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mjh

Officers shot by their own men

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" case of Black Watch Corp. M'Morran who was summoned to parade ground drill by his officer, Lieut. Dickinson, who had already informed M'Morran that he was going to be flogged and reduced to the ranks. Standing alone at attention before Lieutenant Dickinson, M'Morran smartly brought his rifle up and shot him through the heart. Six days later he was hung and shot for good measure "

 

When is this supposed to have happened Magnumbellum?

 

Mike

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Magnumbellum
29 minutes ago, Skipman said:

" case of Black Watch Corp. M'Morran who was summoned to parade ground drill by his officer, Lieut. Dickinson, who had already informed M'Morran that he was going to be flogged and reduced to the ranks. Standing alone at attention before Lieutenant Dickinson, M'Morran smartly brought his rifle up and shot him through the heart. Six days later he was hung and shot for good measure "

 

When is this supposed to have happened Magnumbellum?

 

Mike

In a second post in this thread,, immediately following that which I cited, Jesse said:

 

Of course, I might add that this took place in April of 1813, during the Peninsular Campaign.

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tootrock

It allegedly happened in Spain in 1813.

 

Marrtin

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Gareth Davies
2 hours ago, Hannigarla said:

This story was told to me by my father. He in turn was told it by Tommy Minnis who served in the 36th Ulster Division on the Somme in 1916:

The Ulstermen had an Officer who was English and whom they considered to be treating them badly. So apparently they all vowed that when they went over the top each one would put a bullet in his back. Tommy didn't get his chance to shoot the English man because he was quickly wounded by German fire and sustained a leg injury (he walked with a limp the rest of his life). However the much hated officer was "riddled".

 

Classic soldier post-event bagging. 'He's lucky the Jerries got him, we were about to top him ourselves.'  I have heard variations on this theme many many times.

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Guest
24 minutes ago, Magnumbellum said:

In a second post in this thread,, immediately following that which I cited, Jesse said:

 

Of course, I might add that this took place in April of 1813, during the Peninsular Campaign.

 

Ah! Happened in Vietnam too, don't you know.

 

Mike

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DavidOwen
2 hours ago, Hannigarla said:

This story was told to me by my father. He in turn was told it by Tommy Minnis who served in the 36th Ulster Division on the Somme in 1916:

The Ulstermen had an Officer who was English and whom they considered to be treating them badly. So apparently they all vowed that when they went over the top each one would put a bullet in his back. Tommy didn't get his chance to shoot the English man because he was quickly wounded by German fire and sustained a leg injury (he walked with a limp the rest of his life). However the much hated officer was "riddled".

 

Welcome to the forum!

David

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rolt968

There seem to have been rumours/ stories throughout history.

 

If I remember rightly Richard Holmes quotes a couple in Napoleonic and pre-Napoleonic times in one of his books. I remember he quoted the story of one commanding officer who was so disliked by his men that he very much feared that he would be shot by one of his men during an attack. After the successful attack he took off his hat and bowed to his men and thanked them (for not shooting him!) whereupon someone shot him.

 

RM

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MikB

My father, who was interned in Canada for a few months as an Enemy Alien in WW2, had a story with some matching features.

 

Apparently a soldier who was on guard duty in a watchtower in his internment camp had been put on a charge for drunkenness by an officer. One night he spotted the officer crossing the compound, raised his rifle and put a round into the ground by the officer's feet, with the shout: "Next time I'll get you, you ba****d!"

 

My dad never found out what any further outcome might've been... 

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C.P. Bourke

if it happened in Vietnam which it did.... common sense will tell you with so many weapons available and tempers abound in a dangerous environment such things would happen in any war.

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2ndCMR
Posted (edited)

The irony of this matter is that accounts are likely to be both minimized and exaggerated depending on the mindset: some would be ashamed of such events and wish to conceal them, others would be the beery old BS'ers always ready to spin a yarn for whom this would be a favourite theme of elaboration.

 

There was probably more of this as the war went on and the quality of both soldiers and officers declined, as did confidence in most of the command structure.  Conscripts probably being more prone to this than volunteers, in keeping with their distaste for service and likely resentment of military authority in general.

 

If there was any inclination to dig into such cases, an officer whose body was recovered with numerous bullet wounds in the back (forensically obvious due to wound expansion) would be easily identified as such.

 

I would suspect that many a case was hushed up for sake of "the Regiment", and of course the OC's career!  No doubt there was also the same desire not to increase the suffering of family members of the deceased, as prevailed with many suicides, "LMF's" etc.

 

Those in authority soon learn that there are limits to authority beyond which it is unwise to go.  Those who lack that perception or discretion often serve only as useful examples for others.

Edited by 2ndCMR

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stevebecker

Mate,

 

Didn't such a thing happen in that TV show on E Company US paras during WWII and an attack on Foy 1944.

 

The Company commander stuffed the attack up and another officer was sent in to take command, the later reference to the first officer was he got it, but no further details on that officer?

 

I often wondered if that was from friendy fire?

