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k-otic
08-13-2007, 10:05 AM
I was looking through of some gun camera footage from the 8th fighter comand over germany dated 1944/45 the other day and some of the footage did show some really odd stuff
About 30 of them show American pilots attacking german fighter planes and bombers they crippled them so the german pilots have to crash-land the planes.
After the crash the American pilots are going for the pilots chasing them mercilessly like rabbits over the fields.
There are also footage that shows german fighter/bomber planes that put out their landing gear in mids air, normally a sign of surrender in air combat, but still get shot mercilessly with amything the American pilot has.
And last but not least attacks on civil trains, the American pilots didn`t go for the train no they chasing the passangers over the fields
they just puffing into a clout of blood, dust and body parts when they get hit by one of the cal.50 rounds :roll:

my question is, was that a given order or shows this only action by some pervert individuals?

Panzerknacker
08-16-2007, 09:23 AM
Unfortunately it was a very used practice, especially against Me-262 pilots. :neutral:
Some german pilots were also killed while hanging on his parachute.

redcoat
08-16-2007, 03:56 PM
Shooting at enemy pilots who are escaping from crashed aircraft, or baling out of damaged aircraft was not, in the rules of war then in existance, a war crime.

Panzerknacker
08-16-2007, 06:09 PM
Shooting at enemy pilots who are escaping from crashed aircraft, or baling out of damaged aircraft was not, in the rules of war then in existance, a war crime


And what about hanging on parachute ?

Digger
08-16-2007, 06:56 PM
I think you'll find once Allied fighter pilots were given permission for free hunt operations in early 1944, this type of stuff became common. Anything that was moving was shot up. However these tactics further helped to write down the Jagdwaffe as a fighting force.

Train busting was also popular and so effective losses of locomotives outstripped production of new locos. This placed further strain on the railway system and ultimately led to the strangulation of German transport.

Regards digger

Panzerknacker
08-16-2007, 07:14 PM
I think you'll find once Allied fighter pilots were given permission for free hunt operations in early 1944, this type of stuff became common. Anything that was moving was shot up. However these tactics further helped to write down the Jagdwaffe as a fighting force.


That is an ambiguous concept, destroying only the aircraft also do that without the need of such "ungentlemanly act"



Unlike the myths fostered in popular accounts of World War I, not all fighter pilots in World War II were "honorable Knights of the Air". Among the many reasons were human nature, pilots' discipline or lack thereof, and the "detachment" of mechanized war. Pilots of powerful aircraft were in a sense removed from seeing an enemy pilot being sawed in half by large caliber slugs or exploding cannon rounds. Bomber pilots could rarely see or know of the carnage they created when payloads hit targets.

It is well documented that some Allied pilots and even some aces shot at Axis pilots hanging in their parachutes, even as the Axis pilots shot at defenseless Allies. Some Polish pilots looked for cruel revenge after September 1939. The pilot of Pursuit Brigade (123. Eskadra), Corporal Eugeniusz Nowakiewicz battled in the French campaign of 1940 in with the Polish section of Groupe de Chasse II/7, led by Lt. Wladyslaw Goettel. On 4 June 1940, in Besancou area, Nowakiewicz succesfully attacked an He 111 and after crash landing he shot at the surviving German crew. On 15 June 1940, in Caumont-Toinville area, Nowakiewicz again got an enemy bomber, an Do 17 this time. Two German airmen bailed out, but the Polish fighter pilot killed one of them in the air, and the other second was 'shared' with French pilots after the crewman got to the ground.

In a later instance, an American Ninth Air Force ace of Polish ancestry shot an Me 262 Luftwaffe ace after destroying his jet. When the U.S. airman landed, he had his crew chief destroy the gun camera film. In a debriefing, the Squadron commander asked why the pilot (whose family had been killed by Germans) did what he did. The pilot explained that these were experten , the cream of the Luftwaffe crop. And if they were not killed, they'd simply reappear the very next day in another fighter, to kill more U. S. airmen.


http://www.elknet.pl/

redcoat
08-17-2007, 06:59 AM
And what about hanging on parachute ?
Again, according to the rules of war then in existance, it was perfectly legal to shoot him ( this was changed in the Hague Convention of 1947, it is now illegal to do so)

During WW2, the only time it was illegal to kill a uniformed member of the enemy forces, was if they were attempting to surrender, or they had already surrendered.

Didn't matter if they were armed or unarmed, baling out of a plane or running away from the battle, if they weren't surrendering, they could be killed, according to international law.

War is not 'nice'

Rising Sun*
08-17-2007, 07:13 AM
Kill the pilots, every chance you get.

They're more valuable than planes.

In the Battle of Britain, the risk to Britain was running out of pilots, not planes.

What's so terrible about shooting a pilot in a parachute versus strafing a road clogged with military and civilian traffic, or bombing a sleeping city?

At least shooting the dangling pilot confines it to a military target.

Man of Stoat
08-17-2007, 07:41 AM
I think you'll find that the "landing gear down" footage was largely not the planes attempting to surrender (by which time in any case surely the rules of TLC (Too Late, Chum) surely apply), but hydraulic failures caused by high velocity lead poisoning of various aircraft systems.

Panzerknacker
08-17-2007, 08:29 AM
What's so terrible about shooting a pilot in a parachute versus strafing a road clogged with military and civilian traffic, or bombing a sleeping city?

One thing is to kill a parachutist who descend arms in hand like the germans in Kreta or the allies in Arhem, but a pilot who is disarmed because had lost its weapon (the airplane)...Is a unaceptable behavior, as is strafing civilians. Unfortunately that also happen in WW2.



I think you'll find that the "landing gear down" footage was largely not the planes attempting to surrender

Of course it wasnt the case, I think the history of surrending in that way is a mith.

Just check the sec 30 to 33 here.

http://es.youtube.com/watch?v=_aqJwHdMDK0

Man of Stoat
08-17-2007, 09:07 AM
A pilot parachuting onto his home territory lives to fight another day. Seems like fair game to me.

By the way, German paratroopers did not jump with their weapons, they were crated and dropped separately. By your logic they are "disarmed".

Panzerknacker
08-17-2007, 09:11 AM
By the way, German paratroopers did not jump with their weapons, they were crated and dropped separately. By your logic they are "disarmed

No, they were not disarmed, they carry hand grenades and pistols.

