Military ethics: shame, taboos and violence. Part II

We continue to talk about blood, ethics and norms of war. This time two strikingly different century. One was an attempt to turn the war into a theater of blood and respect, and the rest just drowned the world in blood and carnage.

Elegant XVIII century

The age of Enlightenment, high architecture, art, secular humanism and Palace ethics. In the eighteenth century the army had learned to maneuver, the peasants learned to wear coats, and the fighting became more remote. The war began to resemble a theater in which maneuvers are increasingly began to decide more than the fight itself, and was accompanied by many polite conventions in the style of «please, allow me». Knightly etiquette strongly stretched fighting, and the enemies are not sought permission to shoot first, so to speak: «Your Excellency, let us tear your soldiers bullets and smash their heads with cannon shells? And then the cavalry of the cuirassiers trampled them, gripped by agony, trying to hold their intestines fall out from the body?»

Indeed, the officers were able to salute the enemy, especially if the enemy commander was the famous General. But the most ridiculous seems to be a discussion of who will make the first volley. War has become a «sport of kings», the excess of courtesy made her all the more like a ball, maneuvers and rules of engagement were no less polite than the change of partners in the Mazurka.

However, there were candid pros: cruelty has fallen sharply, and had a sincere respect for the opponent. The valour of the enemy was valued more, and prisoners officers spoke politely, trying not to cut off their limbs and no eyes gouged out. The captured officers could leave their personal freedom, if they give parole not to attempt escape. The captive thus released only at the end of hostilities and the payment of ransom. If Oliver Cromwell, Frederick Barbarossa and other military leaders of the past saw this mess, you probably would have thrown generals in the Cup of wine and a scary growling, ran to the battlefield, calling to fight like men, simultaneously killing soldiers for greater clarity.

To civilians treated correctly, unlike the XX century. However, this has not prevented them cleaned, until the last of the Golden tooth in the mouth to Rob the local of the old city, the enemy camp and other outbuildings.

Courtesy and respect come to the fore, however, do not think that cruelty and injustice were not. Was, what no war can do without it. But the bloody barbaric. with the total genocide of the population became smaller, and in General the battlefield resembled a neat game of soldiers.

XIX century. The Napoleonic wars

Here it is, a good time for humanity. Finally good rulers, guardians of peace and just dirty politicians think about such good things as international conventions and the organization of «red cross». Not quite happened, but the attempt is worthy of respect. We divide it into 2 periods – before and after the Napoleonic wars, just to make it easier to read, because the eventfulness and development of this terrible century did concede that the twentieth century.

That is to say, the brutality increased. Aggression and complexes have been unleashed thanks to the scientific progress and abundance of socio-political processes that literally raped Europe for one miserable century, which was referred to as the «Big nineteenth century». However, the time frame slightly exceed the century, some quarter of a century- from the French revolution of 1789 to 1914 start of the First world war.

By the way, about the revolution. Call 1792 to citizens to take up arms, which gave way to the revolutionary war, allowing them to defeat the first anti-French coalition, was the first example of war as a national effort. The revolution has radically changed the approach to the war: she was no longer a case of the monarch, it became the cause of the people, who treated the war differently. And most importantly, the war, it was ideology, fought for new ideals, and if you were against them, will you please undress to shirts, stand by that wall. Can squint. As it is now DAYS warriors are fighting for their religious ideals. But then this obscurantism, but still on such a scale was not observed.

And then the ideology began to fill and ethnic war. Napoleon was fighting for good the destiny of Europe, in fact, trying to create your own version of the European Union, only dominant in France, and it’s hard military power. Alexander I, in contrast, chasing the Frenchman in rags stinking Paris, returned to Europe its independence.

After the Napoleonic wars

War has become a mass, popular, ethnic or mezhkoalitsionnuyu, but not the solution of personal problems through the armed crowd sitting in a high chair monarch. Humanism somewhere evaporated. No, during the Napoleonic wars that swept the world, more or less humane treatment of prisoners still remained. First was preserved. But when the same Napoleon faced aggression from the Spanish and Russian guerrillas, the war has become a matter of being hardened from the impoverishment of the masses, all the good had forgotten. Attack from behind, indiscriminate cutting of sleeping units, eye-gouging mighty fingers of the blacksmith – all this has become commonplace, like the beating of captured officers. Established rules, which provided that the war have the right to conduct only the army, put the masses out of any military laws.

The war has turned into a phenomenon, which does not tolerate any kind of framework and prohibitions. She became primarily an instrument of violence and capture. All thanks to such works as «On war» Carl von Clausewitz. He could not survive the collapse of the «Prussian military machine, of the successor of the glorious victories of Frederick the Great,» which was just crushed Napoleon’s army. Do not forget that it was the era of Darwin’s theory of evolution and natural selection once again assured the military men in the axiom that only the strong survive. This theory came to the court instead of weakened religious influences.

