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9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 2/11/2006 11:35:46 AM EDT
I ahve read many times about how a person got a gun off a dead military officer after the officer shot himself. Lots of german and Japanese in WW2 but few allies.i assume they would rather die instead of being captured.

But why? is it so dishonorable to be captured or surrender?I would think surrender and live to fight another day if possible would be reasonable.

I ahve never serve and its not my place to judge them. Just curious.
Link Posted: 2/11/2006 11:36:41 AM EDT
If you do it properly, no, not really.

That typically only happens rarely though, and with Western armies.
Link Posted: 2/11/2006 11:38:31 AM EDT
Im guessing that was just a jap thing (or german too but what do I know?). suicide for "dishonor" is foolish IMHO. I doubt any of our officers of todays US military would kill themselves over something like that
Link Posted: 2/11/2006 11:39:56 AM EDT
only in hollywood.
Link Posted: 2/11/2006 11:40:25 AM EDT
The Germans who shot themselves I think were probably either a)gonna get hung for war crimes and knew it or b)headed for a Russian prison camp.

See the German officer surrendering in BOB.
Link Posted: 2/11/2006 11:40:53 AM EDT
Believe it or not, fighting to the last man isn't normally the wisest course of action.
Link Posted: 2/11/2006 11:42:38 AM EDT
live to fight another day.

(Plus, the military usually invests a lot of money in training an officer - and it shouldn't be thrown away unless necessary).
Link Posted: 2/11/2006 11:54:08 AM EDT

Originally Posted By DK-Prof:
live to fight another day.

(Plus, the military usually invests a lot of money in training an officer - and it shouldn't be thrown away unless necessary).



The problem with that is that most of the folks we are currently fighting or could conceivably fight in the future don't give a rat's ass about the Geneva Convention. Save the last bullet for yourself.
Link Posted: 2/11/2006 11:57:53 AM EDT
If I were an officer, I would base my decision on who I was fighting. I would gladly surrender to Americans to save my men in a hopeless fight, but never to Afgans, North Koreans, etc.
Link Posted: 2/11/2006 11:58:35 AM EDT
I think the difference lies in the way Americans vs. Japanese or Germans viewed life.

As a society, Americans value the sanctity of life, even in war. The Japanese valued life very little. Soldiers were but pawns in service to the god/man, the emperor. Germans in WWII placed a higher value on life, but as stated earlier, knew that there were atrocities that they would be executed for.
Link Posted: 2/11/2006 12:04:23 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Wash-Ar15:
I ahve read many times about how a person got a gun off a dead military officer after the officer shot himself. Lots of german and Japanese in WW2 but few allies.i assume they would rather die instead of being captured.

But why? is it so dishonorable to be captured or surrender?I would think surrender and live to fight another day if possible would be reasonable.

I ahve never serve and its not my place to judge them. Just curious.



The culture in which the person was raised has a lot to do with that. The Japanese in WWII believed that it was far prefferable to die than to be captured, and they considered being captured a sign of cowardice. Thus all the suicides.

Generally our western civilizations place a higher premium on the worth of the individual. We don't consider POW's to be cowards. As a matter of fact, we revere them as we know that American POWs don't get treated well as a general rule. Usually our opponents in war are not terribly concerned with concepts like human rights and morality.

Link Posted: 2/11/2006 12:05:24 PM EDT

Originally Posted By DK-Prof:
live to fight another day.



That was Washington's strategy in the Revolutionary War.
Link Posted: 2/11/2006 12:07:26 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/11/2006 12:08:58 PM EDT by John_Wayne777]

Originally Posted By C-4:
If I were an officer, I would base my decision on who I was fighting. I would gladly surrender to Americans to save my men in a hopeless fight, but never to Afgans, North Koreans, etc.



Therein lies the reason why many have fought to the last man.

If you are facing the prospect of death while fighting or the prospect of being captured, humiliated, tortured for years and then being killed, dying while on your feet fighting is a hell of a lot more appealing. If I was in the sandbox fighting and faced the prospect of being captured and beheaded on video, I would certainly rather go down fighting if it was at all possible for me to do so.

Again, America tends to fight against forces that don't give a damn about how they treat our guys, though we go out of our way to treat the prisoners we capture well.
Link Posted: 2/11/2006 12:09:19 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Nimrod1193:

Originally Posted By DK-Prof:
live to fight another day.

(Plus, the military usually invests a lot of money in training an officer - and it shouldn't be thrown away unless necessary).



The problem with that is that most of the folks we are currently fighting or could conceivably fight in the future don't give a rat's ass about the Geneva Convention. Save the last bullet for yourself.



Sure - and I agree wholeheartedly with Kiplin's sentiment about the Afghan Plain, but I do see it as somewhat "selfish" for an officer to kill themselves for perceived failture, because it precludes them from EVER serving their country again, which should be their priority.

If it is a method to avoid certain death following painful torture, then I am all in favor of it.
Link Posted: 2/11/2006 12:10:32 PM EDT
Only if you surrender to France or kalifornia
Link Posted: 2/11/2006 12:14:08 PM EDT

Originally Posted By DK-Prof:
Sure - and I agree wholeheartedly with Kiplin's sentiment about the Afghan Plain, but I do see it as somewhat "selfish" for an officer to kill themselves for perceived failture, because it precludes them from EVER serving their country again, which should be their priority.

