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Author Topic: 50 caliber weapon against Geneva Convention?
The Slighty Scary Otter
The Red and the Green Stamps


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You did, and you nailed it on the head. I was just re-posting to clear something up.
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SirPolish
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quote:
Alchemy said:
I never quite understood why certain types of ammunition were considered less humane than others to the point of international decrees against their use.

Doesn't being shot with a non-fragmenting, non-tumbling, non-distorting bullet hurt? Like, a lot? Assuming the shooter was good, won't it probably kill you? Does it really make much difference how horrible the exit wound looks when you die?

I just don't get it.

quote:
Tumbleweed said:
Anyway, apparently a lot of the modifications (and I'm no ballistics expert) cause additional wounds that are harder to heal. So the 'unnecessary suffering' takes into account that some (if not most soldiers) will be wounded rather than killed by gunshot.

A jacketed round is considered a 'kill' weapon in so far as it is designed to penetrate clear through body mass and armor at a high speed. A hollow point or fragmented round (especially from a shotgun) is more in the 'wound' range of weaponry, as they are designed to actually flatten out in the body causing far more damage and those nasty exit wounds.
So with a non-jacketed hollow point round you have a bullet that moves through the body, flattening out and ends up passing through the body much slower. This increases the stopping power of the weapon making it extremely useful in a close quarters fighting but makes it far less effective in long range fighting or against a person in body armor in any case, which would the main reason most of the world's militaries choose not to use them.
However Police do use them as they often face threats which are at close range and rarely wear Kevlar vests.

Sir"Rainbow 6 does a good job modeling all this stuff"Polish

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The Slighty Scary Otter
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A minor nitpick. A shotgun does not fire a fragmented round. They either fire solid slugs or pellets. They are perfectly round and I believe the 12 gauge fires a bunch of .32 caliber pellets. The US Army has used shotguns in combat with no legal issues for years.

I have hunted with stainless steel birdshot, and it maintained it's shape and consistency when we pulled the pellets out of the pheasant, which is similar to a Full Metal Jacket round.

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Chava
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quote:
A shotgun does not fire a fragmented round. They either fire solid slugs or pellets. They are perfectly round and I believe the 12 gauge fires a bunch of .32 caliber pellets.
The size of the "pellets" depends on which rounds you buy for your shotgun. I think one of the common buckshot sizes (00 maybe) is about the same size as .32 caliber ball ammunition.

I have never heard shot refered to as pellets. Pellets are those little things shaped like miniature bottle caps that you put in your air rifle.

I think it's legal to own long arms of greater than .50 caliber as long as they are unrifled (shotguns, for example) or incapable of firing smokeless powder rounds. A lot of black powder guns (antique and reproduction) were large caliber because the muzzle velocity was so low.

You can own big smokeless powder guns as well, there's just a hefty transfer tax.

Chava

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The Slighty Scary Otter
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Ack! I meant 12 gauge buckshot. Don't know what I was thinking.
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SirPolish
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quote:
A shotgun does not fire a fragmented round. They either fire solid slugs or pellets. They are perfectly round and I believe the 12 gauge fires a bunch of .32 caliber pellets.
D'oh!
I only ment fragmented in so far as it fires many small pieces, not that they actually fragment. I wasn't even thinking of slugs.

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Homer
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Talking about fragmenting rounds, there were a type of bullet marketed by Remington (IIRC) called something like Black Talon. These rounds were designed to shatter into about a dozen razor sharp splinters when they hit. They hit with a big knock down and then cut the target up inside.

ER Doctors hated them because they were often used in gang driveby shootings. When the doctors tried to patch up the victims, they had dozens or hundreds of little holes to stitch up and at the end of each hole the might be a jagged razor just waiting to cut a glove and a finger. There was a huge blood borne pathogen risk, which discouraged doctors from trying to remove the fragments. Because of this they were quickly pulled off the market.

With a military FMJ round, when it hits, it either kills you pretty quickly or it makes a clean entry and exit wound. The damage is generally pretty easy to trace and the doctor can either fix it or not. With hollow point or these shattering rounds it's a whole different story. If there's an exit wound it's huge and took a lot of tissue with it. If it stays inside then it could be an infection site. If it shattered then you chasing pieces around the body and looking for hundreds of tiny tears.

