Terrorist Bomb Plot Foiled by Postage Due

36 packages of dynamite rigged as bombed were mailed to prominent US officials in April of 1919. Thought to be the work of anarchists although this was never proven. For various reasons none of the people the bombs were addressed to actually reached them.

Author and historian, Tim Weiner, writing in his Pulitzer Prize winning book,  Enemies: a History of the FBI,  says: “A postal clerk in New York found sixteen of them [dynamite bombs] on the postage due shelf; the bombers hadn’t used enough stamps.”

I Surrender under the Geneva Conventions

European and American solders in World War Two would battle the Germans and their allies until the Allies stopped or the Germans quit. In spite of the men they had killed or wounded, when the enemy surrendered, he had to be treated according to the Geneva Conventions. These were not always observed.

 

surrender

German soldier surrenders to US Army troops outside of St. Lo July 1944. This French town sat astride a key crossroads and during the Allied campaign in Normandy was the scene of  and intense battle between American troops and the German Wehrmacht. Most of the town was destroyed before the Americans managed to lever the Germans out.

 

US M10 tank destroyer named “Hun Chaser” makes its way into the destroyed city of St. Lo.

 

German POWs (1)

“Art. 27. Belligerents may employ as workmen prisoners of war who are physically fit, other than officers and persons of equivalent statue, according to their rink and their ability.

Nevertheless, if officers or persons of equivalent status ask for suitable work, this shall be found for them as far as possible. Non-commissioned officers who are prisoners of war may be compelled to undertake only supervisory work, unless they expressly request remunerative occupation.”

From the Third Geneva Convention of 1929. You can find that specific document here:

3rd Geneva Convention on Treatment of POWs 1929

 

 

In many World War Two movies and novels, characters often make reference to the  Geneva Convention  and the protection it affords them if captured by the enemy. They are actually referring to the Third Geneva Convention of 1929 governing treatment of prisoners of war which was in effect during World War Two along with the First and Second Geneva Conventions.

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According to the International Red Cross, there are four Geneva Conventions in effect today:

1) The First Geneva Convention is the “Convention (I) for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded and Sick in Armed Forces in the Field. Geneva, 12 August 1949”. This agreement provides for the protection of all medical facilities, their personnel, and any civilians aiding the wounded. Of special note, the first convention gives the Red Cross international recognition as a neutral medical group. This convention was originally negotiated and signed in 1864 and subsequently amended and ratified by the High Contracting Parties in 1906, 1929, and 1949.

2) The Second Geneva Convention is the “Convention (II) for the Amelioration of the Condition of Wounded, Sick and Shipwrecked Members of Armed Forces at Sea. Geneva, 12 August 1949.” This convention extended protections of the first convention to combatants at sea as well as shipwrecked sailors. It was originally promulgated in 1906 and subsequently amended and ratified by the High Contracting Parties in 1929 and 1949.

Of special note, this convention defines and gives protection to hospital ships of the High Contracting Parties. This protection was usually but not always observed between the Western belligerents. A number of protests were made to the International Red Cross from Nazi Germany about their hospital ships being attacked by the British and vice-versa.

3) The Third Geneva Convention is the “Convention (III) relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War. Geneva, 12 August 1949”. In World War Two and in World War Two movies and books, this is the Geneva Convention usually being referred to and is the one which specifically concerns POWs. Originally promulgated and ratified in 1929, it was updated with the other conventions in 1949.

4) The Fourth Geneva Convention is the “Convention (IV) relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War. Geneva, 12 August 1949.” This treaty was specifically adopted as a result of the deaths of millions of innocent civilians in World War Two.

According to the International Red Cross, any person caught up in an armed conflict is covered by one of these conventions. There are issues with this interpretation by the Red Cross as one might imagine particularly where terrorists are concerned.

Those acting in the name of an ideology rather than a state pose vexing questions for international law. Personally, I find it hard to imagine extending the protection of the Geneva Conventions to men and women who kill and maim civilians, especially children, in the name of God, or Maoist Revolution, or any other ideology.

