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Re: Breaker Morant

From: Nick
Date: 10/7/2001
Time: 8:39:03 PM
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I think your point is that,as the Bushveldt Carbineers were a British Unit, thaey came under British jurisdiction. This is true. However, immediately following this, Australian Army law changed so that specific crimes were not punishable by execution and Australian Army personnel fought (and fight) under Australian Military Law no matter who was (and is) in ultimate command. I don't know the exact date when this was instituted, but the fact remains that Australian troops who fought in WW1 were not subject to British Military Law, under whose orders they fought and were commanded by a British appointee. WW2 is entirely different as the law to institute conscription was a Parliamentary act that had specific riders re operations eg. for home defence aand not to fight above the equator. (Changed during the war.)

So, Steve, while I believe you accurately correct a specific historical mistake, I don't think you are entirely right either. Perhaps Rob T can dig out the relevant sections of a WW1 Army standing orders. Oh, and one other thing, the French randomly shot soldiers for mutiny in WW1. Australians who deserted were imprisoned. Source: Gammage, The Broken Years facing p143


Last changed: October 07, 2001