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"Shot for cowardice". Should we pardon executed WWI soldiers?

BillieTheBotBillieTheBot 🤖Posts: 8,667 Automated Account
As the family of Harry Farr is fighting to have him pardoned by the government, isn't it time we pardoned others who were shot for 'cowardice' as well?

The case of Harry Farr seems particularly unfair. He was in and out of hospitals for long periods and suffered from severe shell-shock. He was clearly an ill man and should have never been court martialled (let alone executed).

But I would personally pardon everyone who was shot for cowardice. The first world war was particularly gruesome and barbaric, and the immense majority of soldiers would have been conscripts with little say on the subject of whether they wish to fight a war on a foreign land that was no threat to them or their families.

Given that officers used soldiers literally like cannon fodder, sending wave after wave of them to charge machine gun nests on the hope that out of several thousand soldiers the ones a the very back might just make it to enemy positions, can we really blame young men for sometimes refusing to advance to a certain death for no gain whatsoever?

Personally I'd rather the officers who ordered such barbarity from the safety of their 'backstage' tents had been shot than the men they sent to such pointless deaths.
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Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Nope.

    They were cowards.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I thought you didn't believe in killing people klintock. Don't you think having the soldiers murdered by the state was punishment enough?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I thought you didn't believe in killing people klintock. Don't you think having the soldiers murdered by the state was punishment enough?

    I never said i agreed that they should have been shot, only that there shouldn't be an apology.

    If they weren't cowards they would NEVER have become soldiers in the first place.

    I'd have been shot a long time before they got me in a uniform.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    klintock wrote:
    I never said i agreed that they should have been shot, only that there shouldn't be an apology.

    If they weren't cowards they would NEVER have become soldiers in the first place.

    I'd have been shot a long time before they got me in a uniform.

    Conscription anyone? They didnt have a choice. A lot of them were boys younger than me...
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Conscription anyone? They didnt have a choice. A lot of them were boys younger than me...

    If they weren't brave enough to say "fuck off" to the draft man, they were cowards.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    There was always a choice.

    Many weren't conscripts- they couldn't wait to get into uniform, to fight for "King and country". As if either gave a flying fuck about them. They couldn't wait to fight, it was going to be over by Christmas.

    Yes, they should be pardoned. Yes, every statue of Kitchener and Haig should be melted down.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    klintock wrote:
    If they weren't brave enough to say "fuck off" to the draft man, they were cowards.

    People were different back in 1918, people were patriotic. Maybe they didnt want to but it appears people were willing to fight for there country. Again do you think a scared 18 year old boy would be able to say "fuck off" to the state. They would have been shunned by society for being unpatriotic. As i said, no choice.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Probably chucked into jail for a good number of years as well.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    There was a choice.

    You don't seem to get it- these people wanted to fight. There were enough conshies to prove that there was a choice.

    Conshies were jailed, often without clothes except for the uniform. Put the uniform on for warmth, off you go to fight.

    But you had choices other than fighting. Wear a red cross on your arm and help instead.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Even if they did want to fight did they have any idea at the start what the war would be like? a war unlike any war before it? What was the point in fucking shooting them anyway?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    People were different back in 1918, people were patriotic.

    Yes, of course they were so patriotic you had to threaten to shoot them in order to get them to fight and sign up to the military. :rolleyes:
    Again do you think a scared 18 year old boy would be able to say "fuck off" to the state.

    "The state" or some bloke who says you have to go and get shot because he says so?
    They would have been shunned by society for being unpatriotic. As i said, no choice.

    Like I said, a coward. If you can't decide what you want in the face of social pressure your weak and ofc a coward. It is an interesting thing that you think sitting in a slit trench and getting shoved through the meat grinder is less difficult than just saying "no" and having people not approve.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    klintock wrote:
    Yes, of course they were so patriotic you had to threaten to shoot them in order to get them to fight and sign up to the military. :rolleyes:



    "The state" or some bloke who says you have to go and get shot because he says so?



    Like I said, a coward. If you can't decide what you want in the face of social pressure your weak and ofc a coward. It is an interesting thing that you think sitting in a slit trench and getting shoved through the meat grinder is less difficult than just saying "no" and having people not approve.

    They wernt shot in the country you fricking idiot. They were shot out in the trenches after they'd gone out there. Like i said they had no idea what they were getting themselves into. Yes Klintock "the state" the "people" were forced to "sign up" to "join" the "army"
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Some people have an odd idea of what constitutes "choice".
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Blagsta wrote:
    Some people have an odd idea of what constitutes "choice".

    I'm guessing it wasnt the middle and upper classes rushing to join the army when the war broke out ay?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    These men should definitely be pardoned - suffering a psychological breakdown under the stresses of combat shouldn't have been a capital offence. Shouldn't people made mentally ill by war be treated as wounded, rather than cowards?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    "the state" doesn't exist mate, hence the " ".
    They wernt shot in the country you fricking idiot. They were shot out in the trenches after they'd gone out there. Like i said they had no idea what they were getting themselves into.

    Stupid as well as cowards then. What the fuck would you think was going to happen? Tea and biscuits and maye sorting things over a game of whist?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I still can't blame them for flipping one day and refusing to fight again.

    No doubt war was romantisised at the time and there was much talk of 'honour', 'pride' in fighting.

    They shouldn't have expected a holiday of course, but World War I saw what was arguably the most appalling and intolerable conditions- specially the the habit of senselessly sending tens of thousands of people to storm a heavily fortified machine gun line on the principle that if you send ten thousand men through the enemy might run out of bullets or that the ones at the very back might reach the position thanks to the bodies of the other 9,900 soldiers in front acting as human shields.

