Talk:British war crimes

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Surely this should be United Kingdom war crimes? (talk) 16:36, 17 June 2010 (UTC)

Or, if this is about the British Empire war crimes it should be renamed to that. Currently it looks like British is being erroneously used to embody "UK" and "The British Empire" (talk) 16:40, 17 June 2010 (UTC)


No, I'm no fan on the actions of the British Empire, but this has obviously been edited by someone with a serious axe to grind. Some of the phraseology is way too colourful, and some keys facts are not cited, e.g. the smallpox blankets meme. Fences&Windows 21:44, 12 May 2010 (UTC)

Fences and windows, I agree. This entire article is in disrepute due to its colourful language and absence of citations. BlueRobe (talk) 07:47, 23 September 2010 (UTC)
The Churchill quotation is about the use of tear gas, which he is arguing is more humane than bombing. Hence the sentence "It is sheer affectation to lacerate a man with the poisonous fragment of a bursting shell and then to boggle at making his eyes water by means of lachrymatory gas." Does the author not know the meaning of "lachrymatory"??? In simple English the sentence means "It is silly to blow people up with bombs and then to be shocked at making them cry with tear gas". It has nothing to do with 'war crimes' as such. Paul B (talk) 12:30, 14 October 2010 (UTC)

I don't seem to be able to find WIkipedia articles on Iranian war crimes, North Korean war crimes, Chinese war crimes or Syrian war crimes. I wonder why that is? (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 20:09, 6 June 2011 (UTC).

I think we all agree that this article is a mess, apart from the last section it only allegations or one historians opinion years after the fact. Jim Sweeney (talk) 20:13, 6 June 2011 (UTC)
Please feel free to add section to all those pages that you named and then that problem will be solved.Jim Sweeney, I think we do not all agree actually.For starters the Boer war one is factual and the the one about Iraq.The one about Malay I believe to be good as well.You seem to be very defensive of the military so I am guessing you are either in it or have been.I will see what I can do about more sources, sure there are plenty.Owain the 1st (talk) 07:08, 7 June 2011 (UTC)

This article shows all that is wrong with the Wikipedia project - editors with left wing, anti-British, anti-American, anti-Israeli views dominate and push their own views to all. Any views the other way are removed. The Wikipedia project may have started out with good intentions but has got lost along the way thanks to you lot! — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:50, 7 June 2011 (UTC)

This is very funny.I suggest you actually read wikipedia because when you do you will find it is the opposite of what you say.Owain the 1st (talk) 19:43, 7 June 2011 (UTC)

And your view is typical of the right, describing anyone who points out the actions of your precious British Empire as being "left wing, anti-British, anti-American, anti-Israeli".Thannad (talk) 14:51, 15 June 2011 (UTC)

As for Korea, see Korean War#War crimes, An even-handed section discussing those from each side. DGG ( talk ) 21:07, 17 August 2011 (UTC)

Criteria for inclusion[edit]

It's pretty clear that different editors on this article have different ideas of what sort of actions should be included. Here are four options off the top of my head:

  1. War crimes as defined by convictions/judicial opinions;
  2. Require a citation from a historian (or maybe just any high-quality RS);
  3. Require a citation from any WP:RS using the words "war crime";
  4. Obey lead definition (let editors decide on a case-by-case basis);

I favour option 2, because option 3 includes a lot of POV / exaggerative sources (journalists, writers with agendas, etc). Likewise 1 is too restrictive, and recentist. What does everyone else think? - Jarry1250 [Weasel? Discuss.] 18:22, 27 July 2011 (UTC)

