Talk:War crime

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Issue with parsing[edit]

I found an issue that causes the page to be extra wide, and causes the page in any size window to create a horizontal scroll bar. I tested this in Mozilla Firefox 3.5.2, English (US). —Preceding unsigned comment added by WYNP (talkcontribs) 22:32, 11 August 2009 (UTC)

Validity/ Accuracy[edit]

Don't get me wrong but I believe this topic is useless. Reason for my saying - History has shown War crime is a Assignation Tool at the hands of Victor. Some of you may not like it ( Am not biased against anyone) however most people / generals who have been accused and tried of War crimes have been from defeated armies. There has never been a case in history when Soldiers or politicians from any Country like USA or UK ( just to name few) have been tried of a War Crime - Even though there has been an ample proof of war crime by soldiers or politicians from these countries. If you ask me Use of 1) ATOM bomb against innocent civilians in Japan is the biggest war crime - who got convicted ? No one. 2) The use of Naplam on civilians in Vietnam & Korea by US troops also amount to war crimes not to mention the long list of crimes conducted by these countries (especially the soldiers during operations since then).

What can be done is we can make this particular topic genuine and forceful by listing down GENUINE and proven acts of War Crimes and their outcome irrespective of which country was involved. Sorry to have taken so much space. By User Dimitrz

—The preceding unsigned comment was added by Dimitrz (talkcontribs) 13:56, 26 February 2007 (UTC).

I would agree that the article needs work. Some sections seem to be OK but the introduction is particularly bad. For example, the opening sentence claims that war crimes include murder. Obviously, the vast majority of murders are not war crimes. Much of the introduction would be more appropriate in an article on the early history of war crimes and largely ignores modern treaties relating to war crimes. There is also the questionable assertion that crimes against the peace are not war crimes.
While I recognize that small facts are easier to substantiate than broad summaries, In my view, the introduction needs to find a way to lay out some basic ideas about war crimes that are not obvious to the average reader. First and foremost, there is no world government that has precisely defined what a war crime is. Instead, there are a collection of international treaties. Individual countries make up their own definitions of war crimes based in part on the specific treaties they have agreed to and based in part on precedents within that particular country. More fundamentally, one of the most basic goals of these treaties is to create a situation where people can kill each other without being punished. As a result war crimes law can deviate radically from what one might naively expect based on experience with ordinary criminal law.
Anyway, one quick solution to all this would be to move the "Ambiguity" section higher up the page - maybe even use it as the introduction. Overall though, this article looks like it needs a major rewrite. (talk) 20:45, 24 July 2008 (UTC)
  • War Crime is an oxymoron in my opinion, a way to justify the winner's actions and villify the loser. All the examples that are listed here should be removed and moved to the article for "atrocity" which currently does not have an article. (talk) 20:54, 15 December 2008 (UTC)
A war crime supposes a breach of a legal rule, like a international convention. And in most of the examples such international conventions existed before the war started. So it is difficult to pretend war crimes would only be a "victor justice". Therefore it is much easier to write an article on War crime (a concept that has a legal definition) than on Atrocity which is a concept that may change from person to person. If you start writing such an article, you will not even have a agreement on the definition of an atrocity. --Lebob-BE (talk) 09:00, 16 December 2008 (UTC)

Move 2003[edit]

Any objection to moving this to war-crime? Lirath Q. Pynnor 04:39, 22 October 2003 (UTC)

I have no preference between "war crime" and "war-crime" as a title, but if you move it, be sure to change all the links in pages on "What links here". -- Infrogmation 05:34, 22 Oct 2003 (UTC)

I have a definite preference. "war crime" is a noun, "war-crime" a modifier, as in "war-crime tribunal". 20:32, 29 Apr 2004 (UTC)

George H.W. Bush[edit]

"Condemnation" is not charging. We're talking about people who've actually gone to trial here. Meelar 06:14, 2 May 2004 (UTC)

Meelar, Hilter never went on trial. So he's not a war criminal, right? And Pol Pot etc. War crime as a topic cannot be limited to people who've actually gone on trial as many war criminals never reach trial, especially victors. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:12, 18 June 2009

You're going to need a better source than an off-handed comment by Chomsky to place someone in a shortlist of of war criminals. I can't find a primary source for this or even a decent secondary source. The International Court of Justice (World Court) does not list any case whatever involving the U.S. and Panama and a search of their site does not even mention Bush's name. Further, even if there were a case (which there isn't) the WC decides complaints between nations, it doesn't try individuals. Cecropia 04:36, 6 May 2004 (UTC)

Quick Google search gives: [1], [2], [3], [4], [5]... I guess that WC archives don't go back to 1986. Nikola 05:17, 7 May 2004 (UTC)
I've done a lot of research in my life and have discovered that all you need is one bad citation that is then picked up over and over, especially by partisans, which describes the sources you're giving, some of which don't even mention the alleged incident and none giving a primary source. If six people repeat a lie it doesn't make it less a lie. The point is I went to the primary source, and it just isn't there. -- Cecropia 05:28, 7 May 2004 (UTC)
The International Court of Justice Records go back to 1947 with UK vs Albania. I'll comment that Chomsky seems to "know" many things that noone else has heard of. If you see him say something, you should look for a primary source. -- Cecropia 05:31, 7 May 2004 (UTC)

Chomsky: The first thing you ought to do is verify what I present. Just because I say it doesn't make it true. So check it out, see what looks correct, what looks wrong, look at other material which wasn't discussed, figure out what the truth really is. That's what you've got a brain for. What's the source you're refering to? Could you put a link here, please? If not, I'll pick it up in a little while. Mr. Jones 11:09, 22 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Original cite came from the now-banned User:Troll Silent, Troll Deep. Meelar 04:38, 6 May 2004 (UTC)
? I can't see him ever editing the article? Nikola 05:17, 7 May 2004 (UTC)
Meeler, please provide evidence for this assertion. Mr. Jones 11:09, 22 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Should there be a list of (perceived?) war crimes?[edit]

Should there be a page listing cases which appear, or are possibly perceived by many individuals, to be war crimes?

I think this would be a worthwhile project. For one thing, its not information collated elsewhere. For another it might make people think. I'd like to add this, but solicit other opinions first. FT2 16:18, Jul 22, 2004 (UTC)

This would be pointless. Almost any major head of state or high-ranking military officer in time of war would be accused as a war criminal for decisions made in the heat of battle and for technical errors.

Saddam Hussein surely considered President George Bush ("41") a war criminal for attacking Iraqi forces in the liberation of Kuwait. Adolf Hitler surely considered Sir Winston Churchill a war criminal for resiting him. --Paul from Michigan 15:54, 20 June 2007 (UTC)

Definition is incorrect[edit]

There are a number of inaccuracies with this article. First off, it defines war crimes incorrectly. If it, unfortunately, not true that "Every violation of the law of war is a war crime." The laws of armed conflict ('international humanitarian law' or IHL) consist of many rules that bind the behavior of states, but only some rules are considered serious enough that they lead to criminal prosecution of individuals. It is that subset of violations of IHL that can be considered war crimes. Also, the article refers to war crimes as being part of human rights law; as described above, they are part of IHL, which is actually a separate body of international law, though of course they have complementary interests.—The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 09:30, 25 November 2004 (UTC)

Agreed. The errors above should be fixed. In addition, I don't know that the distinction between internal and international armed conflict is necessary any longer. Violations of IHL committed during a purely internal armed conflict may not be considered Grave Breaches of the Geneva Conventions, but they will almost certainly fall under Common Article 3 (of the Geneva Conventions) or as violations of the laws and customs of war (previously customary international law, but now codified in the Rome Statute).—The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 19:26, 29 July 2005 (UTC)

As a rule war crimes are those significant criminal acts that civilian leadership or high-ranking military officers have organized, tolerated, or covered up. A deed might qualify as a war crime because it is a criminal act committed by a soldier -- but prosecution in accordance with recognized courts-martial makes the qualification moot. War crimes almost as a rule involve a national entity or a rebel force that begins to act as a criminal entity.