Rising Sun*
08-17-2007, 10:22 AM
One thing is to kill a parachutist who descend arms in hand like the germans in Kreta or the allies in Arhem, but a pilot who is disarmed because had lost its weapon (the airplane)...Is a unaceptable behavior, as is strafing civilians. Unfortunately that also happen in WW2.

Of course it's unacceptable behaviour.

Everything that happens in war is.

We just choose to make some silly distinctions, so that some forms of murder are okay and others aren't, depending upon one's viewpoint.

Drake
08-17-2007, 01:10 PM
Art. 23.

In addition to the prohibitions provided by special Conventions, it is especially forbidden -

To employ poison or poisoned weapons;

To kill or wound treacherously individuals belonging to the hostile nation or army;

To kill or wound an enemy who, having laid down his arms, or having no longer means of defence, has surrendered at discretion;

etc.

Am I the only one who thinks this definatly applies to pilots on a chute?

redcoat
08-17-2007, 02:14 PM
Art. 23.

To kill or wound an enemy who, having laid down his arms, or having no longer means of defence, has surrendered at discretion;

etc.

Am I the only one who thinks this definatly applies to pilots on a chute?
Probably.
Because he hasn't surrendered, he's merely escaping from a damaged aircraft.
Once he's reached the ground, if he's in his own territory, and he's unwounded, he will return to his unit to fight again.
That isn't surrendering.

Drake
08-17-2007, 04:24 PM
Probably.
Because he hasn't surrendered, he's merely escaping from a damaged aircraft.
Once he's reached the ground, if he's in his own territory, and he's unwounded, he will return to his unit to fight again.
That isn't surrendering.

And he will surrender if he lands on enemy territory.

redcoat
08-17-2007, 04:39 PM
And he will surrender if he lands on enemy territory.
Or he may attempt to evade capture. either way he hasn't yet surrendered.

War is not nice

Panzerknacker
08-17-2007, 05:21 PM
Of course it's unacceptable behaviour.

Everything that happens in war is.

We just choose to make some silly distinctions, so that some forms of murder are okay and others aren't, depending upon one's viewpoint


Fortunately not all the pilots had you oversimplistic view of the fact of war, thanks god.




Art. 23.

In addition to the prohibitions provided by special Conventions, it is especially forbidden -

To employ poison or poisoned weapons;

To kill or wound treacherously individuals belonging to the hostile nation or army;

To kill or wound an enemy who, having laid down his arms, or having no longer means of defence, has surrendered at discretion;

etc.

Am I the only one who thinks this definatly applies to pilots on a chute?


You are not alone :rolleyes:

Drake
08-17-2007, 05:25 PM
.. he hasn't yet surrendered.


How could the shooter know? Did he ask while flying by?
The point is he has no means to defend himself anymore. This is one of the underlying principles of the whole convention, to protect certain minimum standards in such cases and even if it was not in expressis verbis in the covention (because it's about land warfare) it is at least a violation of the spirit of said article.

This is btw. precisely the silly distinction that RS mentioned, it's ok to kill the opponent as long as he could kill us is pretty much the fundamental for every soldier and the reason why most of them can justify their actions at all.
Every other killing is murder and has been regarded as such pretty much since the beginning of time. Your way of argument leads straight to the "Don't leave the kids alive, they could grow up to avenge their parents" path. After all they pose a potential future thread, just as the downed pilot. Or the POW, heck they could escape or be liberated and rearmed, shoot them straight away.

redcoat
08-17-2007, 05:58 PM
The point is he has no means to defend himself anymore.

That is totally irrelevant. Being unarmed gave you no greater protection.






This is one of the underlying principles of the whole convention, to protect certain minimum standards in such cases and even if it was not in expressis verbis in the covention (because it's about land warfare) it is at least a violation of the spirit of said article.
Sorry, but its a violation of nothing.
The conventions were quite clear on what was illegal


This is btw. precisely the silly distinction that RS mentioned, it's ok to kill the opponent as long as he could kill us is pretty much the fundamental for every soldier and the reason why most of them can justify their actions at all.
Every other killing is murder and has been regarded as such pretty much since the beginning of time. Your way of argument leads straight to the "Don't leave the kids alive, they could grow up to avenge their parents" path. After all they pose a potential future thread, just as the downed pilot. Or the POW, heck they could escape or be liberated and rearmed, shoot them straight away.
The laws on the killing of civilans and members of the uniformed armed services were quite different, with civilian's having far greater protection under international law.

You seem to have a romantic view of how war should be conducted, a view that doesn't correspond to the laws of war then in place.

Digger
08-17-2007, 05:58 PM
When Goring sounded Galland out whether Allied pilots should be strafed after bailing out, Galland was horrified and replied it went against the morals of the Jagdwaffe. Goring agreed as the suggestion was originally asked by Hitler.

Galland claims there was no further broaching of the subject. However he was aware of instances of Jagdwaffe pilots shooting at parachuting aircrew. It was not a widespread practice, nor was it with the Allied air forces, but it did happen.

Regards digger

Drake
08-17-2007, 06:31 PM
That is totally irrelevant. Being unarmed gave you no greater protection.


Sorry, but its a violation of nothing.
The conventions were quite clear on what was illegal


The laws on the killing of civilans and members of the uniformed armed services were quite different, with civilian's having far greater protection under international law.

You seem to have a romantic view of how war should be conducted, a view that doesn't correspond to the laws of war then in place.

It is obvious you don't know anything about the actual application of law, as it nearly never covers the actual case.
The funny part is you probably never even read the Hague convention as it states:

According to the views of the High Contracting Parties, these provisions, the wording of which has been inspired by the desire to diminish the evils of war, as far as military requirements permit, are intended to serve as a general rule of conduct for the belligerents in their mutual relations and in their relations with the inhabitants.

It has not, however, been found possible at present to concert regulations covering all the circumstances which arise in practice;

On the other hand, the High Contracting Parties clearly do not intend that unforeseen cases should, in the absence of a written undertaking, be left to the arbitrary judgment of military commanders.