I think we either preserve this article, and build on it with rather loose criteria, or delete it entirely as nothing more than an "attack page". I favor the former, as it could become quite a useful article. JerryDavid89 (talk) 03:30, 28 July 2011 (UTC)
AGREE anything included needs a high quality reliable source or a book quote from a recognised historian. That proves it was a war crime not just speculation. Jim Sweeney (talk) 08:05, 28 July 2011 (UTC)
Since there seems to be so little comment here, I'm going to solicit help via an RFC tag and, failing that, contact MILHIST. - Jarry1250 [Weasel? Discuss.] 13:54, 14 August 2011 (UTC)
Responding. #1 is of course sufficient, if it can be verified from a RS. A common-sense definition of what counts as a war crime would do. Otherwise, #2, except I would require more than one high quality RS--even for academic sources. Given the amount of revisionist history, one is not enough. This definition will still allow quite a lot of disputed cases, and for each of them the extent of the disputed status needs to be made clear. DGG ( talk ) 21:00, 17 August 2011 (UTC)
  • I would say #3 should be enough. Of course the source should pass WP:V and WP:RS. An effort should be made to note both sides of an issue.-MangoWong (talk) 10:17, 21 August 2011 (UTC)
  • RFC response. #1 supported by RS - doesn't need to be a historian, if convictions have gone through judicial proceedings there should be evidence of this that can be cited without having a historian interpret it first. If it can't be referenced other than through a historian's research, it needs to be a source that avoids all possible WP:COI and WP:POV +cmtissues. Ma®©usBritish [talk] 09:22, 24 August 2011 (UTC)
  • Comment I suggest that #1 is enough for inclusion as a war crime. If included, #2 and #3 should be appropriately qualified with 'alleged' or 'many/some sources claim that'. Martin Hogbin (talk) 21:47, 24 August 2011 (UTC)
Err, Jarry1250: Obey lead definition (let editors decide on a case-by-case basis):: is ridiculous as the lede is absurdly broad and inappropriately writen, if not outright weaselry, not to mention its questionable NPOV. Quis separabit? 16:42, 6 December 2013 (UTC)

British Starvation Blockades[edit]

The British starvation blockades of Germany during WWI and WWII aren't war crimes?

Are you suggesting free trade should have been allowed to prolong the war? Following the conclusion of both wars the blocades were lifted, food commisions were established and shipments made.

The "London Cage", a MI19 prisoner of war facility in the UK during and immediately after the war, was subject to allegations of torture.[edit]

There has only ever been one credited accusation of torture directed against the London Cage, and it was from an SS officer war criminal facing the death penalty. Hardly the most credible of sources. National Archives documents show that two official inquiries established that he was talking out of his arse, to put it mildy. Ian Corbain is a joke of a journalist who has a history of frankly making stuff up to suit his agenda and he is not a credible source. --Allthestrongbowintheworld (talk) 20:13, 27 October 2012 (UTC)

Iain Cobain is a credible and award winning journalist, he details further evidence of secret torture utilized by the British government in his book 'Cruel Britannia'. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:52, 23 June 2014 (UTC)

removing POV tag with no active discussion per Template:POV[edit]

I've removed an old POV template with a dormant discussion, per the instructions on that template's page:

This template is not meant to be a permanent resident on any article. Remove this template whenever:
  1. There is consensus on the talkpage or the NPOV Noticeboard that the issue has been resolved
  2. It is not clear what the neutrality issue is, and no satisfactory explanation has been given
  3. In the absence of any discussion, or if the discussion has become dormant.

If editors are continuing to work toward resolution of any issue and I missed it, please feel free to restore. Cheers, -- Khazar2 (talk) 01:01, 5 December 2012 (UTC)


Did not British secretly killed some Indian National Army soldiers and made 1943 Bengal Famine killing 3 Million Indians? Where are they?Ovsek (talk) 06:02, 7 August 2013 (UTC)

Killing enemy soldiers during a war isn't a crime. The effects of the Bengal Famine was exacerbated by British colonial administrative incompetence and neglect, but again not a war crime.--Allthestrongbowintheworld (talk) 09:10, 7 August 2013 (UTC)

Several sources detail that the British government continued to export rice from Bengal to be utilized by British troops during the war effort, this played a significant role in causing the famine and death of three million Bengalis. Churchill saw this as necessary as part of the war effort, he is negligent and in many ways responsible for these deaths — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:55, 23 June 2014 (UTC)

This article[edit]

This article is ripe for and rife with unsourced claims and allegations, which is not and should not come as any surprise. I have removed some of the more egregious examples and accordingly will restore the neutrality/NPOV tag(s). Quis separabit? 23:18, 30 September 2013 (UTC)

Boston Massacre[edit]

Is the "Boston Massacre" really categorizable as a "war crime"? I am really unsure. Please comment. Thanks, Quis separabit? 17:48, 3 December 2013 (UTC)

Never mind I have determined that this incident should never have been included in this article to begin with.
Read for instance, the lede from the article about the "Massacre" itself:

The "Boston Massacre", known as the "Incident on King Street", by the British, [citation needed] was an incident on March 5, 1770, in which British Army soldiers killed five civilian men and injured six others. British troops had been stationed in Boston, capital of the Province of Massachusetts Bay, since 1768 in order to protect and support crown-appointed colonial officials attempting to enforce unpopular Parliamentary legislation. Amid ongoing tense relations between the population and the soldiers, a mob formed around a British sentry, who was subjected to verbal abuse and harassment. He was eventually supported by eight additional soldiers, who were subjected to verbal threats and thrown objects. They fired into the crowd, without orders, instantly killing three people and wounding others. Two more people died later of wounds sustained in the incident ... [E]ight soldiers, one officer, and four civilians were arrested and charged with murder. Defended by the lawyer and future American President, John Adams, six of the soldiers were acquitted, while the other two were convicted of manslaughter and given reduced sentences. The sentence that the men guilty of manslaughter received was a branding on their hand.

Needless to say, given that the incident was not-premeditated, given that all were tried; six acquitted and the others convicted of lesser charges, and at a time when the colonists were still British by nationality, this incident most certainly was not a "war crime" and does not belong in this article, which is always going to be a magnet for POV-minded individuals. Quis separabit? 21:30, 3 December 2013 (UTC)
The more I think about it the more outrageous it is that the Boston incident was ever included in this article and that it lasted so long here. There is no question, as certain civilians and even one of the victims (Carr, in his deathbed confession) admitted, and which the jury acknowledged in acquitting the six soldiers, that the defendants had a genuine and well-founded fear for their safety. Yeah, right, a war crime. Quis separabit? 22:17, 3 December 2013 (UTC)


This article has a lot of problems, starting with the lede, but the main one seems to be that very little here is actually sourced as a "war crime". Instead it has become a list of actions that anonymous wikipedia editors find objectionable. I'd suggest paring back (again) to only those events that are specifically described as a war crime in a reliable source (preferably multiple sources). Rettens2 (talk) 15:09, 6 December 2013 (UTC)

Absolutely agree. Quis separabit? 16:33, 6 December 2013 (UTC)
Perhaps a rename to something like Allegations of British war crimes would be a good idea? After all, relatively few of these events have actually been found to be war crimes by a court. On the other hand, a name like that might just encourage people to add further questionable examples. Robofish (talk) 18:52, 6 December 2013 (UTC)
The lede is a joke and should be changed; the page is a magnet for POV-minded users, obviously. Quis separabit? 18:49, 9 December 2013 (UTC)

Dresden Bombing photo[edit]

I just glanced through this article and was horrified at the photo in use for this section. I also noted the following back and forth between editors ([1] and [2]). I believe the IP has a valid point and I have mentioned that in my edit summary. Per DagosNavy's comment to the IP: "Reposting pic, not enough reasons given to have it removed". I believe the following is justification for the photo's removal from this article:

  • It does not really highlight the event that took place (the planes, impact of bombs, destruction to the city, etc). Part of the controversy is not just over civilian losses (much lower, according to modern research, than originally believed) but over the targeted of the city and the force used.
  • It does not support or compliment the text of the article in anyway.
  • The fact that the article is about war crimes and in this case a controversial event that has been alleged by some historians to be a war crime, the image does not present a neutral position. It is a horrifying photograph of dead civilians, which when placed next to the text of this article, appears in such a way as to sway opinion towards a conclusion.
  • On the Bombing of Dresden in World War II article, the photo has been used in a much more careful and neutral manner (the article has photographs covering every aspect of the subject) and it is placed within the section dealing with the devastation on of the attack, rather than amongst the back and forth on weather the attack was right or wrong.
  • The overall argument is: who is going to believe that some justify the attack or do not consider it a war crime, when a photo of burned civilians is placed next to said argument. It completely destroys the neutrality of the section.EnigmaMcmxc (talk) 02:55, 14 December 2013 (UTC)

1920 Iraqi War[edit]

The following was recently added to the article, but has been moved here, about the fighting in Iraq in 1920:

The British Manual of Military Law stated that the rules of war applied only to conflict "between civilized nations." Already in the Manual of 1914, it was clearly stated that "they do not apply in wars with uncivilized States and tribes".(HMSO, 1914, p. 235)

This inclusion has numerous problems:

  • The work is from 1914. Do we have evidence that this was still policy in 1920?
  • The work, available here, makes no mention of if this is how the British military in Iraq viewed the rebels.
  • Thusly, it appears to be a breech of WP:SYN and irrelevant to the section.
  • The above quote takes the actual wording of the document out of context, and ignores the various examples (from numerous countries) used on the page's footnote.
  • The inline citation is completely incorrect, HMSO is just a publisher for government works and thus the reference is useless.EnigmaMcmxc (talk) 03:19, 14 December 2013 (UTC)

Amritsar massacre[edit]

Should this even be in the article? While clearly the massacre was a crime, it was not committed during a conflict and thus not a war crime. Should it be removed, or kept as an example of a crime committed by British forces (albeit during peace time policing what amounted to a domestic event, and committed by non-British troops of the Indian Army under British command)?EnigmaMcmxc (talk) 07:07, 10 January 2014 (UTC)

Per the scholarly definition of what a war crime is (also shared by the UN if one searches), this is not a war crime as it did not take place during a domestic or international armed conflict. I have moved the below from the article to here to stimulate discussion if necessary:EnigmaMcmxc (talk) 15:50, 5 February 2014 (UTC)

The massacre of Amritsar occurred on 13 April 1919, when British Indian Army soldiers - under British command - fired on a crowd of unarmed Indian protesters, killing between 379 and 1,000.[1][2] The incident left a permanent scar on Indo-British relations and was the prelude to Mahatma Gandhi’s noncooperation movement of 1920–22.[3]

War rape[edit]

Per the following diff, lets discuss. Firstly, the edit was not made "based off personal perception", but rather reading what the article material actually states and looking at what the focus of this page is (the crimes committed or alleged to have been committed by British forces, not everyone else).

  • "Austin J. App's book, Ravishing the Women of Conquered Europe, claims that some 2,000,000 German women were raped in 1945, not only by members of the Red Army but also by American and British troops.[4]"

This section is problematic in this article for several reasons:
1) The wording of the article states that the author claims it happened (while it is not disputed rapes happened, the article should be based on solid evidence so this either needs to be reworded per the source material or a better source used).
2) More importantly, the Rape during the occupation of Germany article highlights that the Soviets were the culprits of up to 2 million rapes. The article notes that the Americans and French were the perpetrators of under 15,000 with an unknown number applied to the British forces. The fact that two million German women were raped, is clearly not an issue for this article as that number was not committed by British troops. The number committed by British forces - not everyone else - should be presented.

  • "such as the assault on three German women in the town of Neustadt am Rübemberge, and the attempted gang-rape of two local girls at gunpoint in the village of Oyle, near Nienburg, which ended in the death of one of the women when a soldier (it is not clear if unintentionally or otherwise) discharged his gun, striking her in the neck."

The first part of this was only removed, due to a number of factors:
1) the first example seems random, why highlight the case of three women when no overall figure has been presented? What was so important about this incident out of all the attacks that happened?
2) the second example provides a much stronger case of British misbehavior than the former.

Finally, the entire section was copyedited to attempt to improve its grammar and structure. On what grounds was every single change to this section simply reverted?EnigmaMcmxc (talk) 22:56, 14 January 2014 (UTC)

First of all, I was not aware of the current discussion, my apologies for partially revert your edit before going to the talk page. There is not problem from my part with the second paragraph, agreed that a random example makes no difference.
As for the Biggs quote of App, I think it helps to put British war rapes in a context; while rape by Allied military forces was a common feature during the 1945 invasion of Germany, and the British were part of these forces, the bulk of those crimes was not committed by British troops. This is endorsed by Longden when he asserts that the rapes were "far from the scale of those committed by Soviet forces".
On the other hand, I am of the opinion that Biggs (and App along him) should stand in the article because we have there a second author (cited by a third) that agree with Longden in the fact that British troops effectively raped German women, so nobody can claim that the section relies upon a single source.--Darius (talk) 00:35, 15 January 2014 (UTC)
I am glad that we both agree on the second point.
I completely agree that as many sources should be used to support the point, so that the issue is beyond question.
In regards to context, I believe the best way to establish it would be to identify the number of rapes committed by British forces (then, perhaps, contrast that against the overall number committed by all Allied forces). I have conducted a brief search of google books, but was unable to find anything on it: although additional searches and different wording used could perhaps find more information. I feel that the first part of the disputed section clearly belong in the Allied war crimes article, and for the moment not here.EnigmaMcmxc (talk) 01:00, 15 January 2014 (UTC)