Crimes against one's own people (let us say the Dujjail massacre for which Saddam Hussein was convicted and sentenced to death, the Holodomor, or the mass death in Cambodia under the Khmer Rouge) are not war crimes unless the military or a para-military has a role in them. In contrast, the Anfal campaign (gassing the Kurds)is an unambiguous war crime because of the use of military forces and military weapons (even if the chemical weapons are banned under international law). The Holocaust is a war crime to the extent that paramilitary forces (the SS, especially) were used in controlling people and killing them, and civilians knowledgeable of the nature of the activity who participated in any way -- which would include police agencies (the Gestapo) and the foreign ministry. Civilians become culpable in war crimes if they participate in them, advocate them (thus Julius Streicher), or protect the culpable from lawful prosecution (which would apply to courts-martial that in accordance with orders from above excuse criminal activities).

Massacres under military supervision or mistreatment of captured soldiers (including summary executions, lynchings, or torture) makes one a war criminal even if one is a civilian. Responsibilities exist toward prisoners of war and persons who become subject to the rule of occupying powers -- such as ensuring the reasonable safety of an occupied people's lives, property, most basic freedoms, and culture consistent with the maintenance of order and the rule of law. Military officers who violate that assumption through deliberate or reckless acts are war criminals, and civilians who place themselves in culpability by giving criminal orders or participating in criminal acts of soldiers (such as in systematic looting) become war criminals. A civilian collaborator from an occupied country who participates in war crimes might be considered a [treason|traitor] as well as a war criminal should he be captured by the political entity whose people he has betrayed.

As a rule, most countries have considerable control, at least nominal, of the armed forces, selecting upper officers as much for their morals as for their competence, sharply delimiting the activities that soldiers can do, and putting tight controls on military weapons.

That a criminal act of a soldier is prosecuted in accordance with the legal code of the political entity that he has sworn to serve makes a trial as a war criminal for which a 'lone wolf' or 'criminal gang' moot; codes of military justice are usually quite unforgiving to those who violate the trust of the armed forces with overt crimes.--Paul from Michigan 21:09, 19 July 2007 (UTC)

Paul from Michigan said "As a rule war crimes are those significant criminal acts that civilian leadership or high-ranking military officers have organized, tolerated, or covered up."
The acts must be committed during an "armed conflict" to be a "war crime" diran 00:07, 25 July 2007 (UTC)

Moved from Casualties_of_the_conflict_in_Iraq_since_2003[edit]

The discussion below has been copied here by MrJones at 10:56, 22 December 2004

Nowhere in this article is any mention of a count of deaths of Iraqi police, soldiers and recruits. Nor is there a count of civilian deaths caused by reactionary forces operating in Iraq. I've scoured the internet and find nothing. Maybe these victims are not important?! Also, the statistics at this site would mean more if there were some comparisons (or links to such), such as the number of civilian deaths caused by the Allied D-Day invasion in combating Fascism, that is, to recent wars. According to the above statement, the Allies would have been responsible for French deaths, oddly insinuating that the war against Hitler would have been somehow illegal. Also, the statistics seem for many here more important than the idealogy behind the "insurgents". No interest in that, ....? Whyerd 19:02, 10 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Firstly, killing traitors and collaborators is part of any liberation move. Also, it's pathetic to use comparisons with WWII in order to support the Iraq war propaganda. It shows how desperate the imperialist aggressors really are. And the ideology behind the freedom fighters (or "insurgents" like you call them) is to liberate their country from a violent foreign aggressor and illegal occupier, nothing more, nothing less.
Certainly there have been criticisms of the allies for bombing German civilians, yes. Noam Chomsky has described the principles of the Nuremberg courts thus:

... you have to ask yourself what was called a "war crime"? How did they decide what was a war crime at Nuremberg and Tokyo? And the answer is pretty simple, and not very pleasant. There was a criterion. Kind of like an operational criterion. If the enemy had done it and couldn't show that we had done it, then it was a war crime. So like bombing of urban concentrations was not concidered a war crime because we had done it more than the Germans and Japanese. ... Bombing Dresden is not a war crime because we did it.

And that formed the basis for the UN conventions, for the Geneva convention; the trials an Nuremburg, etc. However, it can be argued that every president has violated those rules: [6](Search for "I've done that in print a couple of times.") From his point of view, it's then not surprising that the President disregards the UN.
This doesn't belong here. I'm going to post it here then move it to Talk:war crime.
Mr. Jones 10:53, 22 Dec 2004 (UTC)
There's no lack of interest, it's just not the subject of this article. There's lots of info about the insurgents at Iraqi resistance. As for certain counts not appearing in this article, the problem is, they don't exist (as you've seen by scouring the internet). We can't give counts that aren't known. Neow 22:30, Oct 10, 2004 (UTC)

Heads of state?[edit]

The reference to heads of state seems incorrect. Tojo, for instance, was surely not the head of state in Japan -- that would have been the Emperor. Similarly for the German example.

Bathrobe 03:12, 3 April 2005 (UTC)

Hideki Tojo was Prime Minister of the Empire of Japan; Japan was then (as now) a constitutional monarchy. He was as much the leader of Japan as was Benito Mussolini in Italy -- or, for that matter, Sir Winston Churchill in the UK -- Prime Minister. That a King or Emperor was formal Head of State does not change the fact that the Prime Minister wielded the final power except under extreme circumstances (such as complete collapse). Head of State in the Soviet Union at the same time would have been Mikhail Kalinin, formal President of the USSR -- but the real power in the Soviet Union was of course the Party boss Josef Stalin.

You can trust that had the Nazis won the war, Sir Winston Churchill, had he survived and not fled capture, would have been first on the list of persons to be tried for whatever charges the Nazis could have come up with. Likewise Stalin would have been so treated, and Kalinin would have been small fry. --Paul from Michigan 16:07, 20 June 2007 (UTC)

Peace Crimes[edit]

Recently there have also appeared testimonies of "peace crimes" committed against the Nazi children in the peace time after the war, after 1945, as part of the victors' celebration. These peace crimes reflect the complexity of justice when the winners' mentality dominates in international criminal tribunals.

