Summary Execution in US Army: Fact or Fiction

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Duncan_M
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Summary Execution in US Army: Fact or Fiction

Post by Duncan_M » 28 Sep 2021 23:09

I've read in Band of Brothers that Ronald Speirs killed one of his own troops for drunkiness and refusing to go on patrol in the early days of D-Day. Supposedly he even confessed (at least according to Ambrose, whatever that's worth) later on that he didn't have a problem with summary justice, as he called it.

Stories like that are common enough in the history of various US wars in the past, anecdotes of leaders, be they NCOs or officers, shooting their men for various reasons, the most common is disobedience or cowardism.

Is there any legit historical evidence bedsides anecdotal to support that it was common?

Also, based on the Articles of War, would that have been allowed under special circumstances, or would something like that always be considered murder?

mikel
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Re: Summary Execution in US Army: Fact or Fiction

Post by mikel » 29 Sep 2021 04:20

Complete fabrication.
We don't do that.
I think even the accounts you mention regarding the past are quite suspect.
Never would have been condoned n any official level.
I read about the My Lai affair while in VN.
It was complicated, but never permissible in any way.
Some serious failure at several levels.

LineDoggie
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Re: Summary Execution in US Army: Fact or Fiction

Post by LineDoggie » 29 Sep 2021 16:08

Totally illegal under the then Articles of War (Pre UCMJ) and Naval Rocks and Shoals.

Was it done in the field? who knows, no one certainly admitted to it to higher chain of command

the Speirs anecdote never came from him but others so more likely a Purple Monkey Dishwasher situation
"There are two kinds of people who are staying on this beach: those who are dead and those who are going to die. Now let’s get the hell out of here".
Col. George Taylor, 16th Infantry Regiment, Omaha Beach

Duncan_M
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Re: Summary Execution in US Army: Fact or Fiction

Post by Duncan_M » 29 Sep 2021 19:09

mikel wrote:
29 Sep 2021 04:20
Complete fabrication.
We don't do that.
I think even the accounts you mention regarding the past are quite suspect.
Never would have been condoned n any official level.
I read about the My Lai affair while in VN.
It was complicated, but never permissible in any way.
Some serious failure at several levels.
In the US Army there were actual regimental orders after the Malmedy massacre to shoot all SS in sight (328th Inf). Patton gave verbal orders in Sicily to shoot surrendering enemy, which triggered the Biscari Massacre. So yeah, the US Army did in fact commit war crimes on an official level. We did do stuff like that occasionally.

LineDoggie
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Re: Summary Execution in US Army: Fact or Fiction

Post by LineDoggie » 29 Sep 2021 21:17

Duncan_M wrote:
29 Sep 2021 19:09
mikel wrote:
29 Sep 2021 04:20
Complete fabrication.
We don't do that.
I think even the accounts you mention regarding the past are quite suspect.
Never would have been condoned n any official level.
I read about the My Lai affair while in VN.
It was complicated, but never permissible in any way.
Some serious failure at several levels.
In the US Army there were actual regimental orders after the Malmedy massacre to shoot all SS in sight (328th Inf). Patton gave verbal orders in Sicily to shoot surrendering enemy, which triggered the Biscari Massacre. So yeah, the US Army did in fact commit war crimes on an official level. We did do stuff like that occasionally.
Thread was about shooting FELLOW G.I.'s
Seems you forgot your own OP, let me remind you-


anecdotes of leaders, be they NCOs or officers, shooting their men for various reasons, the most common is disobedience or cowardism.

Is there any legit historical evidence bedsides anecdotal to support that it was common?


Shooting your OWN men is NOT a war crime™, it is a simple crime of murder under the Articles of War Article 92

ART. 92. MURDER--RAPE.--Any person subject to military law who commits murder or rape shall suffer death or imprisonment for life, as a court-martial may direct; but no person shall be tried by court-martial for murder or rape committed within the geographical limits of the States of the Union and the of Columbia in time of peace.

SOURCE-
https://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USA/ref/AW/index.html
"There are two kinds of people who are staying on this beach: those who are dead and those who are going to die. Now let’s get the hell out of here".
Col. George Taylor, 16th Infantry Regiment, Omaha Beach

Carl Schwamberger
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Re: Summary Execution in US Army: Fact or Fiction

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 30 Sep 2021 13:24

Only court evidence level documentation I've read concerns Viet Nam era & not WWII. A USMC historical publication concerning assassination of officers perceived as incompetent or a danger to a individual or group.

mikel
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Re: Summary Execution in US Army: Fact or Fiction

Post by mikel » 03 Oct 2021 04:28

"Fragging" in one form or another has existed since before Christ was a corporal. It is murder, plain and simple.
It has certainly happened. Never condoned, never legal. Never commonplace. Tales and lore surrounding it also are blown into preposterous sizes.
Any decision regarding it would rest solely on the deranged individual or individuals perpetrating it.
Tell you something I witnessed. I was a couple days from my second and last trip home. I had done all my out processing at the 5th Grp SFOB at Nha Trang. I had no duty or responsibility and there was a kind of derelict barracks they used for transients. There were a couple SP/4 there for some unknown reason and another E6 who also was not SF. Nothing to me. One morning, the E6 stood the two E4s up and told them to police up and clean the barracks. He said that they all were all, "short," but that they would maintain order and "play the game" until then, I was a Ssg and not subject to any of this.
We all slept in the same bay and next morning Ssg Bigshot started to put on his boots. Out of one rolled a M26 hand grenade with a note attached.
Note read, "You might be shorter than you think, MF." Pretty funny and original, I thought.

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