And vengeance of the locomotive by the smoke claimed technical progress. On the one hand it gave hope that in the future, humanity is being educated and incredibly developed, able to grow radishes from the sand and have Rowan out of the tincture, will be able to live in peace and harmony.

But, on the other hand, ardent minds were not able to do anything with them, producing more and more deadly weapons, and looking at that they are doing all over the world acts of forcible fondling in a bayonet charge in the lobby, everyone started to realize that total world war with lots of civilian victims and burned down cities – it’s just a matter of time.

The beauty of the weapons of mass destruction showed themselves Civil war in the United States, found the world such beauty as a pow camp (basically a camp), the struggle for Italian unification and the Crimean war. Rifled rifles, advanced artillery, and other gifts of technological progress has made war much more deadly. Besides, there was a different information age: the wire Telegraph had allowed the military to journalists to provide news from the theatres of war with unimaginable before rate. Their reports are often clearly described and the wrong side of the war, with the suffering of the wounded and the unenviable fate of the prisoners, which was not a reality of daily news. The details of the war began to reach the population much faster.

All these details made the world awash in blood and to bear huge losses. It was necessary to solve something. Then the decision was made to conventions. In 1864, developed and signed the First Geneva Convention: States which have affixed the signature, undertake to exclude military hospitals of military objectives, to ensure the humane treatment of wounded and prisoners of war the opposing party and the protection of civilians providing aid to the wounded. Then you are still alive, the red cross Society and the red cross recognized as a major familiar institutions and individuals providing aid to the wounded (later, with the accession of Turkey, the same sign was recognized as the red Crescent).

Philosophers and churches have not listened. And the Convention was quite well followed the behavior in the war. Though not always effective. The world began to actively militarybase, grave breath of the great war were felt stronger. Attempts to call for disarmament and the international conferences of 1899 and 1907 did not lead to anything good. But there were two signed the Hague Convention, which in details regulate the laws and customs of war. According to him, it was necessary to warn about the beginning of the war, discussed the treatment of prisoners and civilians. In addition, the Hague Convention tried to ban some weapons, such as explosive expanding bullets that maimed and soldiers were forced to die in terrible agony, suffocating shells, and within 5 years the parties pledged to refrain from throwing projectiles from coming into use for aircraft. Perhaps the first since the ban of crossbows attempt to ban weapons in his dishonesty. Do how to shoot down the plywood and iron birds pooping the shells had not yet been invented. But honestly, all of these conditions are little respected. Efficiency was valued above humanity.

At the same time, the war greatly promoted technological progress: Railways, aircraft used for military purposes. But not only technique shot up to a new level, medicine has received a powerful impetus thanks to the reinforcement and pouring of blood, thanks to the great Russian physician and anatomist Nikolai Ivanovich Pirogov. In 1855, during the Crimean war, Pirogov was the chief surgeon of the besieged Anglo-French troops in Sevastopol. In terms of wounded men, Pirogov for the first time in the history of Russian medicine has applied a plaster bandage, giving rise to saving tactics of treatment of injuries of the extremities and sparing of many officers and soldiers from amputation. During the siege of Sevastopol Pirogov managed the study and work of the sisters of the Holy cross community of sisters of mercy. This was also an innovation at the time.

The most important merit is the introduction of Pirogov in Sevastopol absolutely new method of care for the wounded. The method lies in the fact that the wounded were subject to careful selection already on the first dressing point; depending on the severity of the injuries some of them were subject to immediate operation in field conditions whereas others, with more minor injuries, were evacuated far inland for treatment in stationary military hospitals. So Pies is fairly considered as the founder of a special direction in surgery, known as military field surgery.

If we talk about the weapons that were used reluctantly and considered meaningless, it was a machine gun. Then relied more on military theorists who believed firearms box insanely expensive and uneconomical. «He’ll ruin us,» – said the Germans. In addition, the lack of progressive generals who have come to rely on proven weapons, did honor to the gun. Despite the progress, it was a conservative era. One British military publication wrote: «we Should take as a principle that the rifle, effective as it may be, cannot replace the effect that produces the speed of the horse, the magnetism of cavalry attack and the terror of cold steel». Then still paid great attention to the beauty of war.

Colonial wars gave the world concentration camps, which became especially popular during the Anglo-Boer war. The atrocities and genocide tried to take control all over the world, but had no success. The XIX century gave more monstrous methods of mutual destruction of mankind. Was the apogee of the twentieth century, about whom we’ll talk next time.