    No one could have expected such vile and despicable orders. No one should have been expected to obey them. It's too bad foot soldiers of both sides didn't shoot their offices on the spot or tell them to fight it themselves.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    klintock wrote:
    "the state" doesn't exist mate, hence the " ".



    Stupid as well as cowards then. What the fuck would you think was going to happen? Tea and biscuits and maye sorting things over a game of whist?

    Did they know how the war was going to turn out in 1914, answer no. You have no respect for these people do you?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Did they know how the war was going to turn out in 1914, answer no. You have no respect for these people do you?

    No, none. Most went because they were too weak to argue or too stupid to see they were fighting and killing for fiction.

    They were quite happy to kill others just because someone told them so. I can't think of anything less human and more deserving of the name "evil".
    It's too bad foot soldiers of both sides didn't shoot their offices on the spot or tell them to fight it themselves.

    Yes, too bad. they had this choice as well. So no sympathy from me.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    We're talking about nearly a century ago, there was far less information available on which to make a rational choice.

    Even now with the vast amount of information we have access to no-one can actually say what war is like until you have experienced it yourself.

    We have all made decisions for which we are sorry and the punishment for that should never be death, especially in this case.......
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Plenty of men were sent to jail for been consciencous objectors. They had a Principle and in the case of World War 1, i think they had a point, despite the effects of what would have happened had no fighting occured.

    In the case of many of those shot for "Cowardice" i think they should be pardoned, they didnt deserve what they got. Been sent into certain death was just wrong.

    However, that may be the case of most situations in World War 1, men who suffered shell shock for example, there are the occasional cases of men who ran away with Cowardice and allowed other soldiers to die as a result. The messenger for example who had to transport documents from the Generals to the front and back again, who simply chose to flee and not do their jobs. In those cases i think they should not be pardoned. Yes, i know some probably carried documents about attacking and there fore probably kept some men alive a little longer by their actions, but in other cases it was a case of officers ont he front trying to get word to the Generals to not give the attack order too. As i say, they were very few incidents in number like this.

    But i am all for the pardoning of those who clearly suffered shell shock and trauma as a result of the war. Most of those Generals and Commanders were still, even after 4 years of war using Cavalry style charge tactics when they had no hope of working, completely inexcusable.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    klintock wrote:
    No, none. Most went because they were too weak to argue or too stupid to see they were fighting and killing for fiction.

    They were quite happy to kill others just because someone told them so. I can't think of anything less human and more deserving of the name "evil".



    Yes, too bad. they had this choice as well. So no sympathy from me.

    You really are a nutcase. Perhaps if it wasnt for these boys we'd be living in a different world where you couldnt hold the views you have now...but thats not important i guess. :rolleyes:
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    You really are a nutcase.

    Why, thank you. :)
    Perhaps if it wasnt for these boys we'd be living in a different world where you couldnt hold the views you have now...but thats not important i guess. :rolleyes:

    If they had all dropped the guns, told the "state" to fuck off, and decided to use logic over social fear to guide their lives, then yeah, we certainly would.

    You think i don't have even more contempt for those on the other side?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    If they had all dropped their guns and used logic as you say and not action, then the German Empire would have taken all of continental Europe and the Austro-Hungarian Empire would have endured and taken over the ottoman controlled regions and they would still be the world rulers with monarchs today. along with the Empire of Japan.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    klintock wrote:
    No, none. Most went because they were too weak to argue or too stupid to see they were fighting and killing for fiction.

    You've had the luxury of an education and plenty of time to sit around and develop your ideas, so I don't know how you can condemn uneducated 18-year-olds in 1914 for not thinking exactly the same way as you.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    If they had all dropped their guns and used logic as you say and not action, then the German Empire would have taken all of continental Europe and the Austro-Hungarian Empire would have endured and taken over the ottoman controlled regions and they would still be the world rulers with monarchs today. along with the Empire of Japan.

    Errrm, none of those things exist, so if they had all dropped their guns and decided to be logical how would any of that happened?
    You've had the luxury of an education and plenty of time to sit around and develop your ideas, so I don't know how you can condemn uneducated 18-year-olds in 1914 for not thinking exactly the same way as you.

    Sorry to burst this particular bubble, but you'll find that "education" has fuck all to do with my ideas. Contemporary education revolves around installing the same crap in people that got these kids to go fight for myths and legends.

    Regardless, the simple truth (there are no nations, the idea is ridiculous) is available to anyone with two braincells to rub together.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    And you were born with these ideas about nations fully formed, were you? It must be tough living in a world where you think everybody but you is stupid...
  • Teh_GerbilTeh_Gerbil Stalin's Organist Posts: 13,327
    Nope.

    What the fuck man? How about we go say sorry to the Dodo for making it extinct? Apologise for invading France countless times? How about we get the Vikings to apologise for rape and pillage?

    No. The past is the past, situation was different then. Hindsight is wonderful, but what happened happened. Get over it.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Yeah, but his daughter is still alive and it clearly means a lot to her - what's the harm in the government making this little gesture for her?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    And you were born with these ideas about nations fully formed, were you? It must be tough living in a world where you think everybody but you is stupid...

    Yep, I was born only being aware of what I could sense, same as yourself, with none of the fictional ideas of country and nation and church etc. I learned them, just like you did.

    You don't have to be smart to understand it, you just need to pay attention to what is actually there. It doesn't take 14 years of systematic abuse in state school to get the idea that there are no borders and therefore no countries.

    It does take 14 years of abuse in state schools to get you to take as read things which are obviously utter bollocks and to stop asking questions.
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