Until a more complete code of the laws of war has been issued, the High Contracting Parties deem it expedient to declare that, in cases not included in the Regulations adopted by them, the inhabitants and the belligerents remain under the protection and the rule of the principles of the law of nations, as they result from the usages established among civilized peoples, from the laws of humanity, and the dictates of the public conscience.

redcoat
08-17-2007, 06:40 PM
Believe what you want to believe Drake, but until you find me evidence that the shooting of an unarmed member of the enemies armed forces is illegal, merely because he's unarmed . I will stand by my statement.

ps, Here's the rules of war for you to read ;)

http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/lawofwar/lawwar.htm

Drake
08-17-2007, 07:05 PM
I already did.
As far as I know it is illegal in any country to kill a person who has no means to harm you. As the specific case of the chuting pilot is not covered en detail by the convention the national law of the belligerent applies. For that law the pilot is merely a guy in odd clothing who has been shot.

redcoat
08-17-2007, 08:33 PM
I already did.
As far as I know it is illegal in any country to kill a person who has no means to harm you.
With civilians that is indeed the case.



As the specific case of the chuting pilot is not covered en detail by the convention the national law of the belligerent applies. For that law the pilot is merely a guy in odd clothing who has been shot.
No. The person is a uniformed member of an enemies forces, therefore he is not covered by the civilian code of law.

Is it illegal to drop bombs on enemy troops even if they have no weapons capable of defending themselves with?

Is it illegal to bombard second-line troops even if they are unarmed ?

Is it illegal to shot down an unarmed enemy forces cargo plane ?

Do I have to go on with more examples that show that your statement that it is illegal to kill an unarmed enemy, is not based on fact

Panzerknacker
08-17-2007, 11:38 PM
I am not a lawer, I cant say for sure it was illegal.

But I know for sure one thing:
There was a code of ethics ( I dont know if that is the proper word) or unwriten law between the Britons and the germans in 1939-43, and that code was no to shoot a pilot who escaped from a wrecked airplane.

Just look at the case of Douglas Bader who bailed out and was nearly welcomed by the Luftwaffe pilots in the ground. The same could be said about several german pilots who escaped above the British mainland in the Battle of England and landed unhurted.

Perhaps the increase strain imposed by the allied bombings and the escalade in the need of retribution in 1944-45 could explain the behavior of some german pilots killing some allied aircrewman ( if was some case, I am sure there must some some incident like that)..but, about the cases strafing a already defeated pilot by part of the U.S.A.A.F fighter pilots....well...maybe there was no codes between the americans and germans.

Unfortunately the USAAF broke that unwriten laws, not once but several times.

http://i15.tinypic.com/63vrpg5.jpg

Rising Sun*
08-18-2007, 04:54 AM
Is it illegal to drop bombs on enemy troops even if they have no weapons capable of defending themselves with?

Is it illegal to bombard second-line troops even if they are unarmed ?

Is it illegal to shot down an unarmed enemy forces cargo plane ?

Do I have to go on with more examples that show that your statement that it is illegal to kill an unarmed enemy, is not based on fact

Exactly.

I think those arguing for the 'moral' view of war conduct are objecting because it's unsporting rather than illegal or not justifiable in pursuit of victory.

We all draw arbitrary lines on what we regard as acceptable and unacceptable conduct.

In war, they often don't make a lot of sense, particularly when judged against the basic aim, which is to win, and the basic method, which is to kill and maim the enemy until he surrenders.

What would those objecting to shooting the parachuting pilot say about shooting in these situations.

1. Enemy plane drops wheels in apparent surrender (or maybe controls damaged - who knows?)

2. Enemy fighter still flying, with visibly badly wounded pilot struggling to maintain consciousness.

3. Bomber has all gun turrets out of action; has jettisoned bombs harmlessly before reaching target; has turned back towards base; but is still flying. The pilots in it are analogous to a pilot in a parachute, except they're in a plane.

4. British pilot parachutes and lands successfully in Britain; returns to base; and is running to a new plane on an airfield being strafed by the Germans. Or vice versa. Is he a legitimate target on the airfield? If so, why wasn't he between the time he parachuted and the time he was about to fly another plane? If not, when does he become one? Why? What changes his status?

5. Same situation as in 3, except the strafing aircraft will hit non-combatants like mechanics, who have no means to defend themselves. Are they legitimate targets? If not, why not?

Drake
08-18-2007, 07:42 AM
With civilians that is indeed the case.

No. The person is a uniformed member of an enemies forces, therefore he is not covered by the civilian code of law.



Until a more complete code of the laws of war has been issued, the High Contracting Parties deem it expedient to declare that, in cases not included in the Regulations adopted by them, the inhabitants and the belligerents remain under the protection and the rule of the principles of the law of nations, as they result from the usages established among civilized peoples, from the laws of humanity, and the dictates of the public conscience.

READ IT, UNDERSTAND IT and then write again and btw. to qualify as a combatant one has to carry arms openly, if there are no arms he does no longer count as a combatant, but non combatant member of enemies armed forces.




Is it illegal to drop bombs on enemy troops even if they have no weapons capable of defending themselves with?


If they happen to be in a town it is definatly illegal, even covered by the bombardment (although it was intended for artillery bombardment) section of the hague convention.



Is it illegal to bombard second-line troops even if they are unarmed ?


See above



Is it illegal to shot down an unarmed enemy forces cargo plane ?


Not covered, though the cargo plane has a similarity with cargo ships, i guess you could look in that section for how it should be dealt. And I guess this also depends on where the plane is, if it is in his own countries, neutral or enemy air space.



Do I have to go on with more examples that show that your statement that it is illegal to kill an unarmed enemy, is not based on fact

Your examples are completely useless in the context, as we are still talking about pilots on a rope. They are different situations and would have to be dealt with independantly of this topic.

My points are the very reason they included this specific point explicitly in the later additions, but it can be even derived from the then existing rulebook.

Rising Sun*
08-18-2007, 08:03 AM
There is an unstated assumption in much of this discussion that parachuting pilots were unarmed.

Pilots often carried pistols.

A pilot hanging from a parachute with a pistol had a rather better chance of destroying an attacking plane than a rifleman facing a tank.

Should tanks not shoot at riflemen?

Drake
08-18-2007, 08:32 AM
There is an unstated assumption in much of this discussion that parachuting pilots were unarmed.

Pilots often carried pistols.

A pilot hanging from a parachute with a pistol had a rather better chance of destroying an attacking plane than a rifleman facing a tank.

Should tanks not shoot at riflemen?

