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Thread: Action of partisans - freedom fighters or insurgents ?

  1. #16
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    Default Re: Action of partisans - freedom fighters or insurgents ?

    Quote Originally Posted by J.A.W. View Post
    The current rules were codified during the U.S./C.S.A stoush of the 1860s [anyone seen 'Outlaw Josey Wales'].
    Provision for summary sanctions against irregulars, & reprisals were laid down. [& later used against native tribes too.]
    They may have been first codified during the ACW, but were revised many times since. The most pertinent in this case being the 1929 variant, which contained the following paragraph:
    Quote Originally Posted by Third Geneva Convention
    4.1.2 Members of other militias and members of other volunteer corps, including those of organized resistance movements, provided that they fulfill all of the following conditions:
    that of being commanded by a person responsible for his subordinates;
    that of having a fixed distinctive sign recognizable at a distance (there are limited exceptions to this among countries who observe the 1977 Protocol I);
    that of carrying arms openly;
    that of conducting their operations in accordance with the laws and customs of war.

    Quote Originally Posted by J.A.W. View Post
    Churchill, being an inveterate war-monger, wanted to 'set Europe ablaze' by instigating sabotage...
    .. in the sure knowledge that nasty [but legal] responses would inevitably occur...
    Churchill was an odd fish in that respect - personally he went out of his way to get involved up close and personal in just about any war going, but at the same time I can't think of a single occasion where he did anything to actually provoke one.
    So far as knowing about the German responses, he authorised the operations he did in the knowledge that both legal and illegal responses would occur (the shooting of hostages, for instance, does not and did not have any place in the laws of war and hence can only be described as murder - yet the Germans did so regularly).

    Quote Originally Posted by J.A.W. View Post
    Stalin like-wise had those of his subject under German authority..
    .. on warning of treason unless showing active [& risky] 'partisan' action..
    You won't find me saying many nice things about Stalin, but the Partisans were clearly acting within the laws and customs of war, and are specifically to be treated as PoWs under the Third Geneva Convention. Not that this means much - the horrendous level of abuse the Germans subjected Soviet PoWs to means being a PoW was a very dubious benefit.

    Quote Originally Posted by J.A.W. View Post
    Even the initial USAAF attempts to bomb Japan utilizing China brought savage reprisals..
    .. against the airmen & Chinese civilians alike..
    So because our enemy uses illegal means ("frightfulness", to use a term from the time) we should just stop fighting them? That's a sure-fire way to guarantee that said illegal means will be used more frequently in future. Rather, the way it was done in the end is absolutely correct - win the war, then track down, try and execute those responsible for the war crimes.

    Quote Originally Posted by J.A.W. View Post
    & the Waffen SS - when captured - found themselves open to 'legal' summary 'execution'
    for being classed as 'criminal brigands'..by the US.. as well as Stalin's mob..
    No summary executions carried out by US troops were treated as legal. I'm only aware of a very small number (after the liberation of Dachau, and after US PoWs had been found murdered in the Ardennes) - and in both cases this was the Chain of Command losing control over a small number of troops who have discovered an atrocity apparently carried out by identified individuals. Similar cases happened with the Red Army - the SS were identified in the mind of the common soldiers with the huge number of war crimes they had discovered when recapturing their country, and a desire for revenge overwhelmed the discipline imposed on them from above.
    A significant number of SS men (and a few women) were executed after what were probably the fairest trials they could have been given. These (Höss for instance) generally richly deserve exactly what happened to them.

    Quote Originally Posted by J.A.W. View Post
    & of course the Taliban laugh at/despise the current western values today..
    Many of the Taliban would have an arguable case for being legal combatants, but for the fact that the overwhelming majority of those they kill are Afghan civilians. They hence fail the proportionality tests.
    I have neither the time nor the inclination to differentiate between the incompetent and the merely unfortunate - Curtis E LeMay

  2. #17
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    Default Re: Action of partisans - freedom fighters or insurgents ?