War is not humane, the Geneva conventions just try to reduce the suffering.

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The Slighty Scary Otter
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The Black Talon doesn't shatter. It's a hollow-point that when the front peels back upon impact (like a flower's petals opening) it forms a claw pattern with sharp points. It was supposed to have a buzzsaw effect while the bullet spun through the body cavity.

Most experts said the claw pattern was more of a marketing tool, and the supposed massive trauma & horrifying wounds were grossly exaggerated.

While the Black Talon name was removed, they are still sold under the new name, Ranger SXT. The bullet is identical.

http://www.army-technology.com/contractors/ammunition/winchester/

CARTRIDGE: WINCHESTER RANGER SXT

Available in: 9mm, 40 S&W, 38 Special, 45 Auto. Winchester's Ranger SXT Ammunition features a uniquely designed bullet, that upon target impact, produces six uniform, radial jacket petals with perpendicular tips* for maximum in-target energy deposit and stopping power. This design also delivers incredible match-grade accuracy and a 12" to 18" penetration with 0% core-jacket separations.*

* Documented results obtained with bullets fired into bare 10% calibrated ordnance gelatin.

There is legal frangible ammo, like the Glaser Safety Slug & the Mag-Safe. It is a bullet that contains metal shot suspended in liquid teflon & covered with a cap. When the bullet hits, the cap breaks off and the shot is dumped into the body.

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BULLDON
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now here is my problem...if it was true, a desesert eagle .50 would bve classified as an anti tank weapon or something.

i think if it is true, they may disern between automatic and other types(like the single shot sniper rifle)

what do you think?

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An Otter Wearing A Duck Mask
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I think they would more likely differentiate between rifle and pistol ammo.

The M-82 fires a .50BMG (Browing Machine Gun) rifle round, while the Desert Eagle fires a .50AE (Action Express) pistol round.

The have the same caliber, but are nowhere near the same length, power, range, or penetrating ability.

Also, according to the ATF, a .50BMG is not an anti-tank round. Anything over .50, like a .51, is.

The Geneva Convention does not state specific sizes of bullets prohibited against human targets.

If it did, a Canadian sniper would be in prison, not lauded, and the Army Ranger Humvee gunners in Somalia, using .50BMG M-2 machineguns, would have been prosecuted, not featured in a Hollywood flick. (yes, they did use M-2s in the actual event, not just the movie).

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Pheonix
The Red and the Green Stamps


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quote:
Originally posted by Yute:
[QUOTE]
An odd thing about these conventions that always get to me: we can have so called "human" bullets but we still allow the usage of flame weapons, napalm and landmines?

Actually, after WW2 the Flame thrower was to become a banned weapon and after the Vietnam war Napalm was also banned. Landmines are still allowed as long as they are up to standards, ie: they must kill when used, not disable.

The problem with all of this however is:
1- who is going to police this? do we take soldiers word that these weapons wont be used or do we send in big yellow policemen who can hold up big signs to stop the fighting, walk up to the enemy, whack 'em over the head and say "sorry, you are not allowed to use that flamethrower, it is banned. please wal;k back to your home. goodbye"
2- The winner of the war ALWAYS writes history. What this means is that even if a general used fletchette rounds (which are SEVIERLY illegal) and his army won the war, then he never EVER killed ANYONE, let alone with a banned weapon. An example of this are the American, French, British, Australian (whom im a citizen of), and Russian troops who won WW2, and yet with an amazing coincidence, none where tried for war crimes. Just becouse they wherent tried dosnt mean they wernt commited.

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GI Joe
Jingle Bell Hock


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Pheonix,

Would you mind providing sources for the banning of the weapons you mention in your post. My reading of the Law Of Land Warfare discloses no language banning those weapons, and I've never heard of a restriction on landmines that requires them to kill, not wound.

Appreciate it.

--------------------
Once a Warrior Prince

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Ksmo
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I'm not saying that I'm the all-knowing authority on the subject, but I do give this briefing on a regular basis.