A pilot + 9mm pistol vs. fighter plane is unarmed. He is completely incapable of inflicting damage. This changes again if he lands and a squad of GI approaches, as he poses a thread to them, they sure as hell may shoot.
But even then, most german pilots didn't carry sidearms, as the cockpit of the me109 for example was very cramped and they had difficulties gettin out with the additional package.

The tank is usually not alone, so his killing the infantryman saves the lives of his surrounding support troops, again very different situation, they are in actual combat.

In every case of self defence (defence of others) there is the principle of proportionality. You are not allowed to blast someone out of his shoes with an assault rifle, if he approaches you with a spoon (at least in europe).
Another basic principle is that the threat has to be contemporary. These are fundamentals of law for centuries and they too were principles upon which the convention was built

Rising Sun*
08-18-2007, 09:14 AM
A pilot + 9mm pistol vs. fighter plane is unarmed. He is completely incapable of inflicting damage.

No, he is armed. Just inadequately.

But not without hope. Here's one case of a plane being brought down by a single round of .303, which is only 7.62mm even if it's a rifle rather than pistol round

http://home.st.net.au/~dunn/nt39.htm

And another one

http://net.lib.byu.edu/~rdh7/wwi/comment/richt.htm

The latter was by shooting the pilot.

Was it wrong to shoot the pilot rather than the plane?


The tank is usually not alone, so his killing the infantryman saves the lives of his surrounding support troops, again very different situation, they are in actual combat.

There's a lot to dispute in that in a real war, but even if we take it as stated what's the difference between killing a rifleman with no hope of defending himself against a tank to save the lives of the tank's side and doing the same with a parachuting pilot? They both happen in combat. They both advantage the killer's side.

What's the difference between shooting a parachuting pilot and grinding weapon pits and the men in them with tank tracks?

Do the men in the weapon pits have a better chance than the pilots?


In every case of self defence (defence of others) there is the principle of proportionality. You are not allowed to blast someone out of his shoes with an assault rifle, if he approaches you with a spoon (at least in europe).
Another basic principle is that the threat has to be contemporary. These are fundamentals of law for centuries and they too were principles upon which the convention was built

That sounds like the standard principles of self defence in civil law. Those principles have nothing to do with war. If they applied in war, your justification for the tank killing the rifleman would evaporate. The tank crew would be guilty of a war crime, because of the lack of a contemporary threat to them and their disproportionate response.

markvs
08-19-2007, 03:51 AM
You guys are seemingly ignoring the more personal side of the humanity of the pilots concerned.
If I had many of my buddies, family and cooleages killed nby enemy pilots, I would surely not bother to check if he was or not surrendering I would just blast him, to stop him doing it again.

Drake
08-19-2007, 06:21 AM
No, he is armed. Just inadequately.

But not without hope. Here's one case of a plane being brought down by a single round of .303, which is only 7.62mm even if it's a rifle rather than pistol round



Besides the fact that a 7,62mm rifle round is several times as powerful as a 9mm pistol round how on earth is a person hanging in a chute falling 3m/s suppossed to hit a fighter plane which moves with more than 200m/s in all directions with usually 9 bullets. Did you ever shoot a P38 or Luger? You are already lucky to hit sth as big as a plane at 100 m while standing still. The chance of damage or even a hit is so abysmal, your chance to get hit by a lightning several times in a row is definatly higher. The fact that a plane has been brought down by a single round of X thousand shot into the air by infantry has nothing to do with the pilot. The pilot is as armed as a peasant carrying his pocket knife when approaching a squad of GI. They should obviously shoot him immediatly, as he is a civilian who has taken up arms.




http://home.st.net.au/~dunn/nt39.htm

And another one

http://net.lib.byu.edu/~rdh7/wwi/comment/richt.htm

The latter was by shooting the pilot.

Was it wrong to shoot the pilot rather than the plane?


I just saw it was a japanese plane, famous for their superior armor. And omg Richthofen you got to be kidding me, not even the same war. And he was in his plane, do you want to tell me it was a targeted shot at the pilot, rofl, they were shooting at the plane. Even the 20mm AA were no longer capable of seriously threatening the fighterbombers with ground fire late in the war in europe.



There's a lot to dispute in that in a real war, but even if we take it as stated what's the difference between killing a rifleman with no hope of defending himself against a tank to save the lives of the tank's side and doing the same with a parachuting pilot? They both happen in combat. They both advantage the killer's side.

What's the difference between shooting a parachuting pilot and grinding weapon pits and the men in them with tank tracks?

Do the men in the weapon pits have a better chance than the pilots?

That sounds like the standard principles of self defence in civil law. Those principles have nothing to do with war. If they applied in war, your justification for the tank killing the rifleman would evaporate. The tank crew would be guilty of a war crime, because of the lack of a contemporary threat to them and their disproportionate response.

Lol, did you read my extract from the hague convention. Civil law DOES apply to the pilots situation. And the pilot is no thread to anyone at that moment.

Btw, the infantryman is a HUGE thread to the tank crew, he only needs to climb on top of it and throw a grenade into a hatch or shoot in it. The thread is not to the vehicle but the crew. Now tell me how you want to compare that to the pilot. This is just an idiotic example and like I already stated a completely different situation. And usually the tank wouldn't use the main gun to shoot the infantry but his mg.

Rising Sun*
08-19-2007, 08:37 AM
Besides the fact that a 7,62mm rifle round is several times as powerful as a 9mm pistol round how on earth is a person hanging in a chute falling 3m/s suppossed to hit a fighter plane which moves with more than 200m/s in all directions with usually 9 bullets.

No idea.

He's armed.

He needs to use his initiative.

That's what he's paid for.

He's in a lot better position than a rifleman facing a tank that can move at 30 mph + with lots and lots of big and little bullets and no risk of the crew being hit by the rifleman's hugely powerful 7.62mm or thereabouts weapon. Or .50 cal or mortars or grenades or, a lot of the time, various anti-tank weapons.

The fact that it's a lousy chance for the pilot, and rifleman, doesn't matter.

Both have a better chance than an unarmed cargo plane shot down by a fighter, or a merchant ship torpedoed by a submarine, or countless other instances of an unequal fight.



Did you ever shoot a P38 or Luger?

No.

I don't think that the American P38 Lightning fighter was in Australian service by the time I was in uniform. Even if it was, we would have got into a lot of trouble for shooting our own planes.