    Quote Originally Posted by J.A.W. View Post
    Churchill, being an inveterate war-monger, wanted to 'set Europe ablaze' by instigating sabotage..
    .. in the sure knowledge that nasty [but legal] responses would inevitably occur..
    Warmonger: one who urges or attempts to stir up war.
    http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/warmonger

    Churchill, for all his many military and micro-strategic faults which must be balanced against his overall macro-strategic success in resisting and defeating the Nazis (but not the Japanese, which was a war of minor interest to him in comparison with the main game in Europe), was never a warmonger.

    Hitler was a warmonger.

    Hirohito and Tojo and their IJA / IJN cabal were warmongers.

    Mussolini was a warmonger, albeit not a very good one when his consistent failures are compared with Hitler's and Hirohito's early successes.

    Churchill was a resolute, aggressive, and effective responder to these warmongers.

    Churchill was, effectively, the little bloke who stood up to the bigger bullies, and defeated them.

    Churchill was also in varying degrees impulsive, erratic, incompetent, and incapable of admitting his own many mistakes, which deficiencies were consistently exceeded among senior figures in the Western Allies in WWII only by Douglas MacArthur.

    But, for all his faults, Churchill's courage and resolution in the face of looming defeat met Edmund Burke's criteria for exemplary performance of public duty, steadfastly leading the only nation to stand against the Nazis for the first two years of WWII:

    When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall, one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle.

    It is not enough in a situation of trust in the commonwealth, that a man means well to his country; it is not enough that in his single person he never did an evil act, but always voted according to his conscience, and even harangued against every design which he apprehended to be prejudicial to the interests of his country. This innoxious and ineffectual character, that seems formed upon a plan of apology and disculpation, falls miserably short of the mark of public duty. That duty demands and requires, that what is right should not only be made known, but made prevalent; that what is evil should not only be detected, but defeated.
    Emphasis added
    http://www.econlib.org/library/LFBoo...rkSWv1c1a.html

    Which is what Churchill did, which is more than many in leading positions in Britain would have done if given a free hand 1940-41.
    ..
    A rational army would run away.
    Montesquieu

  3. #18
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    Default Re: Action of partisans - freedom fighters or insurgents ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rising Sun* View Post
    Churchill was also in varying degrees impulsive, erratic, incompetent, and incapable of admitting his own many mistakes, which deficiencies were consistently exceeded among senior figures in the Western Allies in WWII only by Douglas MacArthur.
    One absolutely critical difference between Churchill and MacArthur. Churchill had Alanbrooke, and (usually) listened to him. The net result was that Britain had (generally) excellent grand strategy during the war. MacArthur really didn't have anybody to stand up to him whom he would actually listen to.
    I have neither the time nor the inclination to differentiate between the incompetent and the merely unfortunate - Curtis E LeMay

  4. #19
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    Default Re: Action of partisans - freedom fighters or insurgents ?

    Quote Originally Posted by pdf27 View Post
    One absolutely critical difference between Churchill and MacArthur. Churchill had Alanbrooke, and (usually) listened to him.
    True.

    But as I suspect I've posted before, Brooke once accurately observed something along the lines "God knows where we'd be without Churchill, but God knows where we'll go with him."

    Quote Originally Posted by pdf27 View Post
    The net result was that Britain had (generally) excellent grand strategy during the war. MacArthur really didn't have anybody to stand up to him whom he would actually listen to.
    The differences are that:

    1. While both Churchill and MacArthur routinely got rid of people who opposed them, Churchill generally only got rid of people who opposed his strategic objectives or otherwise failed, in his not always clear view, on objective standards in major operations (e.g Auchinleck, which was probably unfair, as later events demonstrated). MacArthur got rid of people who just looked like they opposed or obstructed his remorseless and misleading program of farcical self-promotion.

    2. Churchill had the power to devise grand strategy for his nation. Fortunately, MacArthur didn't, or the whole of the American attack on Japan would have been wasted on a relatively unimportant thrust to re-take the Philippines to satisfy MacArthur's vainglory and which was the worst way to reduce Japan compared with the central Pacific thrust outside MacArthur's command which was the primary engine of land based attacks which achieved victory. Not that MacArthur's thrust was unimportant in drawing out and defeating the last of the IJN, but that wasn't his intention but merely a by-product of his land-based advance to redeem his sorry reputation.
    ..
    A rational army would run away.
    Montesquieu

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