In death by Firing Squad, why is one man given a blank Shot?

Again, these do not specifiy treatment of PoWs.

What we’re talking about here is methods of executions carried out through a judicial process - which doesn’t have anything to do with the laws of warfare.

I wouldn’t know for the british, but amongst the french, the whole process, court-martial included sometimes took less than two days, and the execution would be carried on close to the front line, not in some remote military jail.

When I think about it, there was normally a turnover, and frontline soldiers were replaced, sent to the second line reserves, and to training (not long away behind the lines) . If they were so trained on a regular basis, I assume that blanks would be available quite easily.

      • See, I was told this also. A local Old Fart said that his father had explained to him that one soldier was given a blank, but not so that the soldiers would know who didn’t fire the real bullet. They would easily know if they had fired a blank or not, because of the differences in recoil–but they were not allowed to ever tell anyone else who fired the blank. The purpose of the blank was to allow plausible deniability of the individual soldiers by the rest of society. If an objector to the execution later met one of the soldiers, that objector would have no way of knowing if that soldier really did fire a shot or not. The differences between a live round and a blank are easily felt by the shooter, but -if made properly- not as easily seen by others.

Was hanging the usual method? I saw a special on Foxtel a few weeks back where they were displaying a chair stored in the Tower of London which had been used for the execution of a spy who had parachuted into England during WW2. He was bound in the chair and executed by firing squad. That is only one example of course.

And Clairobscur, the French may have been different and performed executions in the front lines- they had significant mutinies in the trenches after the wholesale slaughter of Verdun (IIRC) but desertion was not the only crime punishable by execution. Such things as murder could draw the death sentence.

Finally, not all executions even took place anywhere near the front lines. There were mutinies in the Territorial armies in Singapore which caused executions, although details of that are rather sketchy.