Ahh, I should have read past P38 before answering. I see you mean a Walther P38 and Luger pistol.

The 2nd AIF didn’t capture enough pistols from Rommel to go around. If the Italians had had them we might have got enough to go around, and in perfect unused condition, too.

I had to make do with the US Army M1911 .45 pistol and Webley .45 revolver, and other odds and sods.


You are already lucky to hit sth as big as a plane at 100 m while standing still.

Well, that’s a revelation.

I didn’t realise they could actually go that far.

Nobody I knew could hit anything much past 25 metres, and often not too reliably at that range.



Btw, the infantryman is a HUGE thread to the tank crew, he only needs to climb on top of it and throw a grenade into a hatch or shoot in it.

HUGE???

A threat??

Maybe in movies.

There’s a reason the crew can lock the hatches down.

Depending upon tank design, poking a muzzle into a driver's vision slit while sitting on the hull mightn’t be that easy, either, with the main barrel depressed and the turret rotating.

As for “only needs to climb on top of it”, have you ever been on an armoured vehicle of any type firing .30 or .50 MG? I have. A rifleman as exposed to that fire as a pilot in a chute is has a lot less chance of survival than the pilot being fired at by a plane. Armoured vehicles aren't gun platforms that constantly move in three axes.

Also, even if infantry get on top of a tank, the odds are that another tank will deal with them. That’s one reason they carry canister. Takes a bit of paint off the tank, along with everyone standing outside it.


The thread is not to the vehicle but the crew. Now tell me how you want to compare that to the pilot. This is just an idiotic example and like I already stated a completely different situation.

Okay.

Here’s another idiotic example for comparison.

The tank is disabled.

The crew flee from it. Unarmed. Some wounded, some on fire, some both.

They are in exactly the same or worse situation as the parachuting pilot, fleeing a disabled vehicle and trying to get to cover before they’re shot.

Normally they are shot, or shot at, as they come out of the tank.

Do you think they shouldn’t be?

If not, why are they legitimate targets but not the pilot?


And usually the tank wouldn't use the main gun to shoot the infantry but his mg.

You think so?

What did they use canister for in WWII and subsequently? It has absolutely no use for anything but anti-personnel purposes. EDIT Sorry, forgot, also very good for clearing fire lanes in scrub etc.

Guess how the Australians and maybe Americans, used armour piercing rounds as anti-personnel in Vietnam, and very effectively too.

Anyway, a GPMG against a rifleman is an unequal fight.



Lol, did you read my extract from the hague convention. Civil law DOES apply to the pilots situation. And the pilot is no thread to anyone at that moment.

I’m not clear on what you’re referring to.

Are you referring to this extract at your post #28?


Until a more complete code of the laws of war has been issued, the High Contracting Parties deem it expedient to declare that, in cases not included in the Regulations adopted by them, the inhabitants and the belligerents remain under the protection and the rule of the principles of the law of nations, as they result from the usages established among civilized peoples, from the laws of humanity, and the dictates of the public conscience.

If so, where does it say anything about civil law applying to combatants?


I note that nobody has bothered to answer the questions I posed earlier at #27. Doesn’t someone want to have a go at them?

Man of Stoat
08-20-2007, 02:31 AM
If Drake were right, all the infantry would need to do to win every battle is to go in to the attack unarmed, since then it would be illegal for the defenders to shoot at them lol!

Egorka
08-20-2007, 05:08 AM
Yes, psycic attack! Get up, march forward and hug the enemy!

Rising Sun*
08-20-2007, 06:01 AM
If Drake were right, all the infantry would need to do to win every battle is to go in to the attack unarmed, since then it would be illegal for the defenders to shoot at them lol!

What if the defenders dropped their arms?

Can you have a nil all draw in war?

What if one of the unarmed sides broke whatever the Hague Convention says by being supposedly defenceless yet, say, giving the enemy the heel of their palms under the chin or nose, or getting behind them with a hand on their chin and a quick twist, or kicking them to death? Sort of like a silent commando raid against armed troops.

Would this get them thrown out of the war for unsportsmanlike behaviour?

Or would they just be the winners? Defenceless and disarmed though they were.

k-otic
08-20-2007, 09:42 AM
For me it is still murder ... you know passing four or six times with your wingman over the crashed airplane just to be sure you have killed everyone of the crew members is some sort of pervert

but Rising Sun is right with the tank-crew which abandon their crippled tank
most of them were killed doing so, but there were no one who filmed it

I`ll post the guncemera footage as soon as i`ve the time ...

Drake
08-20-2007, 09:47 AM
You guys have such sharp minds ... awesome!
Why bother with arguments on the subject when you can just continue to throw
lousy (at best) analogies to "prove" your point.

mike M.
08-20-2007, 12:50 PM
And last but not least attacks on civil trains, the American pilots didn`t go for the train no they chasing the passangers over the fields
they just puffing into a clout of blood, dust and body parts when they get hit by one of the cal.50 rounds :roll:




I`ll post the guncemera footage as soon as i`ve the time ...

Interesting topic Kotic, Yes please do. I would love to see this footage you talk about. I have seen lots of gun camera footage but have never seen anything like what you mention above.

Panzerknacker
08-20-2007, 01:12 PM
but Rising Sun is right with the tank-crew which abandon their crippled tank
most of them were killed doing so, but there were no one who filmed it

Actually sometime it was.

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=3400216787641857936&q=pershing+panther


But is not the same, sometimes the tank crewmen bailed with handheld antitank weapons, so still was a menace for the armored vehicle and a creditable target for destruction.

I insist in my idea, to kill a pilot in a parachute is illegal, horrific and unethical, I dont care if somebody would be lawfully punished or not, but is not fair and shouldnt be taken lightly as a simple "fact of war", there is no justification whatsoever.

Rising Sun*
08-20-2007, 03:43 PM
You guys have such sharp minds ... awesome!
Why bother with arguments on the subject when you can just continue to throw
lousy (at best) analogies to "prove" your point.

I asked you a specific question at the end of #34 which bears upon your basic argument about the Hague Convention.

