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This is the forum for Movie and Film discussions. Again, our topic is naval warfare in WWII for the most part. 
RE: Laconia Order?
Posted by: Clark ()
Date: February 02, 2001 03:54AM

<HTML>I don\'t know if your question just refers to submarines or to the entire Kriegsmarine. The Laconia order only applies to U-boats.

The order came from Doenitz himself. The incident with the Laconia was what prompted him to write such a order. The order was direct. No surviviors would be picked up by U-boats.

The idea of U-boats picking up survivors was a throw back to the days where war was a gentleman\'s game. The idea that war could be played by the rules. But by world war 1, those rules opened up weakness that caused the participants to be vulnerable. For example, during WW1, a U-boat had to surface and let the crew of a target ship know that they were going to be torpedoed. This was done to let the crew have time to escape. But, British steamers started to hide cannons on the deck. So when a submarine surfaced to give warning, the target steamer would shoot right at the sub and sink it. So the U-boats stopped giving warnings. Similar incidents, caused war to be fought with increased stealth and brutality. The lesson was don\'t make your resources vulnerable so that you can pursue humanitarian missions of mercy.

This was the thinking and the state of mind that lead to the Laconia Order and similar policies by other nations. When Doenitz came to trial at Nuremburg, Doenitz\'s defense had become a debate on the practice of not picking up surviviors.

During Nuremberg, Doenitz came on trial as an Enemy against Peace. The prosecutors presented the Laconia order as evidence to his brutality. But Doenitz\'s lawyer came up with a great defense. The tribunial, by this I mean the entire proceedings, began with rules that stated moral equivalency was not allowed to be a defense (i.e. Since Americans commited genocide against the Native-Americans, it was okay for Germans to commit genocide against Jews). Doenitz couldn\'t say that since all other nations didn\'t pick up survivors, so why should the Kriegsmarine. So his defense team switched tactics. They would not try to prove that other nations did wrong. Instead, they would try to prove that not picking up survivors was a acceptable and important military tactic. All nations had been doing the right thing. Therefore, the Kriegsmarine had just been using up-to-date military tacits. Three out of the four Judges rejected this defense. But one Judge did accepted this arguement and allowed it to be used. Doenitz\'s lawyer got an affidavit from Adm. Chester Nimitz asking if U.S. submarine picked up surviviors and why. Nimitz said that No, submarines did not pick up survivors because it would put his subs in harms way. The affidavit was submited and it probably made the difference between 10 years and 30 years.


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Subject Written By Posted
Was there a hitler order for taking prisoners Kris 02/01/2001 08:10PM
Laconia Order? Clark 02/01/2001 09:02PM
RE: Laconia Order? Kris 02/02/2001 02:20AM
RE: Laconia Order? Clark 02/02/2001 03:54AM
RE: Laconia Order? Kris 02/02/2001 04:24PM
Doenitz and Nuremburg Clark 02/02/2001 07:37PM
RE: Doenitz and Nuremburg Rick Mann 02/03/2001 02:32AM
RE: Doenitz and Nuremburg Kris 02/03/2001 07:24PM
RE: Doenitz, Nuremburg, and Versailles Clark 02/04/2001 03:00AM
RE: Doenitz, Nuremburg, and Versailles Micheal/Germany 03/03/2001 11:22AM
RE: Doenitz, Nuremburg, and Versailles Kris 03/03/2001 09:06PM
RE: Was there a hitler order for taking prisoners Phil 02/02/2001 12:11AM
RE: Was there a hitler order for taking prisoners Kris 02/02/2001 02:29AM
RE: Was there a hitler order for taking prisoners Tristan van Putten 02/07/2001 02:18PM
RE: Was there a hitler order for taking prisoners Clark 02/07/2001 04:14PM

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