the film was made, but Morant was a war criminal, nonetheless - I am sure blame falls elsewhere, but Morant did bad things regardless of what instructions he may have been given.
 
#4
From the Lighthorse Association website:Lighthorse Association

The Shootings

Those arrested in October 1901 were mostly Australians but perhaps there has been too much emphasis on their nationality. The officers were Maj Lenehan (Aus), Capt Taylor (Eng), Lts Morant, Hancock, Witton, Hannam (all Aus) and Lt Picton (Eng). Lt's Morant and Hancock were subsequently found guilty and executed.

There were six known charges brought against the seven officers at the court of enquiry:
1. 2nd July shooting of six Boer prisoners
2. 4th July shooting of Tpr Van Buuren BVC
3. 11th August shooting of a prisoner named Visser
4. 23rd August shooting eight prisoners and one missionary
5. 5th September shooting into wagons killing two children, and
6. on 7th September shooting two prisoners and boy.

1st Charge - On 2nd July six Boers were captured by Capt Robertson who had Capt Taylor shoot them. (This happened before Lt Morant's detachment arrived at Fort Edward).

2nd Charge - Tpr Van Buuren was a local who had enlisted in the Bushveldt Carbineers. On witnessing the above shootings, he told their families who were also locals. Lt Hancock took Tpr Van Buuren out on patrol from which only Hancock returned. Lt Hancock stated that Tpr Van Buuren was shot by Boers.

3rd Charge - The prisoner named Visser was captured at the Waterburg by Lt Morant's patrol after the death of Capt Hunt. Morant had him court martialled and shot for wearing a British coat. The court of inquiry was told it was Capt Hunt's jacket (it was in fact a British warm jacket). The fatal shot was administered by Lt Picton.

4th Charge - On 3rd August, eight Boers surrendered to Lt Morant's patrol. Rev Heese rode in to comfort these men and was told to depart by Morant. He then had them shot. Lt Witton shot one man as he attempted to escape. Afraid that the Reverend would tell, Lt Hancock went out and shot him. Unfortunately for Hancock, he was seen by two Kaffir boys and the local storekeeper.

5th Charge - On 5th September, Lt Hannam came upon three wagons containing four men with women and children. They were called upon to surrender which they did but Hannam ordered his men to shoot into the wagons. After 250 rounds were fired, he advanced to the wagons finding two little boys killed and one little girl wounded.

6th Charge - On 7th September, Maj Lenehan who was at Fort Edward on an inspection, sent Lt Morant to take two Boers and one boy aged 14 prisoner. Morant had all three shot, all with Maj Lenehan's full knowledge.

The result of these crimes was the eventual execution of Lts Morant and Hancock. Lt Witton was sentenced to penal servitude for life, Lt Picton was cashiered, Maj Lenehan was reprimanded and discharged and all charges were dismissed against Capt. Taylor.

Lt Hannam was not brought to trial. Capt Robertson having already been discharged for his actions on 2nd July, turned prosecution evidence and no charges were laid against him.

All officers were brought to trial from the evidence taken from 15 NCOs and soldiers from the Bushveldt Carbineers who were sickened by the actions which they were forced to partake. With evidence from other soldiers, Morant's and Hancock's fates were sealed. All seven officers were charged with real crimes, despite the innuendoes of the movie 'Breaker Morant'. The facts in all the proceedings were that all seven were guilty of the shootings either by direct action or by complicity.
 
#5
I'm going to stop using Google and just ask barbs instead. Another excellent posting.
 

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