First, the UL about not firing at a person, but you can shoot the equipment stems from paratroopers. If you see a sky full of parachutes and know that they are coming down with the full intent to do harm to you, they are fair game, BUT if they are fleeing an aircraft in distress, then they are off limits. This usually turns into the joke, although a bad one, that it is perfectly legal to shoot at the equipment they are wearing.

As far as the different types of caliber that can be used on personnel, .50 cal, along with mortar fire and artillery, are fair game to use against personnel, if the need is there. The general rule is the use of "minimum force" necessary:

Minimum Force. That force which is reasonably necessary and militarily prudent for self-defense or to accomplish the assigned mission and related tasks. Measures reasonably required depend on the circumstances and the exact mission/task or threat. Examples of necessary and militarily prudent force exist on a continuum and include normal challenge procedures, open display of weapons, searches of persons and vehicles, use of warning shots, use of all other authorized forms of non-deadly force, and the use of deadly force. Deadly force is sometimes the minimum force reasonably necessary and prudent for self-defense or to accomplish the assigned mission and related tasks.

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Pheonix
The Red and the Green Stamps


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quote:
Originally posted by GI Joe:
Pheonix,

Would you mind providing sources for the banning of the weapons you mention in your post. My reading of the Law Of Land Warfare discloses no language banning those weapons, and I've never heard of a restriction on landmines that requires them to kill, not wound.

Appreciate it.

I wont be able to for a few days at the earliest (away from home at the moment) but when i get back ill start searching my "stockpile" of books (no kidding, i have two walls 2 meters long by 2 high PACKED with all types of books).
I know i read it there somwhere, but it might take a bit to find.

But i will reply as soon as i can.

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Elkhound
It Came Upon a Midnight Clearance


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quote:
Originally posted by Pheonix:
An example of this are the American, French, British, Australian (whom im a citizen of), and Russian troops who won WW2, and yet with an amazing coincidence, none where tried for war crimes. Just becouse they wherent tried dosnt mean they wernt commited.

They may not have been haled before an international tribunal, but I think if you examine the Court Martial Reports from the US, UK, Australia, and the (late, unlamented) USSR, you will find officers who were tried for violating the rules of war.

--------------------
"The bicycle is the most civilized conveyance known to man. Other forms of transport grow daily more nightmarish. Only the bicycle remains pure in heart."--Iris Murdoch

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GI Joe
Jingle Bell Hock


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Elkhound,

I'm afraid you've corretly diagnosed Pheonix's (Phoenix?) odd grasp of history. Could it be no British, French, American or Austrailian war leader was tried for war crimes simply because they didn't kill 6 million Jews in the death camps?

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Once a Warrior Prince

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GI Joe
Jingle Bell Hock


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Maybe I can provide a wrap-up of some of the key points of this thread.

Defining "banned" weapons or ammunitions is difficult for a couple reasons. First, the international conventions normally cited only apply to those nations which are parties to those conventions. Hence, these practices are less of a ban than a multilateral promise (in the form of a treaty) not to engage in such practices. This may seem like splitting hairs, but the point is nations are sovereign powers and there is no supreme international power that can ban something and impose it unilaterally on all nations. The conventions are self-imposed constraints on conduct.

Further confusing the issue, many nations unilaterally renounce forms of warfare as a matter of national policy, without regard to multilateral treaties. In the US, the use of herbicides falls in this category. Hence, many people confuse their nation's unilateral policies with treaty obligations affecting all nations.

Next, the issue of what is or is not "banned" depends on which country you're talking about. Not all countries have signed all the key accords, so there is no universal rule. This is especially true of the 1977 Protocol to the Geneva Convention of 1949, which many key nations have refused to ratify, and which many others simply scorn.

To make things more confusing, many nations will sign a treaty with a proviso that says they are not not bound by selective articles. Finally, some nations will refuse to sign a treaty, but voluntarily decide to adhere to its provisions.

Confusing, ain't it? That's why international discussions about what is or is not banned are almost meaningless.

For those Americans out there, a good summary can be found in FM 27-10, The Law of Land Warfare, which synthesizes the conventions to which the US is a "contracting party."

Although there is a lot of discussion about the Geneva Conventions, most of the language governing "Forbidden Means of Waging War" comes from one of the several Hague Accords.

