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#1 wulsten

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Posted 07 December 2008 - 06:32 PM

Were there any recording transcriptions etc of field punishments apart from service records ?

#2 Desdichado

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Posted 07 December 2008 - 07:06 PM

QUOTE (wulsten @ Dec 7 2008, 06:32 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Were there any recording transcriptions etc of field punishments apart from service records ?


Not quite sure what you mean by "recording transcriptions". Do you mean courts-martial transcripts?

#3 wulsten

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Posted 07 December 2008 - 07:17 PM

yes, or any other ?

#4 Ron Clifton

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Posted 07 December 2008 - 08:26 PM

Hello Wulsten

According to the official publication usually known simply as Statistics, there were just over 60,000 sentencesc of FP No.1 passed by British Field General Courts-Martial abroad, plus 61 passed by District Courts-Martial at home. This includes men who had been given more severe sentences which had been reduced to FP No.1.

Breakdowns of offences are also given in the same source, but there is no direct correlation between sentences and offences in the tables.

Even so, this is only part of the picture, as unit COs could award FP No.1 summarily and I know of no attempt to collect or correlate these figures. The award would appear in the individual soldiers' Field Conduct Sheet. I think that officers of the Provost-Marshal's Branch, and those in charge of military prisons, had similar powers over prisoners in their custody.

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#5 trevorl

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Posted 08 December 2008 - 11:12 AM

What could/ did FP No 1 consist of? I seem to have read somewhere that it could entail being lashed to a wheel, or would that have been an earlier time than WW1. Off topic but I remember in Kenya in the 60s two REs being drilled wearing their large packs full of wet sand!.

#6 Moonraker

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Posted 08 December 2008 - 01:02 PM

Shortly after arriving on Salisbury Plain to command the newly-formed Canadian Cavalry Brigade, Colonel Jack Seely came across a Private Shand enduring Field Punishment Number One (being strapped to a wagon wheel). Seely tried it for himself and then ordered pack drill in full marching order be substituted as punishment. He would have arrived on the Plain in the first day or so of February, 1915 and perhaps there had been an outbreak of indiscipline at that time, because the Canadian 1st Field Ambulance’s diary for February 1 cryptically notes: "had to adopt severe methods of punishment" at Bustard Camp – Seely’s initial destination.

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#7 Ron Clifton

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Posted 08 December 2008 - 05:23 PM

Hello trevorl

If you put "field punishment" into the Forum search engine (third from right on toolbar above) you will find descriptions of FP1 and FP2. The difference, which applied only to FP1, was that the offender could be attached by chains or ropes to a fixed object. This could be a fence or gatepost but was often the wheel of a gun.

The idea of FP was to cause discomfort without physical damage, thus rendering the soldier fit to resume his duties in between sessions or when the FP ended. In this it differed markedly from its predecessor, flogging.

Ron

#8 gazfromnuneaton

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Posted 10 December 2008 - 09:56 PM

In my grandfathers service record (he was in the 177th tunnelling company):

"1) caught smoking next to straw
2) abusive language to an N.C.O.

Sentenced to 7 days FP No. 1"

Who says smoking isn't good for your health !!!!!!

#9 geraint

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Posted 10 December 2008 - 10:47 PM

Slight deviation here, but if you read Frank Richards Old Soldiers Never Die, and a few other memoires, there is constant references to old hands who were frequent delinquents, and often subject to FPs but getting their FPs 'washed out' or ceased due to acts of galantry, volunteering, night patrols, etc etc. From their accounts it happened often. I think that the battalion and company officers were getting tired of handing out FPs to dependable, experienced men who may have looked askance at a newby subaltern half their age. KRs were one thing, but valuing your experienced men was the mark of a good officer. I wonder how many of those 60,000 became 'washed out'.

#10 Ron Clifton

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Posted 11 December 2008 - 11:39 AM

QUOTE (geraint @ Dec 10 2008, 10:47 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I wonder how many of those 60,000 became 'washed out'.

Probably not all that many, geraint, as these were the punishments inflicted by FGCM and not "handed out" by battalion or company commanders, which probably numbered many tens of thousands more.

The point about FP was that it left the men available, and medically fit, to serve with their unit in the normal way. If they did well, the unserved part of the FP might well be remitted but the punishment would still be on their record, i.e, it was not "washed out."

Frank Richards also appears to refer only to cases where the unit was in the front line, which was generally less that 30% of the time.

Ron

#11 bob lembke

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Posted 11 December 2008 - 08:20 PM

In a previous thread on a related topic (centering, if memory serves, on the question of whether the German Army had a similar punishment) someone posted or linked to a detailed account by a British soldier of his being subjected to this punishment. The punishment was as described, being firmly tied to a wagon wheel for two hours on two successive days (the soldier was allowed to wash the wheel before he was tied to it!), but by his description the ambient temperature was probably in the twenties, or even colder, and that temperature while being immobile was very severe. To my mind, that punishment could have easily led to pneumonia and therefore possibly to death.