How about answering it instead of making empty comments like the quoted one that add nothing to a rational discussion?

redcoat
08-20-2007, 03:58 PM
I insist in my idea, to kill a pilot in a parachute is illegal, horrific and unethical, I dont care if somebody would be lawfully punished or not, but is not fair and shouldnt be taken lightly as a simple "fact of war", there is no justification whatsoever.
That is your personal viewpoint, and it is one that I have sympathy with, and the majority of Allied and German pilots took the same view, but the legal standpoint is that it wasn't a crime despite what Drake claims ( if it was already a crime why the need to make it one in the 1947 treaty ?)

Dowding the commander of Fighter Command during the Battle Of Britain was once asked at a dinner by Churchill, what his views were on the shooting of pilots who had baled out was.
Dowding stated that in his view it was acceptable on morale grounds to shoot any pilot who had baled out over his own territory as he remained a future threat, but that it was unacceptable to shoot any pilot who was bailling out over his enemies territory as he would become a prisoner and therefore was not a future threat.

Drake
08-20-2007, 05:38 PM
§ 137. Difference between what we have a right to do and what is barely allowed to be done with impunity between enemies.

The lawfulness of the end does not give us a real right to any thing further than barely the means necessary for the attainment of that end. Whatever we do beyond that, is reprobated by the law of nature, is faulty, and condemnable at the tribunal of conscience. Hence it is that the right to such or such acts of hostility varies according to circumstances. What is just and perfectly innocent in war, in one particular situation, is not always so on other occasions. Right goes hand in hand with necessity and the exigency of the case, but never exceeds them. ...

§ 140. Limits of this right.

But the very manner in which the right to kill our enemies is proved, points out the limits of that right. On an enemy's submitting and laying down his arms, we cannot with justice take away his life. Thus, in a battle, quarter is to be given to those who lay down their arms; ...

§ 148. The right of making prisoners of war.

But all those enemies thus subdued or disarmed, whom the principles of humanity oblige him to spare, — all those persons belonging to the opposite party, (even the women and children,) he may lawfully secure and make prisoners, either with a view to prevent them from taking up arms again, or for the purpose of weakening the enemy (§ 138) ...

___________

As you see, you don't need to be in captivity to be considered to have laid down your arms. A pilot who abandoned his machine in aerial combat has submitted in this battle. Not even to mention that they might be injured, etc.

Rising Sun*
08-20-2007, 07:45 PM
137. Difference between what we have a right to do and what is barely allowed to be done with impunity between enemies.

The lawfulness of the end does not give us a real right to any thing further than barely the means necessary for the attainment of that end. Whatever we do beyond that, is reprobated by the law of nature, is faulty, and condemnable at the tribunal of conscience. Hence it is that the right to such or such acts of hostility varies according to circumstances. What is just and perfectly innocent in war, in one particular situation, is not always so on other occasions. Right goes hand in hand with necessity and the exigency of the case, but never exceeds them. ...

140. Limits of this right.

But the very manner in which the right to kill our enemies is proved, points out the limits of that right. On an enemy's submitting and laying down his arms, we cannot with justice take away his life. Thus, in a battle, quarter is to be given to those who lay down their arms; ...

148. The right of making prisoners of war.

But all those enemies thus subdued or disarmed, whom the principles of humanity oblige him to spare, all those persons belonging to the opposite party, (even the women and children,) he may lawfully secure and make prisoners, either with a view to prevent them from taking up arms again, or for the purpose of weakening the enemy ( 138) ...

___________

As you see, you don't need to be in captivity to be considered to have laid down your arms. A pilot who abandoned his machine in aerial combat has submitted in this battle. Not even to mention that they might be injured, etc.

Quoting an unattributed source doesn't help, and it's particularly unhelpful as it's from Emmerich de Vattel's Law of Nations published in 1758, about one and a half centuries before aeroplanes were even invented, let alone used in war. It was published 25 years before the Montgolfier brothers got the first hot air balloon off the ground. Vattel didn't turn his mind to the issue of aerial warfare and shooting pilots in parachutes or fleeing crashed aircraft.

If we're going to go back to irrelevant earlier periods, why not pick the medieval period when noble prisoners could be ransomed and the rest killed or enslaved?

You still haven't demonstrated how civil law applies as you previously asserted.

Your persistent avoidance of the issue by raising other issues suggests you can't demonstrate your point.

redcoat
08-21-2007, 06:34 AM
§ 140. Limits of this right.

But the very manner in which the right to kill our enemies is proved, points out the limits of that right. On an enemy's submitting and laying down his arms, we cannot with justice take away his life. Thus, in a battle, quarter is to be given to those who lay down their arms; ...


The expression 'lay down their arms' is an old fashioned term for the act of surrendering. Pilots baling out of their aircraft are not surrendering, just attempting to escape from a deadly situation.
s

Rising Sun*
08-21-2007, 07:51 AM
What's the difference between shooting at an armed pilot and an armed paratrooper when they're both descending in parachutes?

Nobody waited for paratroopers to hit the ground before firing at them.

Are pilots a protected species?

Nickdfresh
08-21-2007, 08:36 AM
I was looking through of some gun camera footage from the 8th fighter comand over germany dated 1944/45 the other day and some of the footage did show some really odd stuff
About 30 of them show American pilots attacking german fighter planes and bombers they crippled them so the german pilots have to crash-land the planes.
After the crash the American pilots are going for the pilots chasing them mercilessly like rabbits over the fields.
There are also footage that shows german fighter/bomber planes that put out their landing gear in mids air, normally a sign of surrender in air combat, but still get shot mercilessly with amything the American pilot has.
And last but not least attacks on civil trains, the American pilots didn`t go for the train no they chasing the passangers over the fields
they just puffing into a clout of blood, dust and body parts when they get hit by one of the cal.50 rounds :roll:

my question is, was that a given order or shows this only action by some pervert individuals?

I'd like to know where you saw this footage...

And yes, American fighter pilots could be ruthless bastards like everyone else. And as far as "surrender (an aircraft) in mid-air," this is quite silly. One must insure the destruction of the aircraft. If the pilot wants to surrender, then he should bail out!

One personal acedote on this - my family was friends with a retired priest (an MBA type that ran the Buffalo parochial [Catholic diocese] school system for a while). When he was younger, in the mid-1950s, he had relatives in Germany that he visted. One of the sons about his age was a former Luftwaffe pilot that wanted nothing to do with the "American pigs." Apparently, he held a grudge for his rough treatment at the hands of US soldiers after he was shot down.:D

So who knows?

