This is coolbert:
From a prior blog entry:
"Other clashes took place because Allied submariners were engaged in rescuing downed airmen, or were trying to capture or inflict vengeance on Japanese seamen"
"Inflict vengeance". Shoot and kill Japanese sailors in the water after their ship had been sunk - - torpedoed, all hands taking to the water either in long boat, raft, or wearing only a life preserver.
IT HAS BEEN ALLEGED THAT THIS CONSTITUTED AN ALLIED WAR CRIME!
Men hors de combat, murdered by callous, cruel, vengeful and even racially hateful American sailors.
That most egregious incident of course being the American submarine USS Wahoo under the command of "Mush" Morton. Morton his warship having sunk a fully loaded Japanese troop transport ordering the massacre of those in the water, thousands perhaps killed AFTER their ship had gone to the bottom!
Those of you that have seen the made-for-television series "War and Remembrance" based upon the Herman Wouk novel will recall this very event as portrayed, the slaughter just immense!
Those figures regarding the USS Wahoo and the allegations perhaps unfounded? That troop transport having aboard thousands [?] of Japanese GROUND COMBAT TROOPS, those men in the water other than the sailors manning the sunken ship CONTINUING TO BE FAIR GAME?
Sailors their status as hors de combat not questioned, those ground troops still valid targets the thought being that at some point even the floaters may be picked up, taken to their ultimate destination and re-constituted as a combat arms ground unit, further military action possible!
From an authoritative source I have some feedback on this question the consensus being that the matter is unresolved!
"I have no idea about the legalities of shooting troops in the water. I do know it was done - - when troop ships were sunk around Guadalcanal while delivering troops, I do know the planes sinking them then strafed the survivors for the same reason: those troops, if they made shore, were to reinforce enemy forces and carry on the battle against the Marines and US Army troops struggling to retain their foothold on that island."
"I think the previously arrived at solution is probably the correct one, troops being transported to the battle zone may be fair game in the water, whereas sailors without their ships, and airmen without their planes are hors de combat."
"It is too complex an issue to address with simple laws such as the Geneva Conventions and the Hague treaties (there were/are several of each floating around, including addenda and new protocols)."
And further more this additional comment being made:
"You mean like shooting guys parachuting from planes?"
A combat aviator whose warplane has been shot down parachuting to the ground by convention CANNOT BE SHOT WHILE DESCENDING TO THE GROUND.
A paratrooper [a ground combat infantryman] descending to the ground CAN BE SHOT AT!
There is a distinction being made here, the combat aviator hors de combat must be unmolested while the paratrooper is NOT legally protected and can be targeted!
"Attacking enemy troops while they are being deployed by way of a
parachute is not a war crime. However, Protocol I, Article 42, of the
Geneva Conventions explicitly forbids attacking parachutists who eject
from damaged airplanes, and surrendering parachutists once landed. This
is the ONLY area that discusses engaging potential targets that are
parachuting - which, by default, makes it legal."
"The Law of Armed Conflict: International Humanitarian Law in War"
- - By Gary D. Solis
"when discussing prohibited targets . . . "Paratroopers may be targeted,
parachutists may not be (1977 Additional Protocol I, Article 42)."
"Hague Rules of Air Warfare"
"Article 20 of the 1923 Hague Rules of Air Warfare provides: “In the
event of an aircraft being disabled, the persons trying to escape by
means of parachutes must not be attacked during their descent.”
Even far worse too was what occurred in the AFTERMATH of the Battle of the Bismarck Sea. Numerous Japanese troop transport vessels sunk, those survivors in the water FOR A PERIOD OF THREE DAYS BOMBED AND STRAFED!! In comparison Wahoo was a trifling?
Such splitting of hairs and Talmudic style legal reasoning is something Americans and others of the Anglo sphere tend to engage in? And as can be intuitively understood, during the heat of battle such niceties are ignored, the tendency of the common soldier or sailor BEING TO SHOOT!