Military Oaths of World War Two

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Otto Fuchs
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Military Oaths of World War Two

Postby Otto Fuchs » 09 Jul 2009 19:36

Hello everybody! :)

Recently I was talking with friends and thereby somehow the topic of military oaths came up. Does anybody here in this forum know which oaths were sworn by the members of the armed forces of the major powers involved in WW II?

Well, the oath of the German Wehrmacht runs as follows:

"Ich schwoere bei Gott diesen heiligen Eid, dass ich dem Fuehrer des Deutschen Reiches und Volkes, Adolf Hitler, unbedingte Treue und Gehorsam leisten und jederzeit bereit sein werde, fuer diesen Eid mein Leben einzusetzen!"

The oath of the Waffen-SS was this:

"Ich gelobe Dir, Adolf Hitler, dem Fuehrer und Kanzler des Reiches, und den Fuehrern die Du ernennst, unbedingte Treue und Gehorsam bis in den Tod!"

The differences between these two oaths are subtle, but substantial. They could be discussed in detail here if wished. (For example, the jurisdictional ramifications of the differens between the German terms "schwoeren" and "geloben" etc.)

But first I would like to know more about the oaths of the other major WW II-powers, for example, the Russians. What was the oath like the soldiers of the Red Army swore? What were the oaths the US-Americans, the British, the Italians had to swear before going to battle? As for the Japanese and the Chinese, I am not even sure whether they swore an oath at all--for oathswearing as such is clearly a "Western" concept. East Asians take it for granted--as far as I know--that any subject owes loyalty to his sovereign anyway. But of course, the Japanese and Chinese armies of WW II were "modernised", i.e. "westernised" ones. So, their soldiers should have sworn western-style oaths, too.

I hope we can make up a collection of all the oaths that were sworn by soldiers or other combattants in World War Two one day. :) I am looking forward to that day. :)

The oaths should be given in their original languages, written in the original characters, together with an English translation.

JamesL
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Re: Military Oaths of World War Two

Postby JamesL » 10 Jul 2009 03:11

US Military

Enlisted Men’s Oath from 1789 to 1950.
"I, A.B., do solemnly swear or affirm that I will support the constitution of the United States. I, A.B., do solemnly swear or affirm to bear true allegiance to the United States of America, and to serve them honestly and faithfully, against all their enemies or opposers whatsoever, and to observe and obey the orders of the President of the United States of America, and the orders of the officers appointed over me."

Officer’s Oath from 1884 to 1959.
"I, A.B., do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign or domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God."

Source: US Army Center for Military History
http://www.history.army.mil/faq/oaths.htm

Pvt_Petrenko
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Re: Military Oaths of World War Two

Postby Pvt_Petrenko » 04 Nov 2017 20:41

:roll:
Otto Fuchs wrote:Hello everybody! :)

Recently I was talking with friends and thereby somehow the topic of military oaths came up. Does anybody here in this forum know which oaths were sworn by the members of the armed forces of the major powers involved in WW II?

Well, the oath of the German Wehrmacht runs as follows:

"Ich schwoere bei Gott diesen heiligen Eid, dass ich dem Fuehrer des Deutschen Reiches und Volkes, Adolf Hitler, unbedingte Treue und Gehorsam leisten und jederzeit bereit sein werde, fuer diesen Eid mein Leben einzusetzen!"

The oath of the Waffen-SS was this:

"Ich gelobe Dir, Adolf Hitler, dem Fuehrer und Kanzler des Reiches, und den Fuehrern die Du ernennst, unbedingte Treue und Gehorsam bis in den Tod!"

The differences between these two oaths are subtle, but substantial. They could be discussed in detail here if wished. (For example, the jurisdictional ramifications of the differens between the German terms "schwoeren" and "geloben" etc.)

But first I would like to know more about the oaths of the other major WW II-powers, for example, the Russians. What was the oath like the soldiers of the Red Army swore? What were the oaths the US-Americans, the British, the Italians had to swear before going to battle? As for the Japanese and the Chinese, I am not even sure whether they swore an oath at all--for oathswearing as such is clearly a "Western" concept. East Asians take it for granted--as far as I know--that any subject owes loyalty to his sovereign anyway. But of course, the Japanese and Chinese armies of WW II were "modernised", i.e. "westernised" ones. So, their soldiers should have sworn western-style oaths, too.