 

S.B

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moggs
22 hours ago, stevebecker said:

Mate,

 

Didn't such a thing happen in that TV show on E Company US paras during WWII and an attack on Foy 1944.

 

The Company commander stuffed the attack up and another officer was sent in to take command, the later reference to the first officer was he got it, but no further details on that officer?

 

I often wondered if that was from friendy fire?

 

S.B

 

I assume you are talking about Band of Brothers.  Interesting situation indeed.  The episode did seem to show that the officer concerned, Lt. Dike, was killed when the haystack he was hiding behind was blown up. 

 

Two things to realise here. 

1.  The fire was from the Germans in Foy.

2.  In reality, Dike was relieved of his post at the time (as shown) and later resurfaced in the division HQ much to the surprise of the E company members who knew him so well.

 

Hope that makes sense.

 

Jonathan

 

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stevebecker
Posted (edited)

Mate,

 

Thanks yes that it.

 

There was that part in the Anzac TV series, at the 3rd Yrpes where the company commander wanted to stop the attack, and Flanagan KO'ed him and took the attack forward.

 

No he didn't kill him, but I have also heard and read in documents, where officers who have not done well are removed back to training units or discharged from the AIF.

 

I have a number of such officers in my ALH data base.

 

Like

 

FLORANCE    Victor Aikman    2182    Pte    7 LHR    15R Tos MGTD 5-16 to AIF depots UK 9-16 prom 2/Lt 9-17 to 13 MG Co 4 MG Bn (10 officers 186 men) 10-17 (OC Capt Wall - Lt's Cousins, Cory, Douglas, Tuckett, Burt and Cowley (Lt Florence not found on rolls?) F&B disch 21-9-18 SNLR unsuitable to PNG (AFA Albury CMF 6 months later WWII Sgt NGVR)
 

LAURIE    Park Alexander McEdward        Lt    03 LHR    B Sqn 2ic (in Army lists dated 12-14) prom Capt 11-14 shown 2ic B Sqn (in Army lists dated 7-15) evac to hosp (dysentry) 6-15 rtn 10-15 (G) prom Maj 2ic RHQ (from barnett) 2-16 to 1 LHTR 3-16 rtn 4-16 RTA disch 27-4-17 SNLR unsuitable (16 LH SAMR 19-5-00 prov 2/Lt 25-9-06 to Area officer Murray 1-11-10 & D Troop BSqn/22 LH CMF)
 

This goes to show you don't have to kill the officer, as most bad officers can be found out when the rubber hits the road. But getting rid of them can cause some problems, as officers do ted to stick together?

 

S.B

Edited by stevebecker

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James A Pratt III

The Russian Army in WW I also had a number of cases of unpopular officers being shot in the back by their own men and after the feb/Mar 1917 revolution it became almost epidemic.

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2ndCMR

Happened to read of a case from the 100 Days campaign of 1918, where a platoon of Germans were prevented from surrendering by an officer.  They shot him themselves and then surrendered.

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mebu

There is certainly a case in the Engineers  - attached to 38th Div - name of Sapper Bell, shot for shooting his officer. Have the details filed away somewhere.

 

Peter

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Uncle George
On 05/11/2009 at 18:30, mjh said:

Going back to my earlier post, I recently watched the movie "Company K" , a WW1 film based on an American serviceman's memoirs

and there was an incident in the film , where an American officer was killed by one of his own troops.

 

On 05/11/2009 at 18:48, mjh said:

Haven't read the book by William March, but the film is based on the book, which

was a memoir written by a haunted American WW1 veteran, so could in fact be a true

story of an officer killed by one of his own men. Have any forum members read the book?

It's meant to be a classic.

 

Ten years go by, but here’s the so-called “vignette” from ‘Company K’ (sorry about the quality):

 

 

F7955413-04E8-443A-A553-BDF50B78AEFC.jpeg

653A32BB-14E9-4602-BF14-BADB7DF2F589.jpeg

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Alisonmallen62

As a keen but young attender at many reunions I sat on several occasions with a group of veterans from ww1 allvery old indeed. Non of them needed to lie, exaggerate, tell heroic stories but they all told me on different occasions about an officer who led them into danger. He would not accept the word of men who had already experienced heavy gun fire and insisted they follow his route as opposed to one suggested by them.  It was a case of absolute refusal to accept he didn’t know better. He led many to their deaths until someone took him out otherwise there may not have been many survivors. I got the impression it was a sergeant who shot the officer.  I have signed statements from some who wanted me if not others to know that at times needs must. I have never publicised those statements because of the man’s family and also because people always want proof to believe such a story.  In a battle it would not be easy to stop and gather proof of such an incident and also to be reassured of no punishment.  So, at times I feel we need to believe those who were there and I can certainly say that no one I spoke to was seeking glory or praise but risked condemnation from some. If anything they were sad that this had to happen to one of their own. They gained nothing from telling the story except perhaps some relief at voicing theirs/sergeant’s actions. In later years my grandfather told me of similar which he witnessed in ww2.  In later years again a close relative told me of a similar experience he witnessed during the Falklands war.  Again, no proof just the word of men who were there and wished they hadn’t been. 

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