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FullGallop
04-29-2004, 14:59
Can't remember the show I was watching but I think it was Chris Mathews. It was about the Kerrey hoopla over his Vietnam war protesting. They showed an interview he gave in the 70's (with whom I don't know) where he was stating the atrocities soldiers in Vietnam had commited. One of the things he mentioned was the use of .50 calibre ammo on people. After the clip Chris mattews(?) stated it was illegal to shoot people with .50 cal.

I have heard this argued before..........that it is ilegal. Can someone confirm as I cannot find any info. I do not see how it can be against "the law of warfare", especially when we are using them in sniper roles via the Barrett. I have never heard military personell state it was unlawful either.

Thanks in advance.

brownapple
04-29-2004, 15:04
One of the myths. It is not illegal to shoot personnel with a .50.

CSB
04-29-2004, 21:34
This is your JAG speaking:

Greenhat is absolutely correct. Use of a .50 cal is not contrary to the Law of War, anymore than use of 7.62/.308 or 5.56/.223.

If you need to shoot with a .50 cal, do it. If you can just as well smother an objective with 7.62 and save those few & heavy .50 cal MLB for your M2's in favor of lighter 7.62 1-4, save the heavy duty ammo for when you need it.

What is contrary to the Law of War (and the Principle of War - Economy of Force) is using more than you need to, given the choice, wasting a limited supply of ammo and endangering civlians or good guys who may be miles away.

I've heard this .50 cal bulls--t before, along with comments that the following are prohibited by "Geneva Conventions":

- handcuffing prisoners of war.
- blindfolding prisoners of war.
- photographing prisoners of war.
- males searching female prisoners of war.
- use of silenced weapons.

In fact, of course, none of the above are prohibited.

Team Sergeant
04-29-2004, 22:02
Originally posted by CSB
I've heard this .50 cal bulls--t before, along with comments that the following are prohibited by "Geneva Conventions":

- handcuffing prisoners of war.
- blindfolding prisoners of war.
- photographing prisoners of war.
- males searching female prisoners of war.
- use of silenced weapons.

In fact, of course, none of the above are prohibited.

"use of silenced weapons."

Whew, well that's a relief!!

KevinB
04-30-2004, 00:46
IIRC with the MK211 Raufos is illegal to intentionally ( :D ) engage personnel due to som eissue about payload in a round under a certain weight - that is some one of our 'force mod' guys but he cited the Hague Convnetion and one of our AJAG's when he gave it to me...

But it was just a HTI mission that went wrong...

Radar Rider
04-30-2004, 04:12
Am I the only one that thinks it's horseshit to define which weapons or calibers of weapons that one might use to kill another human being are restricted? Yeah, I know that the conventions are based on those that might survive, but, if you kill them, then no problem.

I don't want an argument about the Geneva Convention and the "Inhumanity" of certain weapons. If its WAR, its WAR. I'm sorry that people suffer or God forbid DIE. But that's the nature.

Solid
04-30-2004, 05:07
While I'd agree with you in terms of weapons, the idea of war being an utter free-for-all devoid of rules is probably not the best. Look at what those soldiers did to Iraqi prisoners.
However, the Geneva Convention and Laws of Land Warfare were designed to govern the actions of countries, primarily 1st world, fighting each other. We aren't fighting those kind of countries anymore (unless France steps out of line again..), so unfortunately our enemy cannot be trusted to follow the laws.

Nevertheless, I'd argue that that does not effect our position.

JMO from a theoretical view,

Solid

CPTAUSRET
04-30-2004, 10:06
Originally posted by Radar Rider
Am I the only one that thinks it's horseshit to define which weapons or calibers of weapons that one might use to kill another human being are restricted? Yeah, I know that the conventions are based on those that might survive, but, if you kill them, then no problem.


I have heard the argument that Flechette weapons should be outlawed, they were a pretty effective weapon when utilized correctly though not something to be utilized in a CAS role:

We spent some time working with Mohawks using HAC FLIR and people sniffers, flying over the U-Minh forest during the hours of darkness. The Mohawks would call a hack every time they received a strong indicator of urine, body odor, campfires, human excrement, or whatever they were dialed in for, someone following them on radar would plot and eventually triangulate positions of troop strength.

My heavy team of Cobras would be standing by (with no protection whatsoever) parked on an makeshift airfield with a jp-4 blivet and Flechette rockets, we would be scrambled, fly pretty much blacked out guided by the same radar controllers who had triangulated the Mohawks findings. At approx 1 mile out we would start our dive (can't remember the altitude we were using, probably 1000ft AGL) the radar controller would advise us at 1/4 mile from target On Target, and 1/4 mile past and we would we would dump 1/3 of our load at each mark.