Does this belong? What are "Peace Crimes"? Why blur the distinction between War Crimes and other acts of barbarism in the middle of an article on war crimes? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Axamoto (talkcontribs) 20:54, 12 April 2005 (UTC)


I'm concerned that the last paragraph may not be NPOV, because it seems to imply not merely that the dropping of the atom bombs and the treatment of the East Timorese may have been war crimes, but that they were. Donald Ian Rankin 23:09, 19 October 2005 (UTC)

It has been edited, but I'm not sure if such alleged examples should be mentioned at all. Shawnc 00:05, 14 November 2005 (UTC)
They should definitely be mentioned as examples of unpunished war crimes, because that is what they are. There is nothing subjective about that. There is no question that the deliberate targeting, and subsequent mass murder, of enemy civilians during a war is a war crime. The fact that no-one, for whatever reason, has ever been charged or convicted in relation to these events does not alter this fact. (When someone is murdered, the event itself it is not an "alleged murder" or "perceived murder" until a conviction is obtained. It is a "murder" and remains so regardless of whether or not the police ever arrest someone in relation to it.)
In a sense, war crimes are a bit like acts of terrorism: too many of us have a problem with an objective definition because it makes us uncomfortable. It forces us to face truths we would rather not face. It is much easier, instead, to define war crimes (and acts of terrorism for that matter) not by the nature of the act itself, but by who the perpetrator is - and there is nothing objective about that.
Suffice to say these events belong here as examples of war crimes that remain unpunished. 22:55, 22 June 2007 (UTC)Keir.

George W. Bush[edit]

I've noticed that there have been multiple instances where someone has put George W. Bush's biography at I removed the link, just thought that you might want to keep an eye on it. - Richard Evan 11:13, 9 December 2005

Is the Hussein trial a war-crimes tribunal?[edit]

I was under the impression that Hussein is being tried locally under Iraqi law, not as part of a UN-sanctioned war-crimes tribunal. --Delirium 06:43, 12 December 2005 (UTC)

No, it is not a war crime tribunal. The murder of your own civilians by the government is murder, not a war crime. It's also being described as "crimes against humanity." That may be an accurate statement, but it doesn't have much legal meaning.
Also, as a technical point, the UN does not have to sanction war-crimes tribunals. -- Cecropia 07:26, 12 December 2005 (UTC)

It should be noted that Hussein's trial is not taking place at the Hague. As a side note the proceedings are similar, but not the same as the Hague's as well. Iflipti 11:25, 6 January 2006 (UTC)

The fact that a trial is not taking place in The Hague or in a multinational judicial body is not, in itself, proof that it doesn't relate to war crimes. See Cases before the International Criminal Court - DRCongo for examples of war criminals who have been sentenced under local courts. My understanding is that Hussein has been charged with war crimes in connection with the invasion of Kuwait. AndrewRT - Talk 18:20, 14 August 2006 (UTC)
After further research I've found the info here: Trial of Saddam Hussein. He is currently being tried only for the Dujail massacre, which is included as a crime against humanity; however he is also indicted for war crimes connected with the invasion of Kuwait which may be tried at a later date. Hence I think we're right to keep him in here. AndrewRT - Talk 19:53, 15 August 2006 (UTC)

Saddam Hussein was of course convicted only for the Dujjail massacre, a domestic perversion of justice not involved with any war or the use of military forces; he was hanged for that crime even though he was under indictment for other crimes, including the Anfal campaign against the Kurds, a campaign involving the use of military forces. That he would have been convicted of other offenses, including the invasions of Iran and Kuwait, and that those would have qualified as capital crimes, is now moot because he has since been executed.

Speculation on whether Saddam Hussein would have been convicted of war crimes as ordinarily understood in the Nuremberg and Tokyo tribunals is now moot; like Adolf Hitler, Heinrich Himmler, and Josef Goebbels, he did not survive to be tried for crimes against peace, crimes against humanity, or conventional war crimes. Saddam Hussein did not survive to be tried for war crimes for a different reason: he was convicted of something else.

Others may yet be tried for such crimes in Iraq; in view of the political structure of the former fascist Iraq any convictions of Saddam Hussein's subordinates can only demonstrate Saddam Hussein's culpability. --Paul from Michigan 16:22, 20 June 2007 (UTC)

One of Saddam Hussein's lieutenants, Chemical Ali, has been convicted of war crimes relating to the Anfal campaign against the Kurds and has been sentenced to death by hanging. Chemical Ali can be considered, in contrast to Saddam Hussein, of having been convicted of a war crime. --Paul from Michigan 03:35, 16 July 2007 (UTC)

It's also being described as "crimes against humanity." That may be an accurate statement, but it doesn't have much legal meaning.

In so far as this intends to say that there is no such thing in law as a "crimes against humanity" it is clearly wrong - for example see Articles 5 and 7 of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court diran 19:04, 16 July 2007 (UTC)

Recent Event Section[edit]

I'm putting back in the links to the recent events in Iraq. Mr Adequate, if you have any objections to this, don't just delete the links as that violates Wikipedia policy. You must justify why it is "not appropriate" to have these external links. And your justification has to be better than that you don't like the wording or format, cause that can be changed. Every article about ongoing wold events has a recent event section, and the links I have provided are highly newsworthy. Furthermore, video by definition is not biased in any way. Video cameras record the actual events that happen by reading the actual photons and sound waves produced. So no bull about the camera lying.

Futhermore, both America and Britian have equated the war on terrorism with the war on Iraq. Regardless of whether or not you or I agree with them, it is clearly true that the two are influencing each other. So these links do provide important information about the so called war on terror. In fact, the video shows exactly why "they" hate "us".

If you want to present your own personal point of view and biases go ahead. But do NOT delete the objective, hard video footage that I'm putting back on the page. Add your own links if you want to paint a rosey picture of the war on terror. But leave the undesputable facts in! I will take this up with administrators if necessary. And quite frankly it makes Wikipedia look bad if there is blantant censorship in an article.—The preceding unsigned comment was added by MithraApollo (talkcontribs) 05:46, 15 February 2006 (UTC)

I have to agree with user:Mr Adequate on this one. This is an inappropriate place to add such material, I would suggest another location on wikipedia.
Although this one single event may consitute a war crime, the article tends to focus on large, international events, such as entire wars, or the dropping of the atomic bomb.
Although to the individuals involved, the acts of Imperialist US and British troops when they attack civilians is a war crime, I don't think anyone here could agree that those acts are on the scale of say Indonesia's slaughter of East Timor or the dropping of the atomic bomb. The bombing of Iraqi water plants during gulf war I is probably a "war crime" as defined in this article, or the torture memos of Bush is a "war crime" as defined in this article, or Guantanemo Bay and the Secret worldwide prisons is a "war crime" as defined in this article, or the sanctions against Iraqis which killed 500,000 people may be a "war crime" as defined in this article.
But a couple of soldiers beating the shit out of some civilians, and even killing them, although a war crime, does not effect the same number of people on the same scale as the events above.
I think what user:Mr Adequate may be saying is that the title, although not explicitly listed as LARGE war crime, if you read the article, the title is implicitly LARGE war crime. Does this make sense.
Listing every single event in a war which happened between individual soldiers makes the article weaker because it delutes the defintion of "War crime".
Don't get me wrong, the events you listed should be heard, and punished, but they unfortunatly have no place here on war crime. I suggest making a link under "see also" on this page, and adding your comments and links on another wikisite, focusing on this shameful event.Travb 09:30, 15 February 2006 (UTC)
I'm sorry, but frankly such a distinction is grotesque and smacks of trying to justify or excuse events such as the Abu Ghraib war crimes by comparing them with other events. There is absolutely no reason to exclude certain war crimes on the basis that they are "small scale" and therefore apparently not worthy of a mention. Where do you draw the line? Such action is definitely subjective and to be honest, ridiculous.

