Military Punishments

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by dingerr, Apr 23, 2008.

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  1. For those who bemoan being AGAi'd or even being squared away around the back, consider yourself lucky not to have served in the Georgian era.

    Flogging (Phased out in 1881).


    Breaking on the wheel


    Whirligig - Wooden spinning cage in which the incarcerated offender became sick with giddiness.

    Running the gauntlet - bare backed prisoner proceeded between two rows of soldiers who struck him as he passed.

    Wooden Horse - The offender sits on a sharp edged frame, frequently with weights attached to his feet to have his genitals crushed.
  2. eeehhh, lad, you were lucky...
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  3. Suddenly, AGAI 67 doesnt look to bad
  4. Breaking on the wheel, wasn't this only reserved for having struck an officer?
    or for failing to powder your wig or some such
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  5. the_boy_syrup

    the_boy_syrup LE Book Reviewer

    6 Men were executed in WW1 for striking or showing violence to their superiors

    Course you tell young uns today, they wouldn't believe you....
  6. I believe the punishment for striking an officer was death.

    I'm not sure if the breakin part of 'breaking on the wheel' was dying or just being left rather sore.
  7. the_boy_syrup

    the_boy_syrup LE Book Reviewer

    If it's this it's death
    Breaking on the wheel was a form of torturous execution formerly in use, especially in ancient Greece (where it originated), France, Germany, Sweden, and Russia.

    The wheel itself was typically a large wooden wagon wheel, with many radial spokes, but a wheel was not always used. In some cases the condemned was lashed to the wheel and beaten with a club or iron cudgel, with the gaps in the wheel allowing the cudgel to break through; in others, such as the execution of the parricide Franz Seuboldt in Nuremberg, 22 September 1589, a wheel was used as a cudgel: the executioner used wooden blocks to raise the Seuboldt's limbs, then broke them by slamming a wagon wheel down onto the limb.[1]

    In France the condemned were placed on a cart-wheel with their limbs stretched out along the spokes over two sturdy wooden beams. The wheel was made to slowly revolve, and a large hammer or an iron bar was then applied to the limb over the gap between the beams, breaking the bones. This process was repeated several times per limb. Sometimes it was 'mercifully' ordered that the executioner should strike the criminal on chest and stomach, blows known as coups de grâce (French: "blow of mercy"), which caused lethal injuries, leading to the end of the torture by death; without those, the broken man could take hours, even days, before shock and dehydration caused death. In France, a special grace, called the retentum, could be granted, by which the condemned was strangled after the second or third blow, or in special cases, even before the breaking began. Afterwards, the condemned's shattered limbs were woven ('braiden') through the spokes of the wheel which was then hoisted onto a tall pole, so that birds could eat the sometimes still-living individual.

    In early modern Germany, the wheel was punishment reserved primarily for males convicted of aggravated murder (murder committed during another crime, or against a family member). Less severe offenders would be cudgelled 'top down', with the first blow to the neck, causing death; more heinous criminals were punished 'bottom up', starting with the legs, and sometimes being beaten for hours. The number and sequence of blows was specified in the court's sentence. Corpses were left for carrion-eaters, and the criminals' heads often placed on a spike.[2]

    Legend has it that Saint Catherine of Alexandria was to be executed on one of these devices, which thereafter became known as the Catherine wheel, also used as an iconographic attribute.

    Wasn't feild punishemnt number 1 being lashed to a wheel and left there although you could only gdo it for three out of every 4 days and not be sentenced it for more than 21 days
  8. No its rather nastier than just death, theres a description in Richard Holmes's Red Coat of some poor squaddie getting it done to him.

    Your tied to a wheel on the ground, the bones in your arms and legs are then smashed into numerous bits allowing the limbs to be 'woven' between the spokes, the wheel is then raised up onto a pole allowing the crows and elements to finish you off.

    Edited to add

    Beaten to it by the the_boy_syrup.

    In Paintings depicting serious chaotic War of the Medieval, Renaissance and later periods ( even up to Goya’s Disasters of War series set in the Peninsular War ), you'll usually see a cart wheel on a pole with somebody on it in the background somewhere.

    It’s a visual signal for unbelievable nastiness, 30 Years War etc.

  9. Still beats decimation. Now thats hardcore!
  10. the_boy_syrup

    the_boy_syrup LE Book Reviewer

    Now thats gotta hurt
    Edited to add is that bloke in the background getting shagged by a dog?
    Must have been some bop night

  11. Sounds about right for all the criminals today
  12. All sounds a bit like hard work.

    Did you have to beat them all day or could you do it in shifts? Imagine the boss coming round moaning you've still got three out there to sort, and the queue is growing.

    'Spect the gub'mint was providing sub-standard wheels and clubs, how can you take pride in your work with tools like that?

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  13. I seem to recall that punishment for mutineers during the Indian Mutiny was to be blown from a cannon...
    Nasty way to end.
  14. Whirligig - Wooden spinning cage in which the incarcerated offender became sick with giddiness.

    Running the gauntlet - bare backed prisoner proceeded between two rows of soldiers who struck him as he passed.

    Wooden Horse - The offender sits on a sharp edged frame, frequently with weights attached to his feet to have his genitals crushed.

    These activities remind me of some of the 'character building' that we used to endure in basic training - before the PC Bde started calling it bullying.

    Those were the days!!!
  15. Field Punishment No1

    '... could be awarded be either a CO or a court martial. A prisoner sentenced to it forfeited his pay, could, as the MML explained, be kept in fetters or handcuffs so as to prevent his escape, and 'may be attached for a period or periods not exceeding two hours in any one day to a fixed object, but he must not be so attached during more than three out of four consecutive days, nor during more than twenty-one days in all'. He could be subjected to 'labour, employment and restraint' as if he was undergoing a sentence of hard labour. Field Punishment No 2 was precisely the same, but did not include the daily attachment to a fixed object.'

    Extract from 'Tommy' by Richard Holmes

    It was awarded 60,210 times during WW1. Unit tolerances of Field Punishment No1 varied from 'crucifixion' on a wheel, through simply handcuffing to a wheel, to detaining the culprit in a hut with the handcuffs thrown in after him.


    Edited once
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