A couple other problems when discussing "banned weapons." As with all too many diplomatic documents, most of these treaties are written in incredibly vague terms. For instance, the language governing proscribed weapons reads as follows: "It is especially forbidden * * * to employ arms, projectiles, or material calculated to cause unnecessary suffering." [Art 23, para e, Annex to Hague Convention No. IV, 18 October 1907, embodying the Regulations Respecting the Laws and Customs of War on Land.]

One would be hard pressed to come to a common agreement as to just what the hell this means in practice. As a result, most nations have their own interpretations of what was meant. Further, these interpretations can vary as different political parties are in power. The present thread is an excellent example of that. When Carter was President, Law of Land Warfare briefings did include the guidance that 50 cal could not be used against personnel. This was simply a national interpretation, and when the Reagan Administration came in, it was soon dropped.

A final point confusing "banned weapons" discussion is that these conventions all make repeated references to and are firmly grounded on what is termed "common military usage." In other words, if it is a common or long established practice - and not specifically proscribed - then it is generally OK. Again, incredibly vague and subject to a bewildering array of interpretations. What is a common usage to the US may be entirely different to Switzerland.

Again, for the US types, FM 27-10 not only includes the applicable treaty provisions, but includes "commonly accepted" international interpretations, US interpretations and self imposed US national policies renouncing various forms of conduct.
http://www.adtdl.army.mil/cgi-bin/atdl.dll/fm/27-10/toc.htm

If you hear someone say 'this' or 'that' is banned by the Geneva Convention, chances are they are wrong. Depending on your citizenship, there can be anywhere from roughly 10 to 20 conventions governing this stuff, but they are all on-line and you can easily check to see what is actually covered. Most western nations have doctrine similar to the US FM 27-10 which can be used to research their particular take on the issues.

Unfortunately, people who speak loudest about war crimes are generally the ones with the least knowledge of the subject. Thanks for raising the question, Snopes!

Ksmo, please let me know if I missed something here.

--------------------
Once a Warrior Prince

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Ksmo
The Red and the Green Stamps


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GI Joe:

Very good summary...think you hit it right on the head......

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KeithB
The Red and the Green Stamps


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In "The Making of the Atomic Bomb" Rhodes quotes a rather famous Army Air Force General as stating that if the War had gone the other way *He* would of been tried for War Crimes because of the fire-bombing of Tokyo and Dresden.
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Pheonix
The Red and the Green Stamps


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quote:
Originally posted by GI Joe:
Elkhound,

I'm afraid you've corretly diagnosed Pheonix's (Phoenix?) odd grasp of history. Could it be no British, French, American or Austrailian war leader was tried for war crimes simply because they didn't kill 6 million Jews in the death camps?

Oh, i agree completly with that. The bastards (please excuse language) who did that shouldnt have just been killed, they should have endured tge same pain they put others through.

But that wasnt the point i was trying to make. In the Gulfwar, Kuwaits (?) where killed by Amerian soldiers, the same happened in Vietnam where whole towns where burnt down and the people killed by the American and allied soldiers, then there was WW2 where German POW's where killed.

Im not saying that these are on an equal standing to the killing of the Jews or other racial groups, im just stating that it is the victor who writes the history, and its the victor who gets to try the criminals as they see fit.

If the Japanese had won the war, dont you beleive that whoever ordered the A-Bomb dropped would have been tried as a war criminal? but was he? no.


P.S. I am not anti-American, i was just using them as they are the obvious example.

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GI Joe
Jingle Bell Hock


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KeithB:

Allies tried by the Axis for using tactics the Axis initiated? Perhaps, but I doubt it.

Doubt the Axis would have even thought of holding such trials. International War Crime trials a la Neuremburg really didn't come about until WW II, and given the fact that (IIRC) Japan was not a party to many of the conventions and that Germany ignored them from day one in Poland, I doubt they would have bothered setting the precendent of staging War Crime trials had they won. The history of their occupations of various countries would seem to indicate they simply would have shot anyone who vexed them.

The war crimes tribunals were an attempt by the Allies to bring about legal accountability for horrendous acts (though admittedly, they were unable/unwilling to address Soviet war crimes). The Axis seemed more intent on committing those acts than devising legal mechanisms to punish their perpetrators.