Invasion of Iraq:Investigation of "War Crimes" Complaints[edit]

Given the controversy which any mentions of "war crimes" in relation to the invasion of Iraq has generated during the progressive development of this article overtime, I thought it necessary to go into considerable depth about the nature of the complaints made to the prosecutor of the ICC, and to quote at length from his reasoning. Proividing a summary or account of the matter would be more appropriate given that now this section somewhat dominates the article [in terms of proportion]. However to do so at this stage would simply generate another bout of editing, and re-editing, as the rival factions objected to one interpretation or another. I trust, in time, a synopsis may be considered more acceptable, and the more detailed account here can be transfered to an article specifically dedicated to that subject on its own.

It is worth noting in the context of the material presented, that the Prosecutor's investigation was of a preliminary kind, with a view to deciding whether he would go to the court in order to seek authority to carry out a full investigation. [That is the process which the ICC statute sets out]. One of the advanatges which the prosecutors report or conclusion at this stage presents, is that it did not involve "naming" individuals as prospective or putative "war criminals". In so far as this section of the article does not name individuals, I hope that it may restrain individuals who might otherwise be moved to edit, and re-edit it.

Finally it is worth noting that the prosecutor's investigations were principally concerned the actions of nationals of parties to the statute. The United States is not a party to the statute. However, some of the communications complained that nationals of state parties [most notably the United Kingdom] may have been accessories to crimes committed by nationals of non-States Parties [i.e. the Unired States]. Under the ICC statute this is a "war crime" founded on accessorial liabilty [aiding, abetting etc.] In footnote 10 of his letter he says

the available information provided a reasonable basis with respect to a limited number of incidents of war crimes by nationals of States Parties, but not with respect to any particular incidents of indirect participation in war crimes.

This means he did not find a reasonable basis to proceed against nationals of state parties on the basis of complicity in war crimes carried out by non state parties. It is not a finding that war crimes were not carried out by non state parties. He did not express a conclusion on that matter since that was not within his competence.Diranh 02:35, 20 February 2006 (UCT)

Hello Diranh, your comments, although probably valid, are too detailed for me to devote massive amounts of time too when this is simply a hobby. If I read and dissected your above message, it would feel must to like work or school work.
That said, I am going to remove myself from the war crimes wikipage, and let you and others edit away.
The word "war crimes" is a POV magnet, and like the entries about American imperailism, it does not foster analytical study, but converts for and against.
See: American Empire (term)--although looing at it for the first time in months, it looks like other wikiusers have completely watered down and destroyed the original entry I added from the book Benevolent Assimilation. (Grr...more "work")Travb 16:31, 20 February 2006 (UTC)

See List of war crimes#2003-2004: 2003 Invasion of Iraq, (USA and "Coalition of the Willing") for more details and references on this issue --Philip Baird Shearer 10:41, 17 June 2006 (UTC)


Have the winners of wars ever been convicted of war crimes? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 07:05, 15 May 2006 (UTC)

Yes often. They are usually held under a court martial, and those found guilty are usually guilty of breaches of their own military code. See also Victor's justice#Allegations of victor's justice usually the losers, if guilty of war crimes are also found guilty of crimes by their own legal systems. --Philip Baird Shearer 10:41, 17 June 2006 (UTC)
Could you, please, point out cases in recent History (the notion of "war crimes" is quite recent, in History) whereby a victor's soldiers and/or civilian leaders were prosecuted for war crimes? From what I know, the 'rule' of Vae Victis applies without exception. Thanks in advance. -The Gnome (talk) 09:46, 10 August 2009 (UTC)


I am taking out the line the US led invasion of Iraq was illeagle. That is POV and adds nothing to the article. I also took out the line that accuses Israel of using using phophorous weapons because it had no source. This article is full of bias and seems more than happy to blame the US and Israel with out even contemplating to list any of the crimes of their enemies. --[[User:Soccergo9|Soccergo9]

The US attacked to acheive regime change- illegal in international law. That some think this hardly 'adds nothing to the article' as it is a key issue of debate. Israel certainly used phosphorous during Operation Cast Lead and in Lebanon. This has been documented by the IRC, the UN itself and HRW. See their web sites. --[User: dss2mtm]


Interesting term; shouldn't this be jurisdiction? I've changed it, but if I were mistaken, feel free to undo...

International Law[edit]

Joe 05:25, 6 January 2007 (UTC)I have added the book by Aryeh Neier on War Crimes, as it is one of the best summaries of the development in recent international law covering the period from the Neuremberg Tribunals to around 1990's to 2000. Besides just the legal treatment, it shows the trend of thinking in international law, and it may well be an invaluable secondary text to help explain this branch of law. I would think that any judge in this area would have had to have read this book.


I have taken out the statement by Samabar because it lumps together all Japanese troops and ascribes to them en masse a lack of regret for having raped asian women. The CNN article [7] cited points to a rather more complicated set of arguments. Armeria 16:56, 3 March 2007 (UTC)

Communist war crimes category?[edit]

There are Category:Nazi war crimes and Category:Japanese war crimes. But I could not find Category:Communist war crimes or Category:Soviet war crimes. Should they be created? For example, Przyszowice massacre and Red Army atrocities probably belong there. Do we need a more general Category:Communist repressions that would also include peace time repressions? Any thoughts? Biophys 20:09, 20 April 2007 (UTC)

No, I don't think so for two reasons. First, communist is too broad a descriptor, one might also just as easily suggest that one needs a category examining "capitalist repressions". Secondly your suggestion that the inclusion of such a category would allow for or also include "peace-time repressions", makes little sense in the context of an article concerned with the notion of a "War Crime" which by definition can only be committed when the threshold requirement that it takes place during an "armed conflict" aka "War" as recognised/defined/interpreted by International Humanitarian Law/Laws of War, is satisfied. Diranh 18:02, 13 May 2007 (GMT+1)

Most of the wars involving Communists against non-Communists are either insurgencies (Greece, Vietnam, Laos, China before 1949), power struggles (Russian Civil War, Angola, Ethiopia), consolidation of power in what prior states considered parts of the country (the Guomindang never recognized the independence of Tibet or Xinjiang from China), overthrow of governments of client states that display "too much" independence (Hungary 1956, Czechoslovakia 1968 -- if you call those "wars") or the result of aggression against an extant Communist power (Operation Barbarossa; the Vietnamese invasion of Cambodia resulted from the aggression of the Khmer Rouge of Cambodia). Leadership of the Soviet Union cannot be faulted for turning the defense of Russia into an invasion of Romania or nazi-occupied Poland or Czechoslovakia, let alone into Germany any more than British or American leadership can be faulted for the D-Day invasion that led to the Anglo-American advance into the Third Reich.

The clearest act of Communist aggression that could be treated as a war crime is the Korean War in which Kim il-Sung invaded the Republic of Korea with the prompting of the PRC and the USSR. Kim il-Sung likely fits the definition of a war criminal -- except that he was not going to ever be tried as such. Massacres were the norm after Communist advances -- those are of course war crimes, and responsibility cannot evade Kim il-Sung... except that he was not defeated and captured.