Bob Lembke

#12 Ian Riley

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Posted 12 December 2008 - 12:31 AM

In that case, I would wonder what the responsibilities of the unit's medical officer would be to prevent this. Would he have had a responsiblity in this respect although in the end he (and, today, possibly she) was only the CO's medical adviser.

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#13 auchonvillerssomme

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Posted 12 December 2008 - 06:28 PM

http://hansard.millb...5CV0088P0-05459

#14 bushfighter

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Posted 12 December 2008 - 07:48 PM

Interestingly in East Africa up to December 1915 there had been no orders to segregate British soldiers into white, Indian and black for purposes of disciplinary Detention (although they may have in fact been segregated where possible by private inter-unit arrangements).

Then the South Africans arrived.

Confidential Memo 297/37 of 17 December 1915 ordered that whites had to be segregated whilst in Detention, and that (perhaps to ease the problem of providing sufficient new Detention facilities) Field Punishment should be awarded instead of Detention for military offences.

However (see Paice's "Tip & Run") South Africans were not happy about whites being seen to be subject to Field Punishment.
But it was applied.

Harry



#15 Tom A McCluskey

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Posted 14 December 2008 - 01:52 PM

Ron,

You make a good point about the nature of the punishment. Often this was tied to a post, somewhere where you can be seen, not, as many people imagine, 'crucified' to the wheel of a gun.

The punishment is oft recorded as being humiliating (being in full view of all and sundry as a defualter), as opposed to being physically unbearable.

Aye

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#16 bob lembke

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Posted 14 December 2008 - 06:02 PM

QUOTE (Tom A McCluskey @ Dec 14 2008, 08:52 AM)
The punishment is oft recorded as being humiliating (being in full view of all and sundry as a defualter), as opposed to being physically unbearable.


There seemed to have been a milder equivilant German punishment, but I understand that the regulations specified that 1) it was to be conducted indoors, and 2) no other ORs were to be able to witness the punishment. Only certain officers, certified as "punishment officers", were allowed to impose this penalty.

Bob


#17 Paul Hederer

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Posted 15 December 2008 - 04:30 AM

QUOTE (bob lembke @ Dec 14 2008, 07:02 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
There seemed to have been a milder equivilant German punishment, but I understand that the regulations specified that 1) it was to be conducted indoors, and 2) no other ORs were to be able to witness the punishment. Only certain officers, certified as "punishment officers", were allowed to impose this penalty.

Bob


Bob,

Excuse me, that is simply not true. We've discussed this ad nauseum and you've been shown to be wrong each and every time. Below is the cut and paste from the last in a series of threads correcting you. A description of German field punishment:

"The most degrading and contentious form of the punishment at this time was the so-called "Anbinden." The offender was literally bound during several successive days for two hours to a tree or a wall. As a quick and cheap penal method it was wanted and defended by superiors. It signified for the affected men an open humiliation before their immediate surroundings [comrades]. Massive criticism of the procedure moved the Prussian War Ministry at the end of 1915 for a survey of all military authorities as to whether the retention of 'Anbindens' was necessary, and further whether its abolition seemed desirable...a similar inquiry was also arranged a few days later by the Bavarian War Ministry. A majority of military superiors expressed themselves against the abolishment of 'Anbinden.' In mobile, as well as during static warfare, this method enabled carrying out punishment anywhere and immediately, according to the regulation, thus efficiently, and as a correction. Anyway, some voices pointed out, one should not leave the enforcement [of punishment] to the noncommissioned officers, because these not infrequently chose a public place, 'and bind the man too tightly, thinking that the entire 30 m[eters] of forage rope must be used.' Anyhow, the moderate military [also] did not want 'Anbindens' abolished as a penal method. Thus it [only] came about in May 1917, on sustained pressure of the Reichstag majority."

Obviously lashing a man to an object as punishment was permitted in open places in the German Army until May 1917. This punishment could be inflicted by an NCO.

My translation-- from "Meinungslenkung im Krieg," by Anne Lipp, pages 115-116.

Paul

#18 Ron Clifton

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Posted 15 December 2008 - 05:48 PM

With reference to Bob Lembke's Post #11, infliction of FP1 under those conditions should have been stopped by the unit's medical officer - the man was technically his patient. However, it might take a very determined MO who, faced with a strong character as CO, would have pressed the point.

Incidentally, a friend of mine, who was a serving officer in the 1970s, once told me that he had heard of this punishment but that he thought it was inflicted when the gun was actually moving! I had to explain that this was not so: the diameter of a gun wheel (18-pdr) being only 5 feet 2 inches and most soldiers being taller than that!

