Talk:Eddie Slovik

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Reading the description of Huie's book (from the link) it's clear Huie is portraying Slovik as a pacifist. What is the evidence of this? From what I've read of Slovik's own words, he was simply scared. (I'm not making a moral judgement here; I've never been in combat myself or served in the military.) But if Slovik was acting on some pacifist belief I think the evidence should be included in this article. MK2 04:56, 27 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Slovik wasn't a "pacifist", as in a card carrying member of a movement, or an educated (or even semi-educated, or self-taught) believer of some sort. As you correctly surmise:)...He simply didn't want to be there - he didn't want to get hurt. Petty criminals and lower IQ types make very poor soliders despite popular perceptions or Hollywood movies...Slovik may have recieved the toughest treatment (court martial and execution) of the war, but he was certainly no high-minded, principalled individualist...He was basically a loser. Engr105th (talk) 21:24, 11 January 2008 (UTC)
I concur that he was "basically a loser". He was also clearly no brain surgeon, since he was basically bluntly told a number of times by several levels of his command that by virtue of his confession to a capital crime in wartime, he was essentially committing suicide. Still, there are several reports that it was precisely the bluntness of his confession that aroused everyone's wrath against him and compelled them to make an example of him. If he had only had the common sense to plead insanity or even give a semi-pitiable excuse for his conduct, he would have likely just been thrown in the stockade for life and then pardoned at some point down the road. But there's nothing that's more likely to send an infantry commander into a duty-bound rage than a Private facing combat saying "I won't fight, you can't make me fight, and there's nothing you can do to convince me to fight, even if you promise to shoot me. I don't have any excuses except I'm too scared. Sorry." Bullzeye (Ring for Service) 12:03, 15 October 2008 (UTC)


Somewhere I've read that Slovik's intelligence was considerably below average (in the 80 IQ range), but this article doesn't allude to it. Also, it bears mentioning that the execution did raise some public outcry, leading to an overhaul of military justice which culminated in the UCMJ of 1951. --bamjd3d—Preceding comment was added at 18:22, June 29, 2005 (UTC)

If you have a source regarding the sub-average intelligence claim, refer to it. Otherwise, your allegation is heresay. GJK 20:07, 12 November 2005 (UTC)
In wikipedia, the phrase "Somewhere I read," carries absolutely no credibility for whatever statement of "fact" that is presented. Furthermore, there is no evidence that Slovik's case raised ENOUGH of a public outcry for the Pentagon to rewrite the UCMJ out of some kind of guilt over his solitary execution for desertion. It may have been due for revision in any event.—Preceding unsigned comment added by T.E. Goodwin (talkcontribs) 21:37, November 12, 2005 (UTC)

Slovik [...] did not cause "enough of an outcry" to change anything. Under Article 85 of the UCMJ, desertion during time of war REMAINS a capital offense.

Nothing was "rewritten out of guilt," the UCMJ arose from the reorganization of the US Armed Forces that occurred after World War II including the creation of an independent US Air Force, the merging of the War Department and Department of the Navy into the Department of Defense...

The primary check on further executions for desertion during time of war has been the lack of "times of war" since 1945. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:55, 19 September 2010 (UTC)


According to Find a Grave he was pardoned by Carter. Is this true? -- Al™ 19:44, 1 February 2006 (UTC)

I was in the Army ('64-'85) during Carter's term, and don't believe his amnesty for VN-era draft-dodgers & deserters included Slovik. If he had pardoned Slovik I believe the outrage among the military, especially combat vets, would have been memorable, to say the least. The comments of his firing squad were typical.(Retired MSgt)—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 01:58, May 29, 2006 (UTC)
from the findagrave link:
Slovik's remains were returned to Michigan in 1987, after he was pardoned by President Jimmy Carter. Forty-two years after Slovik's :execution, his remains are reburied next to his wife, Antoinette
it would be nice to verify or refute the pardon. anyone find a 2nt source? --Michaelcoyote 06:51, 7 December 2006 (UTC)

Slovik was not pardoned, even by Carter. His conviction stands to this day.