I suspect that culpable persons generally found a safe haven, in view of the absence of any major trial of (North) Korean war criminals.

The bulk of Communist crimes have occurred after the Communists consolidated power; those might be crimes against humanity, and not war crimes... but trials for those crimes are unlikely to be held because the culprits outlived any possibility of being tried for such crimes. --Paul from Michigan 16:48, 20 June 2007 (UTC)


The conduct of Soviet troops in central and southeastern Europe during World War II was often abominable; rapes, robberies, and murders by individual soldiers indicates a lack of discipline of soldiers at the front. Most likely such was not the choice of the highest Soviet leadership (that is, Josef Stalin) -- but in view of their frequency they suggest lax discipline of troops even though the Soviet legal and penal system was quite harsh on other matters. --Paul from Michigan 19:11, 20 June 2007 (UTC)

Trueman, and MacArthur, and Bush[edit]

why were they not held accountable for their crimes against humanity,war crimes ,and genocide? why is Bush not being held for his crimes as well? These men gave the order for the men to carry out, then why are they not as guilty as others that have taken the same actions.


Harry Truman did not start either World War II or the Korean War. Atom bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki? The Japanese government could have surrendered earlier, negating the possibility of further war. The killing stopped once Japan surrendered, and the humane treatment of a defeated Japan demonstrates that Harry Truman was no war criminal.

MacArthur? What were his "crimes"? War crimes implies such deeds as military aggression (the Pearl Harbor attack), such brutal treatment of prisoners of war as the Bataan Death March, such crimes against civilians as the Nanjing massacre, or the pervasive looting of occupied countries. A general who commands massacres or expropriations, fails to stop them if he has the power, or covers up such crimes after they happen is of course culpable.

Which Bush? '41' or '43'? --Paul from Michigan 16:59, 20 June 2007 (UTC)

I'm only interested in responding to the first question. In the US the moral rightness of the dropping of the atomic bomb is actually debated, whereas out here in the rest of the world it is seen pretty much unanimously for what it is, an act of pure barbarism against an already defeated foe's civilian population. That the Japanese were resorting to suicide runs with their fighters is indication of their desperation in the final days of the war. To say Truman did not start WWII or any other war is irrelevant. Crimes are about crimes, not who initiated the broader conflict. Me picking a fight with you with my fists does not allow you to go home and get your ax and cleave off my arms, or behead me either. The Japanese tried to surrender, more than once, and of course especially after Hiroshima. Justify Hiroshima if you think you can by rating American soldiers' lives lost more important in an unnecessary land invasion against all the civilians who died in that city, go ahead, many in the US agree with you because "your" lives always mean more than others' (hence the drone war goes on) -- but it is impossible to justify Nagasaki. The Japanese had one condition for surrender: they did not want to surrender the Emperor. The Yanks refused, even though when they finally did allow the Japanese to keep the Emperor in the end. So the question must be asked: Why Nagasaki? — Preceding unsigned comment added by ZarhanFastfire (talkcontribs) 16:24, 11 May 2013 (UTC)

RE: Tamil Nation page[edit]

FYI: That is not a racist article it basically shows pictures of war crimes committed by one group to another. Just like one would find on a Jewish Holocaust website about Hitlers atrocities. Whoever is reading this, please feel free to visit the link and see for yourself at Wiki Raja (talk) 07:41, 20 December 2007 (UTC)

Read Wikipedia:EL#Advertising and conflicts of interest. --♪♫ ĽąĦĩŘǔ ♫♪ walkie-talkie | tool box 08:14, 20 December 2007 (UTC)
That is not an advertisement, but a report on Sri Lanka's war crimes. Therefore, this is not a conflict of interest but a link to a similar topic of interest. Wiki Raja (talk) 08:48, 20 December 2007 (UTC)

no mention of classes[edit]

some of the articles linking to this one mention various classes of war crimes. from the yasukuni shrine article: "A total of 12 convicted and 2 suspected Class A war criminals". this article has no mention of classes of war crimes. either this article needs to be edited to include this information or the other articles should have such labelling removed if it is not the standard. thbsp (talk) 18:13, 30 December 2007 (UTC) thbsp


Can a war crime be committed without the criminals being brought to justice at a trial? This is more of a rhetorical question than a serious one, but it was brought up by user:Molobo at a recent talk page. (see Pawlokoma massacre). Dr. Dan (talk) 04:04, 30 January 2008 (UTC)

This article is a mess[edit]

Should be really clean-up and actually rewritten. -- (talk) 20:05, 10 April 2008 (UTC)

OK (becaue my cleanup was decided to be "vandalism" by "patrollers")[edit]

Decide what is vandalism and what is crap. Bye. -- (talk) 20:41, 10 April 2008 (UTC)

I know, you fight for neutrality. Obviously, your work was not a vandalism but a good faith editing. But in the cases like that you should make a few changes at a time and wait for reaction. If there are objections, you should discuss. If you do not have time to discuss, do not do it. RR warring and accusations do not help anyone involved including you. Just relax and do something else, please.Biophys (talk) 20:55, 10 April 2008 (UTC)

There's als still not everything re: Saddam's execution removed in my version (and should be). Saddam was tried and executed only for crimes against humanity and not war crimes (he was also in Iraq all the time, and so the sentence here is a double nonsense). -- (talk) 21:06, 10 April 2008 (UTC)

I'd also clean-up/re-write this still further, but hey, "vandalism". -- (talk) 21:10, 10 April 2008 (UTC)

I guess you are right about Saddam. People ususlly do not understand this distinction.Biophys (talk) 21:22, 10 April 2008 (UTC)
My apologies! Didnt see any edit summary and was groggy eyed after too many vandal edits, I guess. I read it properly now, and I apologise for that revert. Thanks Biophys for pointing it out! Prashanthns (talk) 21:23, 10 April 2008 (UTC)

Thank you. Could you then remove warning at the talk page of (talk) 21:26, 10 April 2008 (UTC)

Done. Prashanthns (talk) 21:29, 10 April 2008 (UTC)

Also, I believe the article, further reading, see also, and external links should be about the theory and laws of the crimes of war, not about incidents (controversial or not, doesn't matter). It's not "List of war crimes" article. -- (talk) 21:42, 10 April 2008 (UTC)

I think it is fine to provide here the link to "List of war crimes" (a closely related subject) and mention a few most notable cases as it is. If you think the list of notable cases should be modified, or some other changes are needed, please do yourself, but remember that others might object.Biophys (talk) 16:27, 11 April 2008 (UTC)

Ernst Kaltenbrunner[edit]

Surely Kaltenbrunner does not count as a head of state or head of government. As far as I'm aware, Hitler was head of state and of government during his lifetime, and after he killed himself, Donitz was head of state, and Goebbels was Chancellor for a day before he killed himself, when Schwerin-Krosigk took over, and remained in office until the regime disbanded. (talk) 09:43, 3 May 2008 (UTC)

What is the point of asking a question if no one can be bothered to answer? If there isn't a reply soon, I'll change it. (And this is the same person. The IP address just seems to have changed slightly for some reason.) (talk) 06:47, 24 May 2008 (UTC)

