The martyrdom of Belgium: official report of massacres of peaceable citizens, women and children by the German army
The German military code, pp. -23 ff. PDF (1.8 MB)
THE GERMAN MILITARY CODE In 1902 the Historic Section of the German General Staff pub- lished a collection of works for the instruction and guidance of the officers of the German Army. Among these works is a Manual upon "The Laws of War on Land." ("Kriegsgebrauch im Land- kriege.") The following extracts from this manual show that the ideas of the German General Staff on the conduct of warfare are diametrically opposed to the views generally adopted by civilized countries. It is the systematic carrying-out of these ideas which has caused the devastation and desolation of Belgium. It is by making a deep study of the history of wars that, "one may protect oneself against exaggerated humanitarian ideas." (Laws of War on Land, pp. 6 and 7) The claims of professors of International Law (in regard to a certain point under discussion) "should be deliberately rejected in principle as being opposed to the rules of war." (Ibid page 46) The claims of certain professors of International Law in this respect are absolutely contrary to the necessities of warfare, "and should be rejected by military men." (Ibid pages 44 and 45) An energetically conducted war cannot be carried on solely against the combatant enemy and his defenses, but extends and should extend to the destruction of his material and moral resources. Humanitarian con- siderations, such as respect for persons and property, can be taken into consideration only provided that the nature and object of the war adapt themselves to that course. (Ibid page 3) The above extracts indicate clearly the spirit of the German military class, namely, To protect themselves against humanitarian ideas, as against a dangerous infection. To cast aside international law if found incompat- ible with convenience. To strike not only at the enemy's armed forces, but to terrorise him by striking at his "material and moral resources," i. e. his home and property, his wife and children.
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