As for the "crime" itself, remember that the destruction of civilian centers from the air was initiated in WWII by the Germans (in Spain)and the Japanese (in China). This set the precedent for the "common military usage" of the day which was in fact total war and the targeting of the civilian population as a strategy to undermine the forces in the field. [German Zepplin bombings of London were another, earlier precedent set in WW I, for which no Germams were tried as war criminals.] Given that, the Axis would have had a hard time convicting anyone of responding in kind to their tactics - assuming legal niceities would even matter in an Axis court.

At any rate, I don't recall any Axis official being tried for the air bombardment of an enemy civilian center, so there is no parallel. The handwringing over bombing of cities resonates far more today than it did with either side in, say, 1944.

But then of course this is a moot issue. By the time the Allies were able to mount massive air attacks on the Axis cities, there really was no chance the course of the war could have been changed to the point that Le May, Arnold or Harris would ever be on trial by the Axis.

It's the kind of cute quote historians love to latch onto, but it doesn't stand up to scrutiny very well. Irony and legal accuracy are two different concepts.

--------------------
Once a Warrior Prince

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GI Joe
Jingle Bell Hock


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Pheonix,

Got to disagree on virtually every point. War crimes trials a la Nuremburg generally focus on high-level policy makers who conduct systemic outrages and are not subject to effective internal judicial systems (Goehring, et al).

That's not the same as a case in which a trooper murders a civilian (you did not distinguish between deaths incident to legitimate military operations and plain old murder, but I think we should as that is the legal issue in question). Every Allied nation had plenty of cases of their own servicemen being tried for such crimes - crimes specified in their own disciplinary regulations. Undoubtedly more should have been, but if you are under the impression they occurred with impunity or as a part of policy, then you are incorrect.

As for the Gulf War, could you provide me with a cite for the instance of US soldiers allegedly murdering Kuwaiti civilians and escaping trial under the UCMJ?

As for the A bomb issue, you betray the passions of today, and incorrectly try to apply them to the past. Neither of the two A bomb blasts did as much harm as any of several conventional strikes (or, likely as much damage as the future firebombing that would have occurred has the Japanese not surrendered). The politicized horror regarding the innate evil of nuclear weapons is a modern trend. In short, even if the Japanese would have been forced to observe the legal niceities of a War Crime Trial, the A bombs would have been fairly far down the list of things that irked them.

Besides, we were merely fighting in the style they pioneered. If they were to execute our folks for those acts, then it would merely be vengence, not a war crime, and I for one don't think the two should be confused. No sense getting one's ethical shorts in a bind over theoretical vengence.

As for the victor writing history junk, that's the kind of thinking that seldom survivies the naivete of college days. In the realitiy of free societies, any decent libraby contains a dozen alternate versions of what happened when, and the dominant version constantly changes over time.

--------------------
Once a Warrior Prince

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Otter the Klown
The Red and the Green Stamps


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quote:
Originally posted by Pheonix:

If the Japanese had won the war, dont you beleive that whoever ordered the A-Bomb dropped would have been tried as a war criminal? but was he? no.

You mean President Harry S Truman?
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Publius
Happy Holly Days


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Pheonix:

By "winning" the war, do you mean that Japanese soldiers would have been goose-stepping down Pennsylvania Avenue? Or do you mean that US naval power in the Pacific would have been eliminated as a threat and Japan would have a free hand in East Asia?

To echo some of what GI Joe said, if the Japanese had "won" the war:

1) Presumably the atomic bomb never would have been dropped (I think the Japanese threw away any real hope of victory back at Midway)

2) I doubt they would have concerned themselves with trials. Summary executions and death camps seemed to suit them quite well.

Of course, one should never underestimate the value of a show trial, so perhaps I'm mistaken on #2.

Granted, I agree with you that justice in war is usually victors' justice. I just don't think the examples you picked are consistent with this.

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KeithB
The Red and the Green Stamps


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quote:
Originally posted by GI Joe:

Got to disagree on virtually every point. War crimes trials a la Nuremburg generally focus on high-level policy makers who conduct systemic outrages and are not subject to effective internal judicial systems (Goehring, et al).