Then with our night vision completely gone we would fly back rearm and refuel and wait for the next scramble, we usualy took a few hits on these missions, although I don't remember losing anyone. Troops were inserted into the areas we hit (BDA) and reports filtered back, lots of blood, bloody tracks where they drug off their dead, and even of people nailed to trees (I took that one with a grain of salt).

For some reason these missions were halted, never found out why.

Terry

FullGallop
04-30-2004, 14:24
Thanks for clearing that up Gentlemen!

Afterall I could'nt see the humanitarian difference of using a .50 over using indirect fire.

Michamus
08-04-2008, 13:46
Hello,
I know this is an old thread, however this question is on topic.

I have a question in regard to Medical Personnel and the use of large caliber weapons. I have heard that under the Geneva Convention, Medical Personnel are not authorized to utilize large caliber weapons (ig. M2, M240, MK-19). I have read all 4 Conventions and 3 Protocols. I have yet to find a definitive answer to this. Any help would be appreciated.

Kyobanim
08-04-2008, 14:01
Michamus,

Now would be a good time to read the welcome email you received and follow the guidelines.

Thank you for your service.

CSB
08-04-2008, 14:25
This is your JAG speaking (again):


See: "The Geneva Convention for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded and Sick in the Armed Forces in the Field" August 12, 1949 Commonly known as the First Geneva Convention; soldiers are generally much more familiar with the Third Geneva Convention (relative to the treatment of prisoners of war).

See: Chapter III, Article 21:

The protection [from attack] to which fixed establishments and mobile medical units of the Medical Service are entitled shall not cease unless they are used to commit, outside of their humanitarian duties, acts harmful to the enemy ...

Article 22:

The following conditions shall not be considered as depriving a medical unit or establishment of the protection guarenteed by Article 19:

(1) That the personnel of the unit or establishment are armed, and that they use the arms in their own defense, or of that of the wounded and sick in their charge.

(2) That, in the absence of armed orderlies, the unit is protected by picket or sentries or by an escort.

...

=====

And so the position of the United States Army is that medical personnel may carry side arms (pistols) for their immediate personal defense and the defense of their patients. The use of large caliber/crew-served weapons is generally considered beyond the scope of "immediate personnel defense."

Unless the medical personnel are abusing their protected status ("hiding behind the Red Cross") the use of a medic in a soldier's role, for example, on a watch tower, even if armed with an M60 / M2 machine gun, is lawful, but may cause the medic to lose his protected status as a non-combatant, (meaning the bad guys can shoot him without committing war crime). In other words, it may cost him the protections of the First Convention (protected medical personnel) but does not cost the medic his rights to the Third Convention as a prisoner of war if captured.

Michamus
08-04-2008, 14:48
I appreciate the reply. I remember reading that and it still seems vague to me. Perhaps that is the point? Either way it would seem to me that as long as you are not "currently" operating in a "medical" fashion, then there is no issue (ig. a Line Medic as a Gunner).

optactical
08-09-2008, 02:57
I love this debate, it really gets me wondering how fucking stupid people are.

If you believe for one second, hell, one half second I can't shoot an enemy with .50 Cal, then why the hell do we develop muntions like 40mm, 60mm, 81mm, 4.2 inch, 120mm, 105mm, 155mm, 500 lbers, 2000 lbers, MOABs, H-bombs, A-bombs, 20 Kiloton warheads, 20 megaton warheads, and the freaking list goes on...

You can use all those, but please, oh please, don't shoot a guy with 50 cal, that's just crazy! I doesn't matter if it's ROUFUS or ball, it's war and I want to kill a muldoon, I'm not gonna stop a TIC (excuse me guys, gotta reload, I was ready to interdict vehicles, thanks!) to rechamber. How ridiculous is that?

Get real, I see a better argument for uniform corrections on the battlefield that for this bullshit.

JJ_BPK
08-09-2008, 04:40
I don't suppose that it would make much difference to the anti-gun peace-niks,,

But if you get into a conversation about weapons of war,, you might want to mention that George Washington was found of the Brown Bess musket.

Bess is one of several smooth bore flintlock musket styles used by Civilians and the Army in the American Revolution.

Muskets at that time used round lead balls,, the caliber??

.62 to .75 inch bore, equivalent to the modern 16 & 12 Ga shotgun??? Which we still carry in combat.