If it is a method to avoid certain death following painful torture, then I am all in favor of it.



One of the contributors to the fall of the Japanese in the pacific was their nihilistic philosophy. Their best and brightest were certain to die on the battlefield and even those who wanted to surrender were given little quarter by our troops simply because the Japanese pulled so many stunts while "surrendered" that our soldiers were more inclined to kill everyone just so they could make it home.

In so doing they lost their most experienced people who could have made a real difference in the war.

Good troops are an invaluable resource. They are not expendable.
Link Posted: 2/11/2006 12:17:50 PM EDT
Officers are responsible for the welfare of all of thier soldiers and must weigh that with the tactical situation. Ammo status, wounded, water, food , all of these things weigh in the decision.

The code of conduct does not permit surrender while the means to fight are still available. If that means an E-tool in the L-shape, so be it. That being said, history is replete with a temporary cessation of hostilites between honorable adversaries to attend and or retrieve the wounded and dead, on both sides. Oneof the more modern examples of this is WW2 where German and American medics were often permitted to treat thier wounded, and did so without regard to nationality, as it should be , in my opinion.

If surrender is inevitable, the OIC must make a diligent attempt to safeguard his men and MORE importantly, destroy anything that would provide intellignce to the enemy, ie: weapons, radios, vehicles, maps etc....
Link Posted: 2/12/2006 12:16:10 AM EDT
Hell yes it's dishonorable. That's why we are taking ejection seats out of all officer flown aircraft. Afer all if the eject they may land in enemy territory.
Link Posted: 3/1/2006 10:34:46 AM EDT

The code of conduct does not permit surrender while the means to fight are still available. If that means an E-tool in the L-shape, so be it.


Exactly. But you need to keep into account who your'e fighting. If the enemy is known to chop off the heads of prisoners, Fighting to the death might be a better way to go.

I attend a course in torture techniques used around the world a few years back, and there are some countries where I would not want to be captured for any reason.
Link Posted: 3/1/2006 11:16:02 AM EDT
Fighting to the death might also be the more honorable solution if you have valuable information that could be used by the enemy. Everybody has a breaking point under torture.

Link Posted: 3/1/2006 11:18:53 AM EDT

Originally Posted By happycynic:
Fighting to the death might also be the more honorable solution if you have valuable information that could be used by the enemy. Everybody has a breaking point under torture.





It's not a matter if IF you break, but WHEN you break.

Sometimes eating lead means winning the war.
Link Posted: 3/1/2006 12:06:04 PM EDT
Being captured was always a pretty big career-stopper in the US military, until Vietnam.
Link Posted: 3/1/2006 12:08:32 PM EDT
The U.S. military teaches to not surrender.
Link Posted: 3/1/2006 12:14:35 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Silesius:
The U.S. military teaches to not surrender.



Really? What part of the SERE class was that in?
Link Posted: 3/1/2006 12:18:14 PM EDT
Link Posted: 3/1/2006 12:21:20 PM EDT

Originally Posted By PaDanby:
Hell yes it's dishonorable. That's why we are taking ejection seats out of all officer flown aircraft. Afer all if the eject they may land in enemy territory.



Huh?
Link Posted: 3/1/2006 5:32:02 PM EDT

Originally Posted By CitySlicker:

Originally Posted By PaDanby:
Hell yes it's dishonorable. That's why we are taking ejection seats out of all officer flown aircraft. Afer all if the eject they may land in enemy territory.



Huh?



Sarcasm 101
Link Posted: 3/1/2006 8:00:30 PM EDT
I truly believe that the suicide of German officers at the end of the war was due to the fact that there was nothing left of their ideology to go on......6 years of war, kameraden, family, cities, country destroyed....all the sacrifice and effort in vain....the Army was destroyed, and the Army was an entity unto itself, not to mention the Waffen SS. For a career officer, with a sense of duty what was left? Eeking out a cur like existence at the feet of those who conquered you...I think not. I understand their actions...
Link Posted: 3/1/2006 9:29:14 PM EDT
Absolutely no dishonour if continued resistance is pointless and merely results in loss of life of your own men whilst causing limited casualties or inconvenience to the enemy.

NTM
Link Posted: 3/1/2006 10:55:57 PM EDT
I think Douglas MacArthur could best answer this question-but the cowardly SOB didn't even wait around long enough to surrender-he got his schicken-shit ass out of the PI before the Japanese even got there!
Link Posted: 3/1/2006 10:59:14 PM EDT

Originally Posted By DK-Prof:
live to fight another day.

(Plus, the military usually invests a lot of money in training an officer - and it shouldn't be thrown away unless necessary).



Officers dont show much for it. I would say good riddance, let the NCOs get'r dun!
Link Posted: 3/1/2006 11:14:53 PM EDT
When you're wounded and left on Afghanistan's plains,
And the women come out to cut up what remains,
Jest roll to your rifle and blow out your brains
An' go to your Gawd like a soldier.
Go, go, go like a soldier,
Go, go, go like a soldier,
Go, go, go like a soldier,
So-oldier ~of~ the Queen!