In any case, I doubt strafing civilians was very common as P-51/P-47 pilots probably had better things to blow up. And as far as surrendering aircraft still airborne, there was a recent History Channel episode of "Dogfights" that featured the P-47. On of the stories shown was about a pilot whose P-47 was badly shot up during a chaotic mass-dogfight between Me-109s and P-47s circa 1944 I believe. He shot down two, I think, and then had his engine peppered by one of several FW-190s joining the fight. Engine oil began spewing all over his cockpit window and he began to smoke, so he had no choice but to try to hightail it out of there - with an FW-190 in tow. The Luftwaffe pilot followed him for some miles, firing on him and trying to 'finish him off.' Twice, the Luftwaffe pilot pulled his FW-190 up parallel to the P-47 and smiled and waved, then dropped back to continue firing. Fortunately, due to the ruggedness of the P-47, the FW-190 ran out of ammo before and pulled up one final time to saluted, then peeled off. The USAAF pilot made it back to base safety before his engine seized shortly after landing.

Of course, the FW-190 pilot was probably giving him a chance to "surrender" by bailing out. But, the P-47 aviator probably thought he had a better chance of getting out alive by staying with his airplane. In any case, he was under no illusions about "putting down his landing gear".:D

"Kill or be killed!"

Drake
08-21-2007, 08:39 AM
You still haven't demonstrated how civil law applies as you previously asserted.

Your persistent avoidance of the issue by raising other issues suggests you can't demonstrate your point.

Well, law is like a layer cake as you might know. As civil law determines the relationships among persons and/or legal entities it always applies in the legal sphere of a nation (such as its air space) and is merely superceded or better overruled by "higher" law in the case of conflict of law. A good example of that concept is for example that here in hassia the death penalty is still legal but this is overruled by federal law, which states it is not, so they never bothered to change it. Same goes here, the international law provides protection to the soldiers for their actions in combat should they meet certain requirements, meaning follow the rules of engagement. You seem to be under the impression that international law generally allowed soldiers to kill everything that moves, if not mentioned otherwise, which is the wrong concept from the very beginning.
They were allowed to kill under protection of law if certain conditions were met. That's the basic principle of the law of war and the explicit mentioning of certain things is just a double check. And I quoted de Vattel for the same reason: principles. Hague states the principles of law of nations should apply in cases not covered and de Vattel is the foundation of the law of nations, it's principles clearly visible in said articles and these principles can even fly. And both legal works are basically screaming: you are not allowed to kill persons who don't have the means to defend themselves, who are injured or otherwise in an extraordinary situation in which they have other things to do than to fight, for example if they are shipwrecked. Of course it is interpretation, but law is not an exact science. But it becomes obvious, that you wouldn't accept any other article than something like that:

You are not allowed to shoot a pilot bailed from a me109 on a monday morning 9:00 am over southern germany, if you happen to be in a p51.

@redcoat: what is your definition of a surrender, i already made it obvious, that it has nothing to do with captivity.

And for the Paratroopers, they engage in combat, the pilot leaves the combat.
I already pointed out, that every situation needs to be evaluated on its own.

Nickdfresh
08-21-2007, 09:10 AM
Well, law is like a layer cake as you might know. As civil law determines the relationships among persons and/or legal entities it always applies in the legal sphere of a nation (such as its air space) and is merely superceded or better overruled by "higher" law in the case of conflict of law...You are not allowed to shoot a pilot bailed from a me109 on a monday morning 9:00 am over southern germany, if you happen to be in a p51.

...

Perhaps, perhaps not. But who was going to enforce this law? The Third Reich?

I'm sure there were varying opinions among American/Allied pilots shooting at Luftwaffe pilots-turned-parachutists. Some probably abhorred it (as I think I would have). Some probably witnessed ruthless actions or heard rumors of Luftwaffe pilots butchering shot up allied aviators...

It's tough to judge them in any case...

Drake
08-21-2007, 09:24 AM
I never said it would only apply to allied pilots, germans shooting bailing allied pilots are criminals as well imho. But even in war the concept: The other one did it as well doesn't help when it comes to law. It is understandable from an emotional point of view.

Enforcing is on a completely different page. Even today you couldn't enforce anything for example against US soldiers, as the US gov thinks foreign rules should only apply to others. I could easily sue a US soldier in a german court if he hit me in a bar, wouldn't get much out of it though. I'd have to rely on american jurisdiction in that case afaik. Funny part is I think de jure germany is still in a state of war with the US, as there was never a peace treaty, but only an unconditional surrender of the armed forces of the german reich, though the legal status of the FRG in relation to the Reich is unclear, think the specialist are still arguing on that :D.

redcoat
08-21-2007, 01:49 PM
@redcoat: what is your definition of a surrender, i already made it obvious, that it has nothing to do with captivity.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Surrender_%28military%29

Throwing away your weapons and running away is not surrendering.

Drake
08-21-2007, 03:37 PM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Surrender_%28military%29

Throwing away your weapons and running away is not surrendering.

And how would you expect a pilot to surrender to the other pilot?

redcoat
08-21-2007, 04:01 PM
And how would you expect a pilot to surrender to the other pilot?
He can't because the other pilot cannot take him prisoner.

War is not nice

Rising Sun*
08-21-2007, 09:16 PM
Well, law is like a layer cake as you might know. As civil law determines the relationships among persons and/or legal entities it always applies in the legal sphere of a nation (such as its air space) and is merely superceded or better overruled by "higher" law in the case of conflict of law. A good example of that concept is for example that here in hassia the death penalty is still legal but this is overruled by federal law, which states it is not, so they never bothered to change it. Same goes here, the international law provides protection to the soldiers for their actions in combat should they meet certain requirements, meaning follow the rules of engagement. You seem to be under the impression that international law generally allowed soldiers to kill everything that moves, if not mentioned otherwise, which is the wrong concept from the very beginning.
They were allowed to kill under protection of law if certain conditions were met. That's the basic principle of the law of war and the explicit mentioning of certain things is just a double check. And I quoted de Vattel for the same reason: principles. Hague states the principles of law of nations should apply in cases not covered and de Vattel is the foundation of the law of nations, it's principles clearly visible in said articles and these principles can even fly. And both legal works are basically screaming: you are not allowed to kill persons who don't have the means to defend themselves, who are injured or otherwise in an extraordinary situation in which they have other things to do than to fight, for example if they are shipwrecked. Of course it is interpretation, but law is not an exact science. But it becomes obvious, that you wouldn't accept any other article than something like that:

You are not allowed to shoot a pilot bailed from a me109 on a monday morning 9:00 am over southern germany, if you happen to be in a p51.