Terrorists Murder British Field Marshal in London

Henry_Hughes_Wilson,_British_general,_photo_portrait_standing_in_uniform

Field Marshal Sir Henry Wilson, GCB, DSO

(Knight Grand Cross of Bath and Distinguished Service Order)

(photo courtesy US Library of Congress)

Brazen attack in broad daylight by Sinn Fein kills Field Marshal Sir Henry Wilson.

Had just returned to his residence from unveiling a war memorial.  

 

Yes, it’s true, although this happened on 22 June 1922. Terrorists from the Irish Republican Army (IRA) have carried out attacks in Great Britain on a regular basis for decades. Terrorism isn’t new, unfortunately.

I think the only rational action to take against terrorists who kill, is to kill them. The two men who murdered Sir Henry were apprehended and hanged.

Wilson certainly was a target and its surprising he didn’t think more about it.  Not only was he a Field Marshal but also a former Chief of the Imperial General Staff, the highest command in the British Army.  A hero, sort of, to the public but in the army he wasn’t a sympathetic figure. He was a back-stabber, a flatterer, a bearer of tales and often an out and out liar. He constantly intrigued against his military colleagues especially in World War One.

Historian Robin Neillands writes in detail of Sir Henry’s constant machinations in both The Death of Glory: The Western Front, 1915 and Attrition: The Great War on the Western Front – 1916.

You can buy these as eBooks for a few dollars. Neillands is a good writer but assumes a high level of knowledge about World War One on the part of his readers.

 

From the Spectator of London 30 June 1922, a weekly paper of conservative opinion and news continuously published since 1828.

 

When we went to press last week we had not the details of Sir Henry Wilson’s assassination, and we may now put them on record. Sir Henry was about to enter his house in Eaton Place after having unveiled a War Memorial at Liverpool Street Station when he was attacked by two Sinn Feiners—James Sullivan, who at first gave the name , of O’Brien, aged 24, and Reginald Dunn, also aged 24, who at first gave the name of James Connolly. Dunn apparently served in the Irish Guards in the War and lately came under the influence of the Irish terrorists. Sir Henry Wilson received no less than eight wounds, and his death was almost instantaneous. After the first shot, which missed him, he drew his sword, but was unable to use it before he was shot again.

At the trial of his killers, eyewitnesses said the Field Marshal had not drawn his sword.

 

http://archive.spectator.co.uk/page/1st-july-1922/10

 

 

 

Air Refueling Mission Over Iraq

KC-135 Stratotanker tasked for an air-fueling mission over Iraq on 12 August 2014.

 

 

I’ve always been fascinated by the ability of the military to refuel planes in flight. The margin for error must be extremely thin. (Brief vids of air-refueling mishaps on next post)

 

The KC-135 Stratotanker pictured below was tasked for an air-fueling mission over Iraq on 12 August 2014 to refuel US aircraft blasting the terrorist murderers of ISIS advancing on Ebril.

 

 

K-135 Stratotanker fuels Fighter Aircraft over Iraq

U.S. Air Force Capt. Andrea Delosreyes inspects the boom with Airmen 1st Class Christopher Morgan and Jacob Manuel before an in-air refueling mission over Iraq, Aug. 12, 2014. Before each mission, the aircraft commander does a walk-around inspection to validate the safety of the aircraft. Delosreues, a KC-135 Stratotanker pilot, and Morgan and Manuel, KC-135 Stratotanker engine mechanics, are assigned to the 340th Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Vernon Young Jr.)

 

 

140813-F-AD123-009 (1)

Capts. Andrea Delosreyes, Trent Parker and Airman 1st Class Kevin Haggith, 340th Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron, KC-135 Stratotanker aircrew, step to their aircraft for an in-air refueling mission over Iraq, Aug. 11, 2014. The aircrew is scheduled to offload more than 40,000 gallons of fuel to Fighter Aircraft completing missions in Iraq. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Vernon Young Jr.)