[/QB]

But didn't they also bring some of the infamous Camp """Doctor's""" to trial at Nurmeburg? That is more of an "in the trenches" kind of thing.

And I agree with all of your points, I was merely bringing up the fact that there were people on our side who arguably committed "War Crimes." While bombing civilian populations had precedent, studying incendiary bombing tactics with the *aim* of creating a firestorm notches it closer to illegal territory.

To bring it closer to home: If Bush responds in kind to any Iraqi use of WMD's, wouldn't it be a mite hypocritical to try Saddam for that after the war?

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Pheonix
The Red and the Green Stamps


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I am not saying that people where punished incoretly or injustly or such.

What i am trying to state, which seams to be being overlooked, is that IF the Germans had won, if the Japanese had won (by either controlling the world, the world surrendering, or whatever other way) then THEIR commanders would probably have been coutmarshalled at most while other commanders from other armies would have been executed.

Im not stating ANYTHING about there poliy about hostages, war crimes or alike. Im just saying that if the shoe had been on the other foot then things would probably have been difrent.

Also, about talking about the dropping of the bombs on Japan and single soldiers killing civilians, i was using these as examples for which everyone and anyone would be able to understand.

In short, not ounce was i trying to be specific. I was trying to see what most people thought of these issues, and that has been acomplished very well. I do appologise if you did not completly understand what i was trying to explain. My apologies.

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Pheonix
The Red and the Green Stamps


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Ok. Im going to put this in easy to follow point form that can be easily understood and should (hopefully) cover all i have tried to say.

1- IF the Japanese had won the Pacific war, then history books would (for the most part) say that they had NEVER killed civillians or tortured people. This is what i was trying to get across by "the victor writes history".

2- The Kuwaits i mentiond had been killed? Im not sure where to prove that as i had watched a documentry on SBS a little while ago that had been talking about this with eyewitness acounts.

3- American and allies being courtmarsheld at most. In WW2, it was noted by some soldiers (though, surprisingly by VERY few books) that instead of taking prisoners bak to POW camps, they where exeuted.

4- I was using the bombing of civillians as an easy to see example of where had the axis won the war then things could have been diffrent. Yes, the president at the time would probabbly been tried for war crimes. Hitler was (no, i do not agree with what he did), i am comparing these as BOTH killed massive amounts of civillians, just they did so in diffrent ways.

5- I was not stating that any side was right wrong or other but was trying to point out that the Axis when tried for war-crimes where executed, while Allies where coutmarshelld. Big diffrence.

6- I was trying to get a good discussion going about what could have happend, but considering it never did, does it really matter.

7- This is something my old history teacher told us. History is NEVER acurate. The winner ALWAYS writes the history in the way they see fit, mainly becouse the looser is normally dead and so cant. Also, history is never completly true as parts are left out, forgotten about, or changed over time. An example of this would be the ancient greeks, in most of there battles we can GUESS as to what they did pritty acuratly, but an say exactly as they no longer exist (ancient greeks, not modern), and we have almost no proof as to why Xerxes attacked them, just probable reasons, which is really the closest we can get. Over time history is lost, changed, forgotten about, lied about.

Im not saying that what anyone has said is right or wrong, just that when you look at history, and more importantly when you think about what "might have been" you have to be EXTREMLY open minded.

I hope this helps to explain why i have said what I have said.

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Pheonix
The Red and the Green Stamps


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quote:
Originally posted by GI Joe:
Pheonix,

Would you mind providing sources for the banning of the weapons you mention in your post. My reading of the Law Of Land Warfare discloses no language banning those weapons, and I've never heard of a restriction on landmines that requires them to kill, not wound.

Appreciate it.

Just got off the phone to a Majour in the Australian Defense forces.

He has given me a list of books that discuss the useges of flame weaponry, landmines, and napalm.

One of the pages he told me to look at was:
Hague Decloration

If you look at article 23 it states that you are not allowed to use weaponry that causes unnesisary harm.

Becouse of the fact that these laws only obide to member states and so you can use flame weaponry to any enemy who has not signed the pat.

The Majour said that Australia abides by these laws which have been added to over time.