Both military arms and civilian hunting weapons used large caliber round lead ball up through the American Civil War, circa 1865.

The reason, Black Powder is a slow burning propellant, so to do any damage you needed a large projectile.

Even during the Civil War, the prevalent weapons were .58 caliber Springfield musket and the .69 caliber Harpers Ferry Rifle..

It wasn't until smokeless powder was readily available in the late 1800, that the size of rifle projectiles became smaller..

and one other small note,,

In discussing the 2nd amendment,, Civilian weapons and Military weapons, in the context of the American Revolution war,, are exactly the same gun..

Just a bit of our history...

incommin
08-09-2008, 11:53
[QUOTE=JJ_BPK;220141]I don't suppose that it would make much difference to the anti-gun peace-niks,,

Muskets at that time used round lead balls,, the caliber??

.62 to .75 inch bore, equivalent to the modern 16 & 12 Ga shotgun??? Which we still carry in combat.

The reason, Black Powder is a slow burning propellant, so to do any damage you needed a large projectile.


Ever see the damage .31 to .44 caliber lead balls do? There were firearms of smaller caliber during the period you speak of. You needed large calibers to do damage at longer ranges........ not because the smaller calibers didn't do any damage.


Jim

JJ_BPK
08-09-2008, 12:19
Ever see the damage .31 to .44 caliber lead balls do?, Jim

Agreed,, I carry a 1860 Colt Navy, repro, .44 or a Lyman Plains Pistol in .54, for black power season, as back-up. Up close they are fine weapons.

The thread talked about "are .50 cal rounds legal". I just wanted to make a point that the USA and the rest of the World have been using large caliber rifle rounds forever and are un-likely to stop..

Neither will I,, as my BP rifle is an old TC Renegade, also in .54 cal. Stuff it with 120 gr of FF and she can kick some butt,, does a good job on my shoulder, too..

Keep your powder dry...

Air.177
08-09-2008, 15:59
While I find the historical information interesting, I *believe* that it doesn't really factor all that heavily into the topic at hand, as I believe that the ".50 caliber" in question would be the .50 BMG cartridge. My (admittedly minimal) understanding of this topic leads me to believe that the argument against the use of the .50 BMG round in an antipersonnel role stems from it's original designation as an "anti-tank" weapon. This early designation, which was obsolete even at the time of the Battlefield Debut of the M2 HMG, would appear to classify the .50 with the likes of the RPG, M72 LAW, AT4, Dragon, Tow, Javelin, etc. which are generally not likely to be misconstrued as anti-personnel weapons by any reasonably knowledgeable and prudent individual. (Not to say it hasn't/won't happen, but this is not their intended use)

In the big scheme of things, I really don't see these "laws of war" or the violation thereof having any actual bearing on treatment of personnel captured by the savages with whom we are currently at war. The Geneva Convention didnt have a "Don't cut off the heads of noncombatant prisoners in front of a global internet audience" clause, so the only thing these antiquated documents are realistically going to do is provide ammunition to anti-war Journalists and other Miscreants wishing to do harm to the American soldier and his appearance to the global audience.

These are just a few of my Uneducated civilian thoughts on the matter, take em or leave em.

Good times,
blake

incommin
08-09-2008, 18:45
[QUOTE=Air.177;220194]While I find the historical information interesting, I *believe* that it doesn't really factor all that heavily into the topic at hand, as I believe that the ".50 caliber" in question would be the .50 BMG cartridge. My (admittedly minimal) understanding of this topic leads me to believe that the argument against the use of the .50 BMG round in an antipersonnel role stems from it's original designation as an "anti-tank" weapon. This early designation, which was obsolete even at the time of the Battlefield Debut of the M2 HMG, would appear to classify the .50 with the likes of the RPG, M72 LAW, AT4, Dragon, Tow, Javelin, etc. which are generally not likely to be misconstrued as anti-personnel weapons by any reasonably knowledgeable and prudent individual. (Not to say it hasn't/won't happen, but this is not their intended use)

You're correct the thread was about the .50 BMG. Referencing older weapons in larger calibers that have been in use for a long time does have some bearing on the discussion. As far as weapons designed to take care of vehicles and armor being used against troops, I've seen RPG's and the 90 and 106 recoil-less used against individuals. A weapons role is to kill the other SOB. You use what you got!