I hope we can make up a collection of all the oaths that were sworn by soldiers or other combattants in World War Two one day. :) I am looking forward to that day. :)

The oaths should be given in their original languages, written in the original characters, together with an English translation.


I was unable to find the Red Army's oath of enlistment in Russian, but I was able to find the English translation.

Source: https://www.marxists.org/reference/arch ... /02/23.htm

I, a citizen of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, joining the ranks of the Workers' and Peasants' Red Army, do hereby take the oath of allegiance and do solemnly vow to be an honest, brave, disciplined and vigilant fighter, to guard strictly all military and State secrets, to obey implicitly all Army regulations and orders of my commanders, commissars and superiors.

I vow to study the duties of a soldier conscientiously, to safeguard Army and National property in every way possible and to be true to my People, my Soviet Motherland, and the Workers' and Peasants' Government to my last breath.

I am always prepared at the order of the Workers' and Peasants' Government to come to the defence of my Motherland - the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics - and, as a fighter of the Workers' and Peasants' Red Army, I vow to defend her courageously, skilfully, creditably and honourably, without sparing my blood and my very life to achieve complete victory over the enemy.

And if through evil intent I break this solemn oath, then let the stern punishment of the Soviet law, and the universal hatred and contempt of the working people, fall upon me.

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wbell
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Re: Military Oaths of World War Two

Postby wbell » 27 Nov 2017 21:08

Pvt_Petrenko wrote:Well, the oath of the German Wehrmacht runs as follows:

"Ich schwoere bei Gott diesen heiligen Eid, dass ich dem Fuehrer des Deutschen Reiches und Volkes, Adolf Hitler, unbedingte Treue und Gehorsam leisten und jederzeit bereit sein werde, fuer diesen Eid mein Leben einzusetzen!"


"I swear by God this holy oath, that I will render absolute loyalty and obedience to the leader of the German Reich and people, Adolf Hitler, and will always be prepared to use my life for this oath!"

Pvt_Petrenko wrote: The oath of the Waffen-SS was this:

"Ich gelobe Dir, Adolf Hitler, dem Fuehrer und Kanzler des Reiches, und den Fuehrern die Du ernennst, unbedingte Treue und Gehorsam bis in den Tod!"


"I vow to owe you, Adolf Hitler, the leader and chancellor of the Reich, and the leaders you name, unconditional loyalty and obedience to the death!"

Pvt_Petrenko wrote: The differences between these two oaths are subtle, but substantial. They could be discussed in detail here if wished. (For example, the jurisdictional ramifications of the differens between the German terms "schwoeren" and "geloben" etc.)


I'd appreciate it if you could provide a better translation than Google Translate, as I don't speak German. Thank you.

GregSingh
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Re: Military Oaths of World War Two

Postby GregSingh » 13 Feb 2018 11:31

was unable to find the Red Army's oath of enlistment in Russian


Just for the record (from 28-Aug-1940):

Я, гражданин Союза Советских Социалистических Республик, вступая в ряды Рабоче-Крестьянской Красной Армии, принимаю присягу и торжественно клянусь быть честным, храбрым, дисциплинированным, бдительным бойцом, строго хранить военную и государственную тайну, беспрекословно выполнять все воинские уставы и приказы командиров и начальников.

Я клянусь добросовестно изучать военное дело, всемерно беречь военное и народное имущество и до последнего дыхания быть преданным своему народу, своей Советской Родине и Рабоче-Крестьянскому Правительству.

Я всегда готов по приказу Рабоче-Крестьянского Правительства выступить на защиту моей Родины — Союза Советских Социалистических Республик и, как воин Рабоче-Крестьянской Красной Армии, я клянусь защищать ее мужественно, умело, с достоинством и честью, не щадя своей крови и самой жизни для достижения полной победы над врагами.

Если же по злому умыслу я нарушу эту мою торжественную присягу, то пусть меня постигнет суровая кара советского закона, всеобщая ненависть и презрение трудящихся.

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Sheldrake
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Re: Military Oaths of World War Two

Postby Sheldrake » 13 Feb 2018 12:11

The British were big into oaths. Mainly starting with the letter F......
Historically " our army swore terribly in Flanders" under Marlborough and continued that tradition through both world wars. There is an entire military lexicon based on F.... as expletive, noun, verb, adjective and adverb, and the basis for a set of new mission verbs and a pragmatic explanation of the internal reality of Op market Garden.
https://www.arrse.co.uk/community/threa ... bs.166064/


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