It was interesting to see how closely the equivalent German punishment resembled the British one: I wonder who copied from whom?

Ron

#19 wulsten

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Posted 15 December 2008 - 06:18 PM

Thanks again all, i was told my grandfather was subjected to this punishment however his service records appear to have not survived so was checking any other avenues, but it appears a lost cause, served with the bedfordshire regiment

#20 bob lembke

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Posted 15 December 2008 - 08:29 PM

QUOTE (Paul Hederer @ Dec 14 2008, 11:30 PM)
Bob,

Excuse me, that is simply not true. We've discussed this ad nauseum and you've been shown to be wrong each and every time. Below is the cut and paste from the last in a series of threads correcting you. A description of German field punishment:Obviously lashing a man to an object as punishment was permitted in open places in the German Army until May 1917. This punishment could be inflicted by an NCO.

My translation-- from "Meinungslenkung im Krieg," by Anne Lipp, pages 115-116.

Paul


I do not want to "cross swords" with Paul, who I have the greatest respect for. As I probably said before, I put this question to a friend. He is a fairly high-ranking German General Staff officer, and additionally a German diplomat. He is also a published historian. I was astonished to receive about a ten-page essay from him, really a legal brief, in which he went back thru the German military regulations (of course a good question is what was "German" in 1843!) from 1843 to the present, and he said that the punishment that I described was the only physical punishment that was allowed, and that it was as I described, limited, and only perscribed by certain officers with a special certification as a "punishment officer". He did say that, in the German Army as in any army, people will abuse men and break regulations, but that would be a punishable offense.

Regrettably, at the time I was debating this, I had very serious computer problems, and among other things I could not "cut and paste", and I was not able to post this essay. (I will try to go back and find it among about 2000 stored e-mails and post his essay.)

As memory serves, when we kicked this topic about, several people posted anacdotal accounts (a form of historical evidence that I have a lot of respect for), which to me did not prove anything, and you, who I respect greatly, posted your position, as restated above, and created an impression with me.

My own position is that I heard many stories about the German Army in WW I when I was a kid. My father was a very naughty soldier, he hated his company command, who he said were brutal (in other ways) and corrupt, and stole from the men. Pop seemingly shot his company commander (I have found supporting but not conclusive written evidence in his unit's unit history), shot a sergeant in the butt with a wooden "half-sharp" round, and kicked another sergeant in the face and got the sergeant tried for getting kicked. He never mentioned anything of that sort. (Two comments - If he was trussed up like a chicken he might not have told me, although he told me many stories that put him in a foolish light, and generally many distastful things in military history are rarely mentioned.) But my father seemed to have been a good combat soldier, and a generally dangerous person at that time (he loved the war, insanely, within days of finsihing the war he was in a Freikorps using the flame-thrower, and then was in the Schwartze reichswehr, and worked as a bodyguard (I have a photo, an almost shaved head, a P 08 under a skin-tight suit, looking weird but very dangerous, witrh his client), all the EM in his unit carried the P 08, it is quite possible that not many people in the company wanted to tangle with him.) (Re my volubility; I only yesterday actually started writing his biography, putting draft on paper; I also have too much tea in me). He led a Trupp, but never was promoted past Pionier (Private), the only medal he was given during the war was his wound badge for four wounds (they could hardly deny him that-he got his Iron Cross in 1921 from the War Ministry; I have both the medal and also the award document), and even his Militaer=Pass is wierd. (Too much tea.)

Since I found my father's letters in 2001 I have read 2 - 2 1/2 hours a day, mostly in German, hundreds of sources of every sort, but few secondary sources, and in perhaps 4000 hours of reading WW I German sources of all sorts (including stuff written by communists and Spartakists or published by the DDR, not just stuff from saupreussische Buecher, I cannot recall reading one example of such a punishment. I read (perhaps) 5% as much British sources as German sources and periodically I come across mention of Field Punishment No. 1.

I almost died on the operating table a few months ago, I have nine books planned, and am actively working on three, and I cannot go into this deeply, or go over the same ground that we posted before. I will look for my friend's essay. I have great respect for you, but I think that he is better qualified to comment on this than you, I, and Ms. Lipp put together. He is currently on a remote diplomatic post and almost certainly does not have access to a library of old military regulations.

But anything is possible. I studied the Mexican War (1845-48) for years, and I read about 80 sources before I realized that the US infantry company on war manuvers comprised 98 men and two women. The women were washers, but obviously were also "comfort women", and the topic was distastful so no one (almost) wrote about it. I know that you strongly disagree with me here.