Air.177
08-09-2008, 19:05
You're correct the thread was about the .50 BMG. Referencing older weapons in larger calibers that have been in use for a long time does have some bearing on the discussion. As far as weapons designed to take care of vehicles and armor being used against troops, I've seen RPG's and the 90 and 106 recoil-less used against individuals. A weapons role is to kill the other SOB. You use what you got!


Absolutely sir, Nor was I implying otherwise, just trying to illustrate the thought processes that may have lead to such discussions as these on the .50 BMG and it's "legal role on the battlefield".

Good times,
Blake

Lmmsoat
11-20-2008, 21:52
You still need to be on the look out for the un-informed. I have been correcting this myth for 7 years. Little story. I was working with some marines in the past. The Marine task force's commanding general was convoying to Ramahdi. The enemy sprung an ambush on the convoy, initiating with an IED. When the ambush line began to engage the convoy, one of the marine NCO's on the CG's vehicle began to engage them with his M-2. A col. in the back yanked him out of the turret. He screamed at the NCO telling him "that gun was not for personnel". To which the NCO promptly responded, "Why the **** do I have it then". Afterwards I had to have a discussion with this col. about the laws of land warefare.

Officially coming from a JAG officer who has had time at both the pentagon and 18th Abn Corps, the .50 cal is safe. Matter of fact if it is in the ASP it is good for all uses. Just like you can shoot down a plane with an M-4, you can kill a human with a rocket. Before any munitions in the military inventory are approved for use, they are put through a review board. This approval process certifies it in accordance with all conventions. This goes for everything from SAMs to bullets.:)

ODA572
11-21-2008, 13:53
I recall hearing that old saw about not using Ma Deuce on people. I was an 11B in Basic Training at Ft. Benning in 1978. My "almost fresh from Viet Nam" drill instructor told me that one.

Then he followed it up with this: " Don't shoot at the soldier, but do try to hit his canteens, helmet, or buttons on his shirt". I thought that was good advice.

6.8SPC_DUMP
01-05-2009, 01:03
I agree with everything you guys said here.

But, I PRAY that no one is killed domestically with a .50 cal, even if the shooter is justified.

The anti-gun groups would love the death of someone by .50 cal to push legislation limiting our options of bullet. A .50 cal vs. .338 Lupa or .50 cal vs. .44 Mag death would be the difference in a lot of media coverage and uneducated public outcry.

Just not worth it when there are comparable, if not better, options available for the home front.

Warrior-Mentor
01-05-2009, 15:13
"use of silenced weapons."

Whew, well thats a relief!!

Why'd you show us a picture of a Navy SEAL wearing chocolate chips? :confused:

Team Sergeant
01-05-2009, 15:29
Why'd you show us a picture of a Navy SEAL wearing chocolate chips? :confused:

Talk about necro posts!!!

You ain't going to see/find any SEAL Trident on that uniform.......;)

emoore
01-07-2009, 07:54
" Don't shoot at the soldier, but do try to hit his canteens, helmet, or buttons on his shirt". I thought that was good advice.

I had always heard it was for shooting at equipment – but my old First Sergeant who was also a Vietnam vet clarified it for us. “Just shoot his web gear.”

I don’t see what difference it makes in war if you kill someone with a slingshot or a .50 cal as long as you kill them. Someone will have to explain to me one day why it’s inhumane.

7624U
01-07-2009, 18:18
Flamethrower if you want it done right and painful :D

SRGross
01-08-2009, 09:21
as a former .50 cal gunner, the rules for us where 2.
1. An item on them is equipment, .50 cal are used to disable equipment or destroy it. tell them you was aiming at the rifle he was caring.
2. As a .50 cal gunner it is your primary weapon of defense, you are allowed to defend yourself and also those in harms way.

That was the end of the question asked for the JAG in 1987 Rules of Engagement.

JimP
01-08-2009, 10:27
Please put this "equipment" issue to rest: the answer has been previously posted - there's NOTHING wrong/illegal/immoral with lighting up some knucklehead with a .50 cal!!!! There's some stupid JAG's out there that know NOTHING about engagement dynamics or the ROE/LOW. Some of the most insane lunatics I've heard running around spouting off as "experts" have been JAG's. A little knowledge is dangerous.

You can pop "skinny" with a tank round of that is what's convenient - it's fun to watch, besides...the kids LOVE it.

Team Sergeant
01-08-2009, 10:28
Please put this "equipment" issue to rest: the answer has been previously posted - there's NOTHING wrong/illegal/immoral with lighting up some knucklehead with a .50 cal!!!!

Good idea.

Done!

This thread is closed.

TS