Ah, finally. Kudos to the user who did it. The matter can be considered closed now.(And my IP address has just changed again) (talk) 07:04, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

Criteria for war crimes articles[edit]

Please comment here Talk:Japanese_war_crimes#Asian_Holocaust.2C_July_2008--Stor stark7 Speak 16:59, 30 July 2008 (UTC)

Does the fire bombing of Toyko fit the definition of a war crime? The residential neighborhoods were deliberately targeted. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Bruvensky (talkcontribs) 22:18, 26 March 2009 (UTC)

We have to judge them by the laws and treaties of the time, as well as by the Imperial Japanese forces' own conduct. (Reprisal was understood differently back then.)
Besides that, the bombing of Tokyo#Aftermath article the says "firebombing destroyed much of the light industry that was used as an integral source for small machine parts and time-intensive processes." That means there was a legitimate military advantage.
-- Randy2063 (talk) 03:04, 27 March 2009 (UTC)
If your definition of murder is to kill someone, then killing civilians, even if they are "collateral damage" is a war crime. You could argue that accidentally killing a civilian is manslaughter, not murder, but if you accidentally kill large numbers of people, that would tend to indicate a pattern of "ill-treatment" of civilians. Principle VI of the Nuremberg Principles states, "The crimes hereinafter set out are punishable as crimes under international law:
  • (a) Crimes against peace:(i) Planning, preparation, initiation or waging of a war of aggression or a war in violation of international treaties, agreements or assurances; (ii) Participation in a common plan or conspiracy for the accomplishment of any of the acts mentioned under (i).
  • (b) War Crimes: Violations of the laws or customs of war which include, but are not limited to, murder, ill-treatment or deportation of slave labor or for any other purpose of the 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 or private property, wanton destruction of cities, towns, or villages, or devastation not justified by military necessity.
  • (c) Crimes against humanity: Murder, extermination, enslavement, deportation and other inhumane acts done against any civilian population, or persecutions on political, racial, or religious grounds, when such acts are done or such persecutions are carried on in execution of or in connection with any crime against peace or any war crime." (talk) 07:29, 28 August 2009 (UTC)
Killing someone is not the definition of murder. A purely accidental death is not a murder. A legally justifiable death is not a murder. Neither the death penalty, nor abortion, are murder in the legal sense, and that's all that matters here. Wishing otherwise will not change that.
The death of a civilian next to a legitimate military target is not a war crime. It never has been. It never will be.
It is very likely that this incessant expansion of "war crime" beyond its legally established definition is responsible for today's Islamists' flagrant use of women and children as human shields. That's one of the things that the real Nuremberg Principles wanted to stop.
Keep in mind that the Nuremberg Principles were set by governments with the advice of their generals. They never would have adopted it if they thought it could be corrupted in a way that strangled their ability to fight fascism.
-- Randy2063 (talk) 15:05, 28 August 2009 (UTC)

Over on the US War Crimes page the history of edits reveal a disagreement about how many perpetrators/participants are required for an activity to be classed as War Crime (e.g. deletion of text relating to the Panjwai massacre, Afghanistan, 2012, on the grounds that it was (allegedly) done by an individual and therefore not a WC). Now, I'm not seeing any mention in this general War Crimes article on how many participants it takes to commit WC – anyone got any reliable links to fill this gap? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:40, 14 March 2012 (UTC)

My opinion of Vandalism - Peterlewis[edit]

I have twice reverted deletion of an image of an Australian being executed by a Japanese soldier. If the deleter wants to justify his vandalism, I suggest he explains why here. Peterlewis (talk) 21:23, 23 May 2009 (UTC)

As I put in the changes notes, publicly noted, that incident has never been entered into a war crimes trial or cited as evidence. As such I think you should support the supposition that this picture should be associated with "war crimes" and the individual person you want to associate with this matter is a "war criminal". Otherwise it is nothing more than an in flammatory picture and slandering a dead soldier who was never accused, tried, or convicted of any "war crimes". I am happy to discuss this matter as the flagrant use of unsupported facts is all too rampant especially since that picture has not been cited for ownership. Under the theory of using whatever inflammatory graphics may support your position, I guess that I could use a picture of Harry Truman. He's dead, some accuse him of being a war criminal, and as such qualifies by your apparent standards. This should be held to a higher standard than that. This is a serious topic that people like Hitler, Tojo and Stalin belong to and have been proven to have earned.

The photo is referenced and the citation says: "24 October 1943. A photograph found on the body of a dead Japanese soldier showing NX143314 Sergeant (Sgt) Leonard G. Siffleet of "M" Special Unit, wearing a blindfold and with his arms tied, about to be beheaded with a sword by Yasuno Chikao. The execution was ordered by Vice Admiral Kamada, the commander of the Japanese Naval Forces at Aitape. Sgt Siffleet was captured with Private (Pte) Pattiwahl and Pte Reharin, Ambonese members of the Netherlands East Indies Forces, whilst engaged in reconnaissance behind the Japanese lines. Yasuno Chikao died before the end of the war." Perhaps you are in denial about Japanese war crimes? Peterlewis (talk) 05:15, 24 May 2009 (UTC)

Executions of spies and partisans[edit]

There's a photo in the article showing two "Russian prisoners of war" being executed from close range by two German officers near an open pit, obviously a mass grave. This would be indeed a war crime. However, clicking on the image takes us to the enlarged photo which bears the caption "Russian partisans". Then, there's another photo showing an Australian soldied about to be decapitated by a Japanese officer. The contributors to this article and all wiki readers should realize that executing spies and partisans is NOT nevessarily a war crime! Hideous and inhuman as it may sound, the Geneva Convention Protocols do not offer any protection to soldiers of a nation caught behind enemy lines wearing civilian clothes and committing acts of espionage and sabotage (as that Australian hero was). Nor to civilians of a country when they take up arms against the enemy in self-designated formations ("irregulars") and civilian clothes, as guerillas and partisans do. The various international treaties on war crimes acknowledge the right of an armed force to protect itself from what it's not supposed to encounter, i.e. civilians shooting at them. Armies are supposed to fight other armies --and not irregulars. International treaties on the conduct of war ae essentially trying to balance the lenience which armies are supposed to show towards civilian with the enforced "neutrality" of said civilians : "We do not kill you and burn your houses as we pass through your village with the understanding that you will not shoot at us." In the World War II Battle of Crete, the Allies (more, specifically, the British) missed a chance to designate as "National Guardsmen" the many Cretan civilians who voluntarily went to fight the German paratroopers. After the battle was over and the Germans took the island, they engaged in reprisals against many civilians who'd fought against them. Some German officers were subsequently tried for these acts which were labeled "war crimes", but the Germans (invoking the right of an army to protect itself from civilians attacking them) seemed to have international law on their side. I humbly suggest we approach this sensitive issue with the care it deserves from Wikipedia. -The Gnome (talk) 12:30, 23 July 2009 (UTC)