Petros Patrides[edit]

The info provided clearly states he was abused by Special Branch: part of the police, not the military. Is it not pushing to now label this a war crime rather than a breech of someone's human rights by the civilian police?EnigmaMcmxc (talk) 16:14, 30 January 2014 (UTC)

Per the scholarly definition provided, this is either not a war crime (as special branch are police and not part of the military) or it is borderline stuff and it needs better sourcing than used. Therefore, I have removed the below from the article to prompt discussion if needed:EnigmaMcmxc (talk) 15:52, 5 February 2014 (UTC)

Petros Patrides, a businessman, was a 15-year-old schoolboy during the conflict when he was detained by the British hunting the EOKA leader Georgios Grivas. Patrides says he was waterboarded by his interrogators who were British Special Branch officers. "They tied me on a bed, spread-eagled and naked, and rubbed pepper into my lips and eyelids, and my private parts. They would put a piece of cloth over your nose and mouth and dip water on to it and you would feel like you were drowning. Just before you passed out they would stop and take the cloth off. And then they would start again.

Business as usual[edit]

The abuse of sources continues on this page. For example, in the Iraq section we are told that soldiers turned up and shot a young girl for no reason. But the source given is worded very differently. It clearly states that soldiers say they were attacked, and that she was hit by a ricochet. There is not even an attempt here at presenting a NPOV. Other examples can be found in the Northern Ireland section, including the ridiculous (unsourced) claim that a "shoot to kill" policy in a war consitutes a war crime. No doubt there are many more. And no, I'm not fixing it myself, as I don't have the time or energy to waste on this. The only good thing is that nobody else appears to be actually reading this page, which is now just a kind of sandbox for Anglophobes. Rettens2 (talk) 15:00, 31 January 2014 (UTC)

I completely agree. A lot of material has been added to this article and other related articles recently, and issues have been raised here and elsewhere on how that material has been used: it would seem most (if not all) of it needs to be checked to ensure it is no misusing the source. However, that is an awful lot of work: if you have the time, it would be greatly appreciated to whip this article into shape.EnigmaMcmxc (talk) 15:44, 5 February 2014 (UTC)

Afghan civilian abuse[edit]

"Two British soldiers, who cannot be named for legal reasons, admitted abusing Afghan civilians when they appeared at a court martial hearing in Sennelager, Germany in 2013. Their patrol commander, referred to as Soldier Z, was cleared of failing in his duty to deal with the offences. One soldier, while he was on tour in Afghanistan in December 2011, admitted pulling an Afghan boy's hand towards his crotch while saying: "Touch my special place." Soldier X, who has been granted anonymity because of fears that naming him would endanger his life and that of his family, pleaded guilty to conduct to the prejudice of good order and service discipline at the start of a court martial for three British servicemen. He also admitted insulting another Afghan child between 16 October 2011 and 6 January 2012. A second soldier, referred to as Soldier Y, admitted that he was involved in having an Afghan man photographed with a sign which read "Silly Paki" between 16 October 2011 and 6 January 2012. The serviceman pleaded guilty to a racially aggravated offence likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress under the Crime and Disorder Act of 1998.[5]"

The above has been removed as it does not provide evidence of a war crime occurring. The article highlights that the soldiers were prosecuted against the Crime and Disorder Act, which refers to a variety of things none of which is military law or international law regarding how wars are fought. In other words, it is evidence of British soldiers violating domestic code, but not acts that violate the laws and customs of war. It is therefore not a war crime, unless a reliable source can be provided to support such an allegation. Not to mention, it is a copy and paste job form the Guardian website thus a breech of wiki guidelines.EnigmaMcmxc (talk) 16:05, 5 February 2014 (UTC)


Copied from User_talk:DagosNavy#War_crime for purpose of giving 3O and preserving discussion. — TransporterMan (TALK) 16:35, 11 February 2014 (UTC)

" Restoring text, not enough reason given for removal - Occupation is an act of war, an any crime committed by even a lonely soldier is a war crime"