- Kipling.
Link Posted: 3/1/2006 11:31:45 PM EDT

Originally Posted By pieceofstink:
I think Douglas MacArthur could best answer this question-but the cowardly SOB didn't even wait around long enough to surrender-he got his schicken-shit ass out of the PI before the Japanese even got there!

He left because he was ordered to by his Commander-in-Chief.
Link Posted: 3/1/2006 11:34:35 PM EDT
I see no dishonor in surrender or capture if your death would gain nothing.

As for suicide to avoid being captured, that's a tough call. I "know of" some guys that were captured and later released. It would have been a shame had they killed themselves. However, I certainly would not want to be used for media attention like the beheaded hostages were, not to mention I would rather avoid torture if at all possible.

Remember that whole Special Forces rescure operation that resulted in a helicopter crash and the deaths of many of our elite in Afghanistan? Those remaining guys on the ground didn't get exploited on TV because they died in the field. My guess is that they were not executed on the spot, but died shooting back at the enemy. I don't think they would have let the enemy get close enough to capture them without putting sidearms to their own heads first.
Link Posted: 3/1/2006 11:41:59 PM EDT
Link Posted: 3/1/2006 11:42:06 PM EDT
I would never be taken alive, not by today's enemy!!!!

And in this case, that's not a "no clue" smiley.
Link Posted: 3/2/2006 1:38:26 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/2/2006 1:39:10 AM EDT by H46Driver]

The new Code of Conduct is not a part of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ). Instead, the Code of Conduct is a personal conduct mandate for members of the American armed forces throughout the world.

Article I: I am an American, fighting in the armed forces which guard my country and our way of life. I am prepared to give my life in their defense.

Article II: I will never surrender of my own free will. If in command I will never surrender the members of my command while they still have the means to resist.

Article III: If I am captured, I will continue to resist by all means available. I will make every effort to escape and aid others to escape. I will accept neither parole nor special favors from the enemy.

Article IV: If I become a prisoner of war, I will keep faith with my fellow prisoners. I will give no information nor take part in any action which might be harmful to my comrades. If I am senior, I will take command. If not, I will obey the lawful orders of those appointed over me and will back them up in every way.

Article V: When questioned, should I become a prisoner of war, I am required to give name, rank, service, number, and date of birth. I will evade answering further questions to the utmost of my ability. I will make no oral or written statements disloyal to my country and its allies or harmful to their cause.

Article VI: I will never forget that I am an American, responsible for my actions, and dedicated to the principles which made my country free. I will trust in my God and in the United States of America.



Link Posted: 3/2/2006 1:51:11 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/2/2006 1:52:56 AM EDT by Rakky]

Originally Posted By H46Driver:

Article II: I will never surrender of my own free will. If in command I will never surrender the members of my command while they still have the means to resist.



Yep
Link Posted: 3/2/2006 3:29:22 AM EDT

Originally Posted By BFish:
I truly believe that the suicide of German officers at the end of the war was due to the fact that there was nothing left of their ideology to go on......6 years of war, kameraden, family, cities, country destroyed....all the sacrifice and effort in vain....the Army was destroyed, and the Army was an entity unto itself, not to mention the Waffen SS. For a career officer, with a sense of duty what was left? Eeking out a cur like existence at the feet of those who conquered you...I think not. I understand their actions...



....Or waiting to be hanged for warcrimes? Or being subjected to the same inhuman treatment that you had given to Russians on the Eastern front?

Don't discount that as a reason.
Link Posted: 3/2/2006 3:42:40 AM EDT
Link Posted: 3/2/2006 7:40:50 AM EDT

Originally Posted By pieceofstink:
I think Douglas MacArthur could best answer this question-but the cowardly SOB didn't even wait around long enough to surrender-he got his schicken-shit ass out of the PI before the Japanese even got there!



I hope you don't eat with that mouth. Ever see the film "They Were Expendable"?
Link Posted: 3/2/2006 11:24:49 AM EDT

Originally Posted By PaDanby:

Originally Posted By CitySlicker:

Originally Posted By PaDanby:
Hell yes it's dishonorable. That's why we are taking ejection seats out of all officer flown aircraft. Afer all if the eject they may land in enemy territory.



Huh?



Sarcasm 101



Oops.
Link Posted: 3/2/2006 11:33:13 AM EDT
There is no dishonor for a military officer who is captured...

...unless he comes home, gets elected to the senate and starts betraying the very freedoms he fought to defend.

Link Posted: 3/2/2006 11:34:05 AM EDT
Camerone.

Nuff said.
Link Posted: 3/2/2006 11:38:13 AM EDT
well, as an AF pilot, ejecting is akin to surrendering. the enemy has put you in a hopeless situation, and you are taking your chances with the enemy (while there is still a good chance of rescue of course)

I dont know of any pilots who would NOT eject if their jet was beyond saving, regardless of any "honor" factor.

there is no honor in wasting your life and abilities.
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