If civil law is to apply to acts in war, you have to establish all the elements for it to apply.

The first element is jurisdiction of the civil court trying the offence. Jurisdiction is essentially territorial, with extensions to flagged vessels and various, sometimes debatable, territorial waters. A country cannot try people outside its jurisdictional limits. Australia and Japan had no civil jurisdiction for acts committed by or against their men in Malaya or Thailand or the Netherlands East Indies, any more than Britain or Germany had civil jurisdiction for acts committed by or against their men in Yugoslavia or Greece.

The second element is that the offence must be known to the civil law. The only offence applicable to shooting a parachuting or downed pilot is murder. Applying civil criminal offences to war, desirable though it may be from humanitarian or moral viewpoints, is impossible and leads to absurd results judged against what is generally acceptable in war. Civil criminal law never allows acts of aggression, be they minor assaults or murder. If those principles applied in war, it would be impossible ever to attack the enemy. The downed pilot, if he had initiated combat, would in fact be guilty of attempted murder as would the enemy pilot shooting at him as he descended in his parachute or tried to flee his crashed plane The only relevant concept in civil criminal law is self-defence, which is limited to a proportionate response to imminent life-threatening circumstances. If individual soldiers, sailors and airmen were limited to acting only in defence of themselves, others near them, and their property, then they would always have to wait for the attack, which would give the advantage to the attacking side which is breaking the law by attempting to murder them. There is just no place for civil criminal concepts in war.

The third element is that there is no offence unless a court rules that one has occurred. Given the show trials in Germany and the USSR which upheld the wishes of those dominant in the ruling parties, there was no prospect that any German or Soviet pilot was going to be found guilty by one of their courts for anything they did. Conversely, a predictably different approach could be expected where enemy pilots were involved, as with Japan trying under civil law and executing American bomber crew in 1945 for bombing Japan. Oddly enough, the Japanese have never prosecuted one of their servicemen for doing anything equivalent, despite millions of events which could have allowed it.

I would have thought that Grotius, who published On the Laws of War and Peace in 1625, some 135 years before Vattel, is more widely regarded as the founding source of texts on the modern law of nations. In both cases they are merely collators and commentators on international law, not the sources of it. The source of international law is, and always has been, the customs, practices and treaties of nations.

The 1922-23 Hague Rules of Air Warfare provided

ARTICLE XX
When an aircraft has been disabled, the occupants when endeavoring to escape by means of parachute must not be attacked in the course of their descent.

The problem is, those Rules were never adopted. This signifies that nations did not agree that it was the law of nations at the time as there would have been no obstacle to a convention on which there was international agreement. So, it was not the law of nations during WWII that descending pilots could not be shot at.

This position altered in 1977 with the introduction of Article 42 of a Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts (Protocol 1)

Article 42.-Occupants of aircraft
1. No person parachuting from an aircraft in distress shall be made the object of attack during his descent.
2. Upon reaching the ground in territory controlled by an adverse Party, a person who has parachuted from an aircraft in distress shall be given an opportunity to surrender before being made the object of attack, unless it is apparent that he is engaging in a hostile act.
3. Airborne troops are not protected by this Article.

However, it has not been ratified by all nations. Check the list of ratifications for some interesting absences. http://www.icrc.org/ihl.nsf/WebSign?ReadForm&id=470&ps=P

As for airborne troops, the absurdity of the provision is that if half a planeload get out before the plane is disabled then they're legitimate targets, and so are the others parachuting "in distress", but the aircrew even if armed aren't. And what about the jumpmaster? Is he a legitimate target or not? What if he's a member of the airborne troops who wasn't going to jump? Does he get a big flag to fly for the enemy aircraft saying "I may look like a paratrooper, but I'm really aircrew descending in distress." What about paratroopers wounded in the plane? Are they jumping 'in distress'? Not easy to work out at a few hundred mph or from 5,000 feet below. What about firing into the paratroopers with aircrew among them? Right or wrong? And so it goes on, with no clarity and no great sense.

Chevan
08-22-2007, 05:28 AM
Sorry guys but it's funny to read this thread.
WTF the shoting of the pilots if the Nazy killed a thousands of them in the East during the jumping.
I know for the sure the Luftwaffe killed the soviet paratrupers who jumped fro the damaged aircrafte SINCE the firs days of War in june of 1941.
Honestly speaking there were a Luftwaffe pilots with hommor - but it was a insignificant minority. If to express the situation with Rules of the war in the East( geneva rules or any other) - it was the criminal illegality.

Rising Sun*
08-22-2007, 06:41 AM
Sorry guys but it's funny to read this thread.
WTF the shoting of the pilots if the Nazy killed a thousands of them in the East during the jumping.

You're assuming that anyone west of Russia actually cared.

There's a general acknowledgement in the West that the war in the east was much more savage than in the west.

It's an unfortunate fact that, underneath that, there is also an unstated attitude that the Soviet lives lost in those conflicts weren't as valuable, or that people there somehow accepted that different rules applied because it was a more savage war.

Much the same as Hurricane Katrina provoked all sorts of concerns in the US and elsewhere about what happened before, during and after, while many times more people die in floods in places like Bangladesh every few years and nobody gives a stuff.

Now, if an American pilot had been shot down in a chute by a German in Russia with an American journalist to report on it, then .....

32Bravo
08-22-2007, 12:23 PM
What's the difference between shooting at an armed pilot and an armed paratrooper when they're both descending in parachutes?

Nobody waited for paratroopers to hit the ground before firing at them.

Are pilots a protected species?

Regarding British Para's and RAF pilots: there's a world of difference between having a big hairy-arsed Para coming at you, once landed, and one of the Brylcream-Boys. :)

Seriously, are not pilots rendered ineffective when seperated from their aircraft and landing in enemy territory? I expect that if the pilot is bailing-out over his own territory, he could jump in another aircraft and carry on shooting down one's chums. Of course there is the Chivalric code to consider when speaking of fighter pilots - nonsense though it is.

32Bravo
08-22-2007, 12:26 PM
War is not nice


There's the truth of it!