That is OR at its best. The war ended in 1945, please provide a definition that describes the Second World War lasting until 1952 (when the occupation of Japan ended) 1949 (when the occupation of Western Germany formally ended). Furthermore, that is not the definition of war crime: you cannot make up your own definitions. Please provide a source that states "any crime committed by even a lonely soldier is a war crime".EnigmaMcmxc (talk) 03:03, 8 February 2014 (UTC)

Hi. I was not making "my own definitions"; while WWII certainly lasted until 1945, there was an Allied military occupation in Germany from 1945 to 1949. The definition of the Nuremberg Charter defines war crime as "Violations of the laws or customs of war. Such violations shall include, but not be limited to, murder, ill-treatment or deportation to slave labour or for any other purpose of civilian population of or in occupied territory, murder or ill-treatment of prisoners of war or persons on the seas, killing of hostages, plunder of public of private property, wanton destruction of cities, towns or villages, or devastation not justified by military necessity." Well, occupation of enemy territory lasts sometimes decades after a war is over (Western Bank in Palestine, Vukovar in Croatia), as well as the detention of prisoners of war (in the Soviet Union there were WWII POWs well into the 1950s). Therefore, the occupation of Germany (and Japan) was an act of war per this definition, which by the way is in the article's lede. Most crimes of Nazi Germany took place in occupied territories, where the war was not going on and in some cases after an armistice with local authorities was in place (Vichy France, Denmark). Until now, nobody claims that these were not war crimes just because there was not technically "a war" raging in those regions.
An individual soldier could commit war crimes (this is also in the lede); if this soldier is Soviet, well, it would be a Soviet war crime; if British, then we have a British war crime.--Darius (talk) 17:05, 8 February 2014 (UTC)
Per the scholarly definition you completely overlooked: a war crime occurs during an armed conflict. The occupation of Germany took place after the armed conflict had ended. You need a source that specifically states that crimes that took place during the occupation of Germany were war crimes. The source uses does not state that the crime was a war crime. It is clear overreaching.
As for an individual soldier, I did not deny that a single soldier cannot commit a war crime. You claimed, and failed to back up or support your assertion, that "any crime committed by even a lonely soldier is a war crime".
As for the article: I did not request extended quotations to support the text. I looked up the book and failed to verify any of the information attributed to the source. Hence the tags and hence the explanation inserted into them: that the source needed to be verified. The extended quotes are not helpful, not to mention one of them did not even support the text you claimed it did.EnigmaMcmxc (talk) 23:36, 8 February 2014 (UTC)
Well, man, it was just an edit summary, I want it to mean that "a war crime, even if committed by a lonely soldier, is still a war crime"; I can't write a book for every edit I make. I can live with the article in its current status, but I think that those quotes required by yourself should stand for the benefit of readers, not just to support your own position or mine.--Darius (talk) 23:44, 8 February 2014 (UTC)
P/S: I suppose you mean "irrelevant" and not "irreverent" in this summary. Oh, I almost forget what Geneva says about military occupation (see). See also this article from Wikisource. Regards--Darius (talk) 00:11, 9 February 2014 (UTC)
Fair enough.
I have a feeling, based off you bringing up the occupation info (which, don't get me wrong, is a good addition to the definition provided on the article), that deleted information is going to be restored in regards to the occupations of Germany and Japan. I would caution against their adding on the grounds that 1) the sources used (thus far) do not label them as war crimes, and 2) everything I have thus far seen notes that the Fourth Geneva Convention cannot be employed retroactively.EnigmaMcmxc (talk) 04:49, 9 February 2014 (UTC)
Thank you. The retroactive use of the Convention is relevant only from a judicial point of view; we're just writing an online encyclopedic article from our 21 century perspective with the bare facts, we aren't lawyers or judges debating whether or not a party is guilty or not. You should also noted that there were criticism at the Nuremberg Trials (see criticism section) regarding violations of human rights (Nazis were nontheless indicted for those crimes). Had we to consider the issue of retroactivity, we should remove the classification of "Nazi War Crimes" from a good number of WP pages. As for the other issue, my opinion is that any breach of the Convention constitutes per se a war crime.--Darius (talk) 14:23, 9 February 2014 (UTC)
"The retroactive use of the Convention is relevant only from a judicial point of view; we're just writing an online encyclopedic article from our 21 century perspective with the bare facts, we aren't lawyers or judges debating whether or not a party is guilty or not."
Therefore, you cannot label a crime a war crime. We are not lawyers or judges stating what is or what is not a war crime. The sources, for the most part except when it is clear cut, state what is and what is not a war crime. The 4th Geneva Convention is not - as far as I am aware - retroactive (the fact that parts of the Nazi hierarchy were charged with breeches of international law only, then, recently crafted and that the trials faced criticism is completely irrelevant to the topic at hand and something I will not venture off into discussion.), the source used does not state when the event took place nor does it state if the act was a war crime or not. In effect, by including it you are acting as the judge and debating who is guilty or not. Its inclusion, and your argument in your final sentence, is a clear case of breeching WP: OR and WP: SYN.