He also said that the useges of flame weaponry, landmines, napalm, 50 al bullets, etc are only banned on member states and not the enemy.

So to sum up, these weapons CAN be used on the enemy, but not on an enemy who is a member state, macking these weapons only slightly illegal and only in certain casses.

Confusing yes, but what it means is that they are both legal AND illegal.

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StrikeFerret
The Red and the Green Stamps


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Okie, back to the original topic . . .

The Barrett .50 AMR (Anti-Material Rifle) is a 'sporting cartridge' in the eyes of the ATF. I think.

The inhumane weapons banned by the GC is NEVER enforced. The 5.56mm NATO shatters and tubles at short range, thus creating not only a massive exit wound, but metal fragments embedded in the victim. This is the round the M-16 and M-249 SAW use.

The German 7.62mm NATO has a slightly thinner jacket than the US made parts, and also fragments in the target, albeit with FAR more force than the 5.56mm.

And then there's the (rumored) ban on excessive rates of fire, but the GE Minigun would prove that wrong. [Roll Eyes]

Rather be nailed by a .50 than a 63gr 5.56mm. Assuming I'd have to die from it.

And Glazers don't cut your hand when you try to remove them. Of course, I'd just use hardball .45s. Still lethal.

Mike "GE: We bring good things to life." F.

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dofwai
The Red and the Green Stamps


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quote:
Originally posted by Pheonix:

If you look at article 23 it states that you are not allowed to use weaponry that causes unnesisary harm.

Becouse of the fact that these laws only obide to member states and so you can use flame weaponry to any enemy who has not signed the pat.

The Majour said that Australia abides by these laws which have been added to over time.

He also said that the useges of flame weaponry, landmines, napalm, 50 al bullets, etc are only banned on member states and not the enemy.

So to sum up, these weapons CAN be used on the enemy, but not on an enemy who is a member state, macking these weapons only slightly illegal and only in certain casses.

Confusing yes, but what it means is that they are both legal AND illegal.

That's BS.

No military distinguishes between enemies who have signed, or have not signed any conventions.

The US military treats everyone according to the same standards. The point is to use weapons which will most effectively dispatch your enemies, and whatever weapon you have; yes, there are conventions against weapons which cause unnecessary suffering. If you can shoot an enemy with an M-16, you shoot him with an M-16 (or whatever). A .50 cal (presumeably we are talking about an M-2 machine gun) has a long range, and will pierce light armor. You use it when you have to reach out and touch someone.

Flame weapons, etc, are used to penetrate cover, like trees, or for some other reason, not just because your enemy is not a signator of the conventions.

The concept of having to pick your weapon based on an identification of who is shooting at you is silly....

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Pheonix
The Red and the Green Stamps


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Hey, I never said it was smart or not, but thats the way the Majour explained it (however he wasnt allowed to go into much detail).

What it is meant to mean is that if Australia went to war with the US, then neither of us are meant to bomb each others cities, use weapons that couse unnesisary harm

It dosnt mean we wouldnt, just that were not MEANT to.

To be honest, if the only weapon you had was, say, a (hypothetical) weapon that caoused serious injury but no death and was meant to be only used on tanks, and you where sourounded by infantry, do you really think that you wouldnt use it? of couse you would.

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Otter the Klown
The Red and the Green Stamps


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I googled around and came up with this posting on a message board:

"Popular urban myth, but untrue. There is *no* legal prohibition on
firing .50BMG or larger ball rounds at combatants. (Also, the Geneva
Conventions deal with the treatment of wounded, PoWs and noncombatants,
not with ammunition)

Part of the reason the myth began was with the .50 spotting rifles
mounted on 106mm recoilless rifles, which fired an explosive bullet
ballistically matched to the 106mm shell: aim and fire, and if the .50
bullet exploded with a bright flash on the target, you followed with a
106mm HEAT shell [Smile]


However, the use of explosive projectiles of under 400 grams against
personnel *is* proscribed (first by the 1868 Declaration of St.
Petersburg, then by the Hague Conventions)

"The Contracting Parties engage mutually to renounce, in case of war
among themselves, the employment by their military or naval troops of
any projectile of a weight below 400 grammes, which is either explosive
or charged with fulminating or inflammable substances."

