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Post Info TOPIC: Found in the trenches


Legend

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Found in the trenches
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From the Illustrated War News, Wednesday 19 July 1916:

Cat1.JPG

Propaganda? For use by impatient muleteers?  From what I can make out, the German field punishments were similar to the British, or milder perhaps.  For instance the equivalent of the notorious Field Punishment No. 1, being shackled or bound to a fixed/heavy object (such as the wheel of a gun - "crucifixion" the troops called it) was only permitted indoors in the German army but usually done outdoors by the British - and German soldiers, unlike the British, were allowed cameras, so any overly-zealous officer or non-com just might have his transgressions recorded for review.  I see no evidence of official corporal punishment harsher than FP1 in either army.

The Navy might have been different - anything would be possible in the British/Commonwealth Navies - under the Articles of War ("any of the crimes punishable by these articles and orders, the person so offending shall be liable to be tried and punished for the same, in like manner, to all intents and purposes, as if the same crimes had been committed at sea, on board any of His Majesty's ships or vessels of war.") and the regime of "customary" punishments under the Articles ("shall be punished by the laws and customs in such cases used at sea.").  Not quite as clear-cut as all that, but justice might get a little "summary" under the exigencies of land war.  Fortunately the British Navy discontinued keel-hauling sometime before 1750 - that might be a little difficult to arrange on land/in the trenches. 

Don't know about the Imperial German Navy - or whether there were even German marines or matelots in the trenches at any stage, similar to the British Royal Naval Division.  Or even whether the latter were actually subject to the Articles of War at any stage, if it comes to that - I suppose they were/must have been (they retained their naval command structure, at least initially).

Anyway, anyone wanting to depict such items of chastisement in their dioramas has perhaps some justification - and a lot of explaining to do. biggrin



-- Edited by Rectalgia on Sunday 14th of October 2012 07:20:02 AM

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Facimus et Frangimus


Major

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Hello,

No punishment use for these "Cat-O-nine Tails"!
German Army (as French and other Armies) had regular models of these tools.Their use is only to sweep away dust, dry mud, etc... on the uniforms!
Yours sincerely,
Guy François.



-- Edited by ALVF on Sunday 14th of October 2012 07:56:15 AM

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Legend

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Aha, so simple! So they were light-weight, like fly whisks then - and with no scale provided the viewer cannot see this at once. Yes, I think we can see by the way the strands/thongs hang that this is so - thought real cat-o'-nine-tails might have thongs stiffened from the brine they would be dipped in before use, to perhaps give a similar appearance when dry. But, there are no knots in the thongs as would be expected in the real punishment device. Thank you Guy François.

The publisher of the Illustrated War News was really paying a compliment to the German Army then, since there were no actual iniquities to show he had to imply them through mis-direction. Or perhaps it was a (half) joke, understood by most at the time. Ah, the hazards of interpreting material from another age!



-- Edited by Rectalgia on Sunday 14th of October 2012 04:35:40 PM

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Facimus et Frangimus


Corporal

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The only punishment I've heard from my grandfather was being tied to a gun-carriage for 24h with only 2 Liters of water-supply and NO FOOD for being absent from the troop for 6 h to meet a french woman.

That happened during the fighting of the Chemin de Dames in 1917, one of the 16 battles, my grandfather took part in.

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Legend

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Meeting a French woman along the Chemin des Dames was perfectly appropriate - your grandfather is accordingly pardoned and any associated stoppage of pay to be reversed - tell Frau von der Leyen I said so.

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