The only thing Carter did was allow Slovik's [body] to be removed from a military cemetery---[on] hallowed ground---and shipped back to Detroit. [...] —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:18, 19 September 2010 (UTC)

Slovic wasn't buried in "hallowed ground," he was interred in Plot "E", reserved for those who were executed. It's right there in the article. Perhaps you should have read it first before commenting, as it might have made you look less like a fool. (talk) 09:04, 29 July 2011 (UTC)
Please no personal attacks. Address the content and edit, not the editor. WP:civil. 7&6=thirteen () 12:35, 29 July 2011 (UTC)
I have an undated newspaper article (I wasn't smart back then) from the Detroit UPI office that states that President Carter was going to ask Congress to pass a special bill to pay Slovik's widow $70,000 in GI Insurance Benefits. I don't know if this bill was ever passed. Antionette was 62 at the time the article was written.Herr Orange (talk) 01:57, 14 February 2013 (UTC)
See Carter, Jimmy; Peters, Gerhard; Woolley, John T. (February 6, 1978). "Legislation for the Relief of Antoinette Slovik: Announcement of the President's Support for the Legislation" (Press release). American Presidency Project. Retrieved February 13, 2013.  7&6=thirteen () 02:07, 14 February 2013 (UTC)

Let's do the Time Warp again[edit]

"In 1987, forty-two years after Slovik's execution, his remains were returned to Michigan and reburied next to his wife Antoinette (who died in 1989) in Woodmere Cemetery in Detroit."

Does anybody else see a problem here? silsor 07:40, 8 March 2006 (UTC)

FORTY TWO YEARS! That's the answer to life ! 17:47, 18 March 2006 (UTC)

Absolutely disgusting. Kntrabssi 06:03, 22 March 2006 (UTC)

I have corrected the information, Antoinette died in 1979[1]. Fuelbottle 01:38, 23 March 2006

Don't try to look at this event through the morals our society now has (Presentism). While to us executing someone for desertion makes no sense, but you have to understand the circumstances. Desertion was an issue and Eisenhower was trying to win a war. I'm not saying the execution wasn't harsh, but in that era execution for desertion was acceptable.JakeH07 (talk) 04:52, 26 April 2009 (UTC)

No, it wasn't. To pick one guy out of thousands is just plain quirky, to say the least. There were no compelling circumstances in his case, other than his admissions and attitude. In terms of consequences of his disappearing, it wasn't much. There were many soldiers, including officers, who were derelict and refused to go forward, and other soldiers (or airmen)'s lives hung in the balance. Administration of the death penalty had little rhyme or reason. To the extent that this was "an example", the literature suggests tht it was poorly designed for that purpose: it as kept silent and suppressed at the time. 7&6=thirteen (talk) 11:19, 26 April 2009 (UTC) Stan

To try to put this into some form of perspective, during WW1, the British executed 100's of their own soldiers and frequently, the trials were over in 20-30 minutes. . Going back even further, following the battle of Minorca, a British Admiral, John Byng, was executed. One of his superiors said "In this country, it is wise to kill an admiral from time to time to encourage the others." — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:43, 28 February 2015 (UTC)

American soldiers executed for crimes such as rape and murder[edit]

94 American soldiers executed by the U.S. and in just this cemetery. Does anyone roughly know the number of it's own troops the U.S. executed through the course of WWII? This is interesting and seldom talked about.—Preceding unsigned comment added by Meilander (talkcontribs) 02:14, May 30, 2006

According to Stephen Ambrose in Citizen Soldiers (p342), 65 men were ordered shot during WWII, Ike commuted 16 to life in stockade, leaving 49 with the sentence carried out. -SaintMahone—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 14:50, June 15, 2007 (UTC)
Those are the ones executed after being court-martialled. Battlefield executions occurred with some frequency. For example, Ronald Speirs' battlefield execution of a squad leader. Quoted from the wiki article (with ref):
"Speirs ordered his platoon to hold position until the fire was completed to prevent serious casualties and fratricide. One of his squad leaders ignored the orders due to fatigue and disorientation. After his order was ignored a second time, Speirs shot the sergeant between the eyes, then promptly reported the incident to the company commander, Captain Jerre S. Gross. Gross was killed in combat the next day and the incident was not pursued."
Reference The War Memoirs of Major Dick Winters, p. 187.
Officers & NCOs were indeed authorized to carry out these actions.
⋙–Berean–Hunter—► ((⊕)) 13:48, 26 January 2011 (UTC)
Indeed. The reason officers and NCOs are issued side arms is to maintain discipline on the line. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:47, 11 October 2011 (UTC)