Well I already got the opportunity to read this kind of statements in nazi apologetic litterature. Let's be clear here. The Geneva convention of 1929 defines the treatment to be reserved to prisoners od war and refers to the Convention of The Hague of 1907 in order to define who must be treated as prisoner of war, in particular to articles 1 to 3 of the annex to the convention. From these articles it clearly results that when the partisans or other civilians take the arms in order to defend their country against an invasion, when captured they must be treated as prisoners of war provided they fulfill the conditions of said articles. This is something the Germans never did, at least in Russia. Furthermore even if civilians do not act in accordance with the above rules, this only means that their captors do not need to treat them as prisoners of war in accordance with the Geneva Convention of 1929 and that they might be treated as common law criminals, for instance. This does certainly not mean that they might be killed in cold blood without any judgment once captured as it usually happened. --Lebob-BE (talk) 14:59, 23 July 2009 (UTC)
I'm sure there are a lot of apologists for any kind of political idea but this is not about the Nazis or the Russians or the Jamaicans. What you wrote about civilians taking up arms to defend their country is valid only in case they are organized in an officially recognized militia. (See my example, above, of "National Guardsmen" abt the Battle of Crete.) When civilians dressed in civilian clothes start shooting at enemy troops, they provide a justification for the enemy to treat all civilians as potential deadly threats -and deal with them accordingly and pre-emptively. The Geneva agreements aim, among other things, to minimize this by placing civilians (obligatorily) outside the theatre of war. When a region is conquered by an army (or when the country officially surrenders), there's supposed to be no more fighting in the rear. Otherwise, the enemy will protect himself by attacking civilians. The "enemy combattants" captured by the United States army when they invaded Afghanistan are neither civilians nor irregulars; they are enemy soldiers. (Which is why Washington is in violation of int'l law in treating them as it does.) When you yourself admit that partisans shooting at the enemy from behind the front can be categorised as common criminals, there's little for me to add. My father was in the Resistance and the gist of his oral testimony was that by being a partisan you were taking your life in your hands because if you were captured, it was the death squad --just for being a partisan. Executing spies dressed in civilian clothes is not a war crime. Executing civilians who shoot at soldiers is not a war crime. Executing hostages is a war crime; mass reprisals are a war crime; executing POWs is a war crime; ethnic cleansing is a crime against humanity; etc. -The Gnome (talk) 09:58, 25 July 2009 (UTC)
It is widely known that Nazi executed many hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians claiming them to be the "partisans" (like in the photo). As about the US, let's imagine that US soldiers are ordered to place a bullet to the head of every civilian they might suspect of supporting insurgents (so that hundreds of thousands would be executed at spot). Would that be a war crime, much worse than torture in Gharib prison? Also keep in mind that executions by Nazi were racially motivated. First photo should stay.Biophys (talk) 13:34, 25 July 2009 (UTC)
This must be the reason why the Germans have killed thousand of women, kids, and aged persons. They were all shooting at tehm with weapons, even the babies. Maybe you should also remember that Germany had no reason to invade one single of the coutries they have invaded. Shit started there. After that, invoking international conventions to justify war crimes does not put them under a better light. --Lebob-BE (talk) 11:05, 26 July 2009 (UTC)
Methinks it's the way that Australian hero Len Siffleet was executed, i.e. by behading, that is gets a rise out of people, rather than the execution itself. If Siffleet had been executed by a military firing squad (as were, for example, the German saboteurs caught in the United States) the outcry would probably have been less clamorous. These Orientals are inherently barbarous, goes one line of thinking. -The Gnome (talk) 07:16, 31 July 2009 (UTC)
The execution of the "many hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians" was a war crime and this is why German officers and soldiers were tried after the war for war crimes. You people are confusing the real war crimes committed during World War II (and in many other wars) with the issue of spies and partisans, which I'm bringing forth. Yes, it is possible that no serious discussion about the Nazi era can take place in the web, because, as we see in this thread too, talk quickly deteriorates to name-calling and indignant, irrelevant proclamations. (It has already been insinuated that I'm a Nazi sympathizer.) In addition to this, we have people arguing about the war itself rather than the issue at hand (Lebob brings up the totally irrelevant fact of Germany invading other countries "without provocation"! What does this have to do with anything?? Germany could have done this and not commit any war crimes. Or Germany could have legitimately declared war and commit war crimes.) Once more: The execution of spies operating behind enemy troops' lines is not a war crime. The allies have executed a significant number of German military officers who were spying behind Allied lines. As I said, the unfortunate and heroic Australian officer shown in the photo about to be decapitated was doing exactly that sort of thing. Also: The execution of civilians who are shooting at or killing soldiers is not necessarily a war crime. Perhaps people don't like it for some reason but this is what the int'l laws and treaties provide - and these were even more lax at the time of WWII. A few contributors here seem to believe that my argument aims to absolve Germany of all war crimes, so here's what is a war crime, by law: Taking hostages; executing hostages; shooting at civilians; mistreating civilians (mass raping of women, etc); ethnic cleansing ( as we now call it); all these acts have been committed, on a large scale too, by the German side during World War II and did constitute war crimes. The Axis powers also committed crimes against humanity which is not the same thing as a war crime. So, all in all, I'm still waiting for a constructive reponse to my query. -The Gnome (talk) 07:00, 29 July 2009 (UTC)
The Jap execution of the Australian prisoner is clealy a war crime since he was not a spy. Please respect the evidence. Peterlewis (talk) 08:34, 29 July 2009 (UTC)
From what I read in the article, the Australian member of the special forces (and, ultimately, hero) was caught behind enemy (Japanese) lines, dressed in 'civvies' and committing acts of sabotage. Are you aware of the penalty under the relevant international treaties for such acts? Do you perhaps believe that when a member of enemy armed forces is caught dressed in civilian clothes and engaging in hostilities behind our lines, he is to be treated like any other POW captured in battle? Are you aware of the fate of the members of the German special forces who were caught in the United States during WWII committing acts of sabotage? Do you claim that their execution was a war crime? Please point out to me the "evidence" which you mention, so I can appreciate your point of view. -The Gnome (talk) 06:41, 30 July 2009 (UTC)
Here is the quote from the article footnote: 24 October 1943. A photograph found on the body of a dead Japanese soldier showing NX143314 Sergeant (Sgt) Leonard G. Siffleet of "M" Special Unit, wearing a blindfold and with his arms tied, about to be beheaded with a sword by Yasuno Chikao. The execution was ordered by Vice Admiral Kamada, the commander of the Japanese Naval Forces at Aitape. Sgt Siffleet was captured with Private (Pte) Pattiwahl and Pte Reharin, Ambonese members of the Netherlands East Indies Forces, whilst engaged in reconnaissance behind the Japanese lines. Yasuno Chikao died before the end of the war. Reconnaisance by the armed forces is a normal activity: what evidence is that they were saboteurs?? Being special forces they were probably in uniform too, so it counts as a war crime. Peterlewis (talk) 16:05, 30 July 2009 (UTC)
If the man was doing a typical military recon, then his execution would've been a war crime. However, this was not what his unit, the famous Z Special Unit were doing during the war. It was "a joint Allied Special Forces unit formed during the Second World War to operate behind Japanese lines in South-East Asia, a specialist reconnaissance and sabotage unit. The unit carried out a total of 81 covert operations in the South West Pacific theatre, with parties inserted by parachute or submarine to provide intelligence and conduct guerrilla warfare ... which involved raids on Japanese shipping in Singapore Harbour... which resulted in all twenty-three commandos either being killed in action or executed soon after capture." Also, your point about the men in Len Siffleet's company wearing military uniforms is claimed nowhere. It's just your assertion. The records of the Australian War Memorial do not claim any such thing. For the final time: By labeling as a war crime the execution of hero Sgt Leonard George Siffleet, you are not helping the reader understand the true meaning of the term. Plus, your are diluting the nature and the size of the actual war crimes committed by the Axis side during World War II. -The Gnome (talk) 07:16, 31 July 2009 (UTC)
In fact it is the contrary. As Sgt Siffleet was member of the Allied Special Forces he was supposed, as any enroled man, to wear an uniform unless reliable sources would said otherwise. If you have such sources, e.g. a book where it is reported that the Japanase argued that he had no uniform in order to justify his execution, please mention them. Otherwise there is no reason to consider he was not wearing an uniform in operationsand when cught by the Japanase. All what you have provided until now are assumptions that are not acceptable as such. --Lebob-BE (talk) 11:22, 10 August 2009 (UTC)
Are you seriously suggesting that all members of Special Forces, Allied or otherwise, in World War II or any other modern war, are supposed to wear at all times a military uniform, typically denoting nationality and rank? Are you suggesting that this is the default mode of conducting sabotage, espionage and other disruptive acts behind enemy lines ? Is it your claim that, for example, this was how the Special Operations Executive were going about their business (which was "to encourage and facilitate espionage and sabotage behind enemy lines") ? If you are serious, I would suggest looking up the relevant Wikipedia articles, or a typical manual of clandestine warfare. I direct you to one of the many relevant sections in Wikipedia : "An agent working clandestinely in the field obviously required clothing, documents and so on which would not arouse suspicion." That's in the section for the British Special Forces in World War II. No "assumptions" on my part at all. I will ask you again : The execution of the captured German saboteurs who landed in the United States during WWII --was it a war crime or not? I say it wasn't. What say you? -The Gnome (talk) 22:13, 10 August 2009 (UTC)