- so, firing that spotting rifle against troops *is* illegal by those
rules. Note, firstly, that the US is not a signatory to the Hague rules,
though it accepts them; secondly, few would bother firing a .50 spotting
rifle when they could fire the 106mm instead [Smile] Thus, you "can't fire a
.50 at people" became a popularly-believed myth.

This proscription is sort-of-ignored now anyway, although in the 1930s
the US Navy chose the calibre of its 1.1" anti-aircraft gun specifically
to remain within the Declaration's limit for an explosive shell; there's
a general consensus that below 20mm calibre there's little advantage to
be gained in putting explosive content into a bullet, though incendiary
bullets are widespread.

If it *is* illegal to fire a .50 or larger weapon at personnel, where
has anyone been convicted as a result of doing so?"

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Felessan
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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The 'problem' of the super-calibre military rifle has been around for a long time.
In 1917 the Germans put the Mauser-T into service - essentially a 13 mm version of their standard military rifle for anti-tank use. It was only of limited value but the Browning M2 heavy machine gun was built around a modified version of the Mauser-T ammunition.
Between the wars several nations built dedicated anti-tank rifles such as the British .55 Boys and the Soviet PTRS and PTRD (both 12.7 mm), while Italy and Japan put their trust in 20 mm guns that really stretched the load capacity of their soldiers. Eventually the rise of the Bazooka and the Panzerfaust put paid to the anti-tank rifle.
However, it's come back as we now know with the likes of the Barrett M82A1 and the Russian V-94 (both of 12.7 mm calibre) and bigger relatives such as the Hungarian 14.5 mm Destroyer. Now, according to the official ratings these are anti-materiel rifles for the destruction of light vehicles (armoured personnel carriers and troop carriers) and installations such as radar dishes and radio antennae.
Which all goes to show that this matter has a long history...
Final thought; if it's illegal to use .50 calibre and above weapons against infantry, then there would be an awful lot of WW2 pilots in trouble for ground strafing...

--------------------
You fool! That's not a warrior, that's a banana!
- a surreal moment in a role-playing game

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GI Joe
Jingle Bell Hock


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quote:
Originally posted by Pheonix:
[/qb]

So to sum up, these weapons CAN be used on the enemy, but not on an enemy who is a member state, macking these weapons only slightly illegal and only in certain casses.

Confusing yes, but what it means is that they are both legal AND illegal. [/QB][/QUOTE]

Pheonix:

Sorry, I miss your logic. Nothing you cite shows that flame weapons are prohibited, so the rest of your argument seems to fall apart.

Absent an international treaty prohibition on these types of weapons, the US policy on them is, "The use of weapons which employ fire, such as tracer ammunition, flamethrowers, napalm and other incendiary agents, against targets requiring their use is not violative of international law. They should not, however, be employed in such a way as to cause unnecessary suffering to individuals." Your country may well have a different self-imposed policy on the topic, but there is no treaty prohibition, is there?

As far as your point that conduct depends on whether or not the enemy is also a contracting party, you are off base. Most civilized nations consider that treaty-dictated forms of conduct or restraint also represent "common military usage" (one of the three categories of sources for the Law of War) and therefore apply to their armed forces regardless of the enemy. Hence, even if the Upper Taos Liberation Front has spurned the convention on the Ethical Treatment of Hangnails, and if the US is a contracting Party to that treaty, then the US must treat UTLF prisoner hangnails according to the treaty.

There are some minor exceptions to this, but treaties represent commonly accepted ethical conduct in war, and you do not embrace unethical conduct simply because your enemy hasn't signed a given treaty.

--------------------
Once a Warrior Prince

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Garth
The Red and the Green Stamps


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There was- AFAIK- something in the original Geneva accords (which we did not sign) which limited the maximum calibre of an infantry rifle- also the type of bullet (no "dum-dums"). However, this did not say that such calibres could not be used against infantry. Thus, in the pre-WWII years there were many .50cal weapons issued- but all designed for something other than single anti-personnel use. However, such occasional side usage was not illegal. And- those provisions are pretty obsolete in any case.
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