Death penalty[edit]

it is arguable that in sloviks case since he was deserting to miss an action where casualties may have been high that the death penalty was just as other men were probably scared too but stayed in the line and did there duty Bouse23 18:32, 12 October 2007 (UTC)

Unless it's argued by a reputable source, it's irrelevant.--Gloriamarie (talk) 03:43, 8 July 2008 (UTC)

US Deserters Were Executed in the Philippine Insurrection[edit] ^ a b Bowers, William T. "Black Soldier, White Army", 1997. p. 12 Thus I am removing the part that Eddie Slovik was the first US deserter executed since the Civil War. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:06, 23 December 2008 (UTC)

I eliminated the statement about the U.S. Soldiers executed during the Philipines Insurrection, as they were not charged with Cowardice, but with desertion and collaboration, per the source. Philippine-American War.[1] That's my reading of this source. 7&6=thirteen (talk) 18:49, 22 April 2009 (UTC) Stan

Error under Burial[edit]

Under the Burial section, it talks about a film about the execution. However, the rest of the article doesn't mention a film at all. Anybody know about this? How should we handle changing it?

Apple4ever (talk) 15:35, 20 June 2011 (UTC)

I understood this to be a reference to the The Execution of Private Slovik, which was a made for television adaptation of the book and is noted in the article. 7&6=thirteen () 21:08, 22 June 2011 (UTC)


443 Death Penalties?[edit]

I am reading Guns at Last Light, which claims, "443 death penalties were imposed on GIs, most for murder or rape, and a severly number fell on black soldiers." (location 10734 on Kindle) This would seem to indicate this number of soldiers were actually executed. But the writing is muddy and the author's sources are clear. Any idea as to the correct number of American servicemen executed worldwide during WW? Paul, in Saudi (talk) 09:20, 18 June 2013 (UTC)

Slovik was unique to the extent that he was the only US Soldier executed by firing squad for desertion since the Civil War. There is a page on Wiki about Shepton Mallet Prison (UK) which was an English Prison turned over to the US as a "brig". There were a total of 18 GI's executed from 1942-5. As you point out, a disproportionate number of the the executed were black or hispanic; 13 of (talk) 16:57, 28 February 2015 (UTC)

File:Eddie Slovik.jpg Nominated for Deletion[edit]

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"Unprovoked rape"[edit]

The following book: Douglas, John; Burgess, Ann W.; Burgess, Allen G.; Ressler, Robert K. (April 15, 2013). Crime Classification Manual: A standard system for investigating and classifying violent crimes (Hardbound). Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley & Son. ISBN 1118305051. Retrieved July 21, 2013.  ISBN 978-1118305058 supports this as a legal tool for classifying conduct, and a particularly aggravated form of rape. 7&6=thirteen () 21:42, 21 July 2013 (UTC)

The Victors (Film)[edit]

In the 1960 film, there is a scene set in Jan 1945 where a squad of men are required to watch the execution by firing squad of a deserter. As I understand it, the book the film is based on is not a true story per se but the collection of various soldiers experiences. As such, it would appear that the scene references the Slovik execution. However, the film also places the squad in Belgium at this time. I mention this in case the editors of the page want to include a "Reference in popular culture" section. (talk) 17:30, 28 February 2015 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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External links modified[edit]

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I have just added archive links to one external link on Eddie Slovik. Please take a moment to review my edit. If necessary, add {{cbignore}} after the link to keep me from modifying it. Alternatively, you can add {{nobots|deny=InternetArchiveBot}} to keep me off the page altogether. I made the following changes:

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