Bob

#21 Paul Hederer

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Posted 15 December 2008 - 09:07 PM

Bob,

We've been through this all before. You're posting exactly what you posted before. Obviously field punishment did exist in the German army, or its abolishment wouldn't have come up for debate in the Reichtag in May 1917. The passage describes quite clearly what was being done and how.

Let your expert German Colonel friend come to the forum and post for himself. I've posted my sources, they are open for review. I stand by them, as well as the eyewitness account of this punishment from the archives I posted before on this subject. It would be interesting what he has to post as evidence--an opportunity to learn more, Im sure.

Paul

#22 Chris Boonzaier

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Posted 16 December 2008 - 08:49 AM

Oh brother ..... :-)

This topic is like the movie "Ground hog day".... just when you think it is settled and proved... it starts right back at zero, all the arguments and posted accounts ignored..... :-)))

Methinks its a waste of time.



#23 Chris Boonzaier

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Posted 16 December 2008 - 09:08 AM

QUOTE (bob lembke @ Dec 15 2008, 09:29 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I do not want to "cross swords" with Paul, who I have the greatest respect for. As I probably said before, I put this question to a friend. He is a fairly high-ranking German General Staff officer, and additionally a German diplomat. He is also a published historian. I was astonished to receive about a ten-page essay from him, really a legal brief, in which he went back thru the German military regulations (of course a good question is what was "German" in 1843!) from 1843 to the present, and he said that the punishment that I described was the only physical punishment that was allowed, and that it was as I described, limited, and only perscribed by certain officers with a special certification as a "punishment officer". He did say that, in the German Army as in any army, people will abuse men and break regulations, but that would be a punishable offense.


Bob



Bob,

with all due respect... your secret source does not impress and his pulling out of an old rule book is worth zero in this discussion. Tine and time again in the original thread you were shown REAL examples that you choose to ignore.

Anyone who was in any army will tell you there are books and rules as made by the high command/Govt... and there is the way things work at regimental level.

Please go back and read the posts in the original thread... people took the time to find, type and post all these details that you said you could not find.

Not finding something does NOT mean it does not exist and if someone finds something to contradict what you believe (simply because you could not find something) ... you do not win the discussion by dodging the other persons post.

best
Chris

P.S. a Wonderful example, not German related, is in the French press at the moment.

A French Foreign Legion officer, a Sgt and a Cpl are being charged with torture, wrongful death etc.

On a march in the desert earlier this year a legionnaire gave up on a march. They kicked him along, gave him a series of kicks and punches, emptied his water canteen on the ground, kicked him along some more.... then he fell down dead.

Right away the high command ordered the 3 to be kicked out of the Legion... and tried by military court. "Something like this is not allowed in any branch of the French Army!"

Oh Bulllllllllll-shower!

I remember when I did my basic training that kicks and the occasional punch were part of every march for the stragglers, emptying out the canteen of a legionnaire who did not wait for the order to "drink" was also common.

When I was instructor on a mortar course, during the long marches with heavy equipment the odd kick and cuff were commonplace to make sure the most unmotivated kept moving along.

I remember a guy in my company who took a punch from a Caporal... he complained to a Sgt, and got another. Went in front of the Platoon commander and got a screaming at and a few more slaps... went to see the Captain and was so intimidated he did not bother to ask seeing the colonel.

In every regiment of the foreign legion the above is par for the course....

Until it makes the news because of an unfortunate death.... and THEN..."Something like this is not allowed in any branch of the French Army!"

I posted in the ORIGINAL thread a diary of a senior German NCO that reported SYSTEMATIC brutality in 3 training areas he visited.

When you find it in every training ground you visit... it is hardly the work of a few bad apples...

#24 Paul Hederer

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Posted 17 December 2008 - 04:26 AM



... you do not win the discussion by dodging the other persons post.

Unfortunately Chris that seems to about sum it up. Argue a point without evidence and then with confronted just leave the topic...I see a pattern here. laugh.gif

Paul


#25 bushfighter

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Posted 17 December 2008 - 04:58 AM

To try and get this thread back to the starting point:

Wulsten

Bearing in mind what Ron has said, and my mention of Field Punishment being preferred by Higher Authority, it probably was more common than we think.

Look at it from the CO's point of view - he has a minor criminal to deal with, but if he sends him out of the line for punishment then how much more minor crime will result as other "dodgers" seek a break from danger or privation.
In those circumstances Field Punishment was very appropriate, and the other "non-criminal" men would recognise that.

There was of course "unofficial" punishment applied, generally at Company level, when the accused having been found guilty was (depending on the nature of the crime) verbally given the option of military justice or accepting an unofficial punishment awarded by the OC and administered by the CSM.

This was totally unrecorded but was a common solution to dealing with minor offences at sub-unit level. The absence of entries on documents appealed to the soldier and the OC, and the availability of having an out-of-hours fatigue worker for a week or two appealed to the CSM.

Harry