If one was so inclined, since - if I am not mistaken - the two sources do not state that any of the rapes committed breeched international law or constituted war crimes, one could argue for the entire section to be pulled especially in light of the UN's position on the subject. The UN only defined rape, during war, as a war crime in 1993. The UN notes "armies considered rape one of the legitimate spoils of war. During World War II, all sides of the conflict were accused of mass rapes, yet neither of the two courts set up by the victorious allied countries to prosecute suspected war crimes — in Tokyo and Nuremberg — recognized the crime of sexual violence." The UN website goes on to note "It was not until 1992, in the face of widespread rapes of women in the former Yugoslavia, that the issue came to the attention of the UN Security Council. On 18 December 1992, the Council declared the "massive, organized and systematic detention and rape of women, in particular Muslim women, in Bosnia and Herzegovina" an international crime that must be addressed." and "Subsequently, the Statute of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY, 1993) included rape as a crime against humanity, alongside other crimes such as torture and extermination, when committed in armed conflict and directed against a civilian population."(UN article on the issue)
Thus, the discussion returns to what the sources say (not what we interpret them to mean, or what crimes we believe should be treated as war crimes or serious breeches of international treaties). I should note that I believe rape to be a serious and horrendous crime, and I am not attempting to downplay what happened. But, if the sources do not state post-war attacks were war crimes, then they should not really be included here (and rather in the specific article on the subject). Although I concede that attacks that took place during the war, despite the various definitions to the contrary, should be noted.
Based on these arguments, I am going to remove the material re-added. I suggest (considering you advocate its inclusion, and I argue against) that a third party be consulted to look at the issue from an outside perspective.EnigmaMcmxc (talk) 03:35, 10 February 2014 (UTC)
First of all, I agree with having a third part involved. As for the judicial vs. encyclopedic inclusion, my point of view is quite simple; we must deal with this issues from a 2014 perspective, so retroactivity is immaterial here. If rape (which, by the way, is an act of violence against protected civilians) is a war crime today, then it shall be included in this or any other article dealing with war crimes.--Darius (talk) 11:53, 10 February 2014 (UTC)
I disagree. I have trained in the field of history: we cannot judge the people of the past for their moral failings, by the rules, laws and standards of today. Otherwise we would be going around calling the Romans war criminals for the (historical meaning or literal modern meaning) The Rape of the Sabine Women, the enslavement of their vanquished foes, or the what could be argued to be the genocide of the Carthaginians.
The article, for the most part, should stick to what the sources call war crimes, what have been alleged to be war crimes, what are clear violations of the rules of war at the time, and with some leniency to other topics.EnigmaMcmxc (talk) 19:06, 10 February 2014 (UTC)
My point is that we are not editing Wikipedia in order to judge people, but to present the bare facts; while is true that there was nothing like "war crime" at the time of the Romans (the ius gentium may be an exception, and the destruction of Carthage is considered a genocide by several modern authors), by the time of the Allied occupation of Germany, attacks on civilians by occupation troops had been certainly perceived as war crimes, not matter if verbal abuse, beating, rape or murder, since the "Rape of Belgium" in 1914.--Darius (talk) 23:21, 10 February 2014 (UTC)
P/S: I found this interesting chapter of the Hague convention of 1907 regarding military occupation (see here).--Darius (talk) 23:47, 10 February 2014 (UTC)
Searchtool-80%.png Response to Third Opinion Request:
Disclaimers: I am responding to a third opinion request made at WP:3O. I have made no previous edits on British war crimes and cannot recall any prior interaction with the editors involved in this discussion which might bias my response. The third opinion process (FAQ) is informal and I have no special powers or authority apart from being a fresh pair of eyes. Third opinions are not tiebreakers and should not be "counted" in determining whether or not consensus has been reached. My personal standards for issuing third opinions can be viewed here.
Opinion: One particularly wise Third Opinion Wikipedian, RegentsPark, once succinctly put the purpose of Third Opinions like this, "It's sort of like if you're having an argument on the street in front of City Hall and turn to a passer-by to ask 'hey, is it true that the Brooklyn Bridge is for sale?'." I'm going to answer this in the abstract rather than in reference to the particular edit in question: Wikipedia standards are that all assertions must be verifiable. If reasoning must be applied to facts in order to prove a point, that is prohibited original research (NOR). To report things which happened, no matter how verifiable or well documented and, from some definition of war crime, expressly conclude or infer by inclusion in this article with this title that they were war crimes then that is prohibited original research and, very likely, using this article as a COATRACK. The synthesis section of the NOR policy says:

Do not combine material from multiple sources to reach or imply a conclusion not explicitly stated by any of the sources. If one reliable source says A, and another reliable source says B, do not join A and B together to imply a conclusion C that is not mentioned by either of the sources. This would be a synthesis of published material to advance a new position, which is original research.

Combining a reliable source which says fact A happened with a reliable source that says that a war crime is defined as B to conclude that A is a war crime is exactly that kind of synthesis. What should be in this article are either adjudicated cases of war crimes reported in reliable secondary sources or, at the very least, cases in which specific acts have been specifically alleged in reliable secondary sources to be war crimes. An allegation need not be an official allegation, so long as it is made in a reliable source; a historian or even a contentious anti-British pundit or organization, for example, may allege that certain acts which were never officially adjudicated or alleged were war crimes and that may be included if it can be cited to a reliable source and can be properly and fairly described. Crimes or misconduct should not be included, however, unless someone other than a Wikipedia editor has alleged or proved them to be war crimes.

What's next: Once you've considered this opinion click here to see what happens next.—TransporterMan (TALK) 16:35, 11 February 2014 (UTC)


This article appears to be blatantly anti-British to any reader. It is written with emotive and partisan terms and fails WP:NPOV. I have cleaned it up a little but it requires more work in my opinion. SonofSetanta (talk) 18:26, 24 March 2014 (UTC) You should look at the Malay emergency page among others related to Britihs cold war conflicts. They have the same problems as this page. (talk) 13:10, 17 April 2014 (UTC)

There is considerable evidence that has emerged to support the claims that the British were responsible for the Malay massacre, this can be reference, Ward 'deception at Batang Kali' — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:00, 24 June 2014 (UTC)

More about the Iraq War[edit]

It is important to make clear that starting the Iraq War is by many considered a serious war crime, which is apparent for example in the article about Tony Blair. Remember the Nuremberg judgment. Aggression is "the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole."

In May 2014, the International Criminal Court announced that it will examine alleged cases of unlawful killing and claims of mistreatment involving British troops.

Mark Urban's book Task Force Black about British special forces in Iraq contains information that can be relevant for this article. For example, on page 233, he writes that "Over time, Task Force Knight's rules of engagement had in fact been brought closer to those of the Americans. By 2007 they were, under certain circumstances, allowed to attack a house or car if they believed those inside to be terrorists about to perpetrate an act of violence." The book also describes a secret jail called the Temporary Screening Facility, which was not visited by the Red Cross or other humanitarian organisations. British special forces transferred some prisoners there. Abuses of prisoners taken by British troops are reported to have happened in many places, including beating a prisoner to death on a RAF helicopter. See also the Guardian's article about Camp Nama. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:57, 15 July 2014 (UTC)

X mark.svg Not done This IP seems to be WP:POINTing, making war crime claims on the West.Forbidden User (talk) 13:32, 19 August 2014 (UTC)

  1. ^ David Cameron marks British 1919 Amritsar massacre BBC; retrieved 4 December 2013
  2. ^ Dua, Rohan (21 February 2013). "Jallianwala Bagh massacre deeply shameful, says Cameron". The Times of India. Retrieved 4 December 2013. 
  3. ^ "Massacre of Amritsar". Encyclopædia Britannica; retrieved 4 December 2013.
  4. ^ Biggs, Barton (2010). Wealth, War and Wisdom. John Wiley & Sons, p. 311; ISBN 1118039440
  5. ^ "British soldiers admit abusing Afghan civilians". Guardian. 4 June 2013.