Hello I saw recently that there was an infobox added to this page by user with the information for the page AB-Aktion. I thought that since this page is on the general topic of war crimes rather than that specific war crime, the infobox would go better in the page for that event, so I replaced it here with a simple picture of the event. If I did it wrongly, I apologise, feel free to restore it. Thanks! --Blue Moon Dragon (talk) 07:59, 27 June 2010 (UTC)

Addition of the Abu Ghraib torture image[edit]

User:Ragsuiter Recently introduced a new image to the introduction of this article of torture in abu Ghraib prison. The images used in this article are not great, but they maintain a general overview of the topic and document some of the most serious and well known war crimes. The image that has been added documents an event not discussed anywhere else in the article, and is needlessly offensive and adds nothing to the article topic. It has been captioned with an essentially meaningless caption that makes an un-sourced assertion that in any event does not make sense. This article is a discussion of war crimes in general as a concept, not a highlighting of the nature of one particular recent warcrime. For these reasons adding the image to the article fails WP:DUE, WP:IMAGE and WP:PROFANE - thoughts? Ajbpearce (talk) 11:58, 19 December 2010 (UTC)

I'm reverting it. The naked pyramid was humiliation, and a crime under the UCMJ, but it wasn't a war crime. It doesn't belong anywhere in this article.
It's ironic how the people who most claimed to be upset by Abu Ghraib can take war crimes so unseriously.
-- Randy2063 (talk) 13:45, 19 December 2010 (UTC)
Thanks, although I thought it was totally inappropriate for inclusion- I didn't think it quite met the threshold of vandalism - and didn't want to revert it myself as I had already done so twice. (onc when added by an IP, once when readde by User:Ragsuiter) Ajbpearce (talk) 15:20, 19 December 2010 (UTC)

See also[edit]

The "see also" section of this article is very long, and looks coatracky. It should be trimmed William M. Connolley (talk) 07:38, 19 July 2011 (UTC)

WW II atomic bombing[edit]

On 2 December 2012, I removed from the section the entry "*Paul Tibbets— Best known for being the pilot of the Enola Gay (named for his mother), the first (and only) aircraft to drop an atomic bomb in the history of warfare." There are numerous things wrong with this entry: 1) According to the biographical article on him, Tibbets was never indicted or investigated by any agency for war crimes at any point in his life, and continued rising in military rank until 1966. 2) No citation is given for the removed claim. 3) The Enola Gay was not in fact the only aircraft "to drop an atomic bomb in the history of warfare", the plane Bockscar dropped the bomb on Hiroshima

Also, the irrelevant "named for his mother" along with the false inclusion on this list suggests to me this was a political statement (i.e. vandalism) about the use of atomic bombs in WWII. — Preceding unsigned comment added by DarrenM here (talkcontribs) 01:52, 2 December 2012 (UTC)

Picture: Destruction of the Adam Mickiewicz Monument, Kraków, Poland by German forces on August 17, 1940.[edit]

Why is this picture in this article? How does destroying a monument constitute a war crime? Is there any source that verifies that the destruction of the monument was a war crime? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:58, 10 April 2013 (UTC)

Removed. —rybec 21:54, 11 April 2013 (UTC)

Strategic Bombing at Nuremberg Trials[edit]

From the article: "Because of this, the Allies at the trials in Nuremberg and Tokyo never prosecuted the Germans, including Luftwaffe commander-in-chief Hermann Göring, for the bombing raids on Warsaw, Rotterdam, and British cities during the Blitz as well as the indiscriminate attacks on Allied cities with V-1 flying bombs and V-2 rockets nor the Japanese for the aerial attacks on crowded Chinese cities." This seems misleading. From what I think to remember the Allies tried prosecuting the Germans for this until the Germans kindly pointed out the Allies were guilty as well, and the matter was dropped. Don't wanna make yourself guilty of war-crimes after all. This should tie in with the "victors justice" aspect, as well, since it's factual evidence. Allies prosecuted only those crimes they were not guilty of. Fact of the matter is: strategic bombing is a war crime and crime against humanity. (talk) 13:40, 4 November 2013 (UTC)

Arbitrary nature of article[edit]

Per the multiple issues tag I've added, this article (while it may be eligible for WP:GNG status) is extremely limited in its scope in discerning the broader aspects of the concept 'War Crime', the predominant interest being that of international law.

It also focusses on a few specific examples, employing the use of loaded language such as 'murdered', 'massacre' and other descriptors which have not cited WP:RS for the use of the terminology.

Input by contributors has been sporadic and decidedly WP:BIASED in selection of examples, a lack of transparency as to how certain examples have been selected above other pertinent examples, and there is no indication of the use of a tertiary source for the WP:TITLE of "War crime".

While I consider the subject to be a significant one, the article in itself smacks of WP:POV WP:SYNTH. I will also reiterate previous concerns regarding its being used as a WP:COATRACK. --Iryna Harpy (talk) 04:57, 17 July 2014 (UTC)

Not sure what you mean ("limited in its scope in discerning the broader aspects of the concept 'War Crime', the predominant interest being that of international law"). I thought the "concept" as described in RS is pretty close to that in international law. In any event, you are welcome to contribute here. My very best wishes (talk) 23:08, 3 April 2016 (UTC)