LESSON 2: Prisoners of War
OBJECTIVE: The student will achieve familiarity with the humanitarian rules of warfare
contained in the Geneva Convention of 1949 Relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of
War. The student will apply the Geneva Conventions to combat scenarios.
SUGGESTIONS: Read and study the text assignment carefully. Then complete the
exercise below, using the text as a reference if necessary.
REOUIREMENTS: Answer the following multiple choice and true-false questions. A
statement false in part should be considered false.
1. Sergeant Gill, a prisoner of war, has been a consistent troublemaker. He has tried to
escape on a number of occasions. He is also suspected of stealing food for another escape
attempt. Under these circumstances, the commandant of the prison camp:
A. may not strip Gill of his rank insignia.
B. may transport Gill back to the combat zone to see if he can escape from there.
C. must allow Gill to keep all personal belongs, including his engraved handgun
which was a present from his dying father.
D. must make Gill comfortable, but is justified in taking Gill's identity card from
him, thereby making him "fair game" if he ever succeeds in making it outside
the camp again.
2. A chaplain who has been captured on the field of battle is a prisoner of war.
3. An L soldier was wearing, at the time of his capture, a special pair of snow boots that
he had purchased from commercial sources. Aggressor prison authorities have taken his
boots from him and have issued him standard L combat boots. The soldier received no
receipt and now protests to representatives of the Protecting Power. His protest is
well-founded, for the prison authorities have acted in contravention of GPW.
4. An Aggressor force captured over 500 prisoners in a successful raid behind enemy
lines. The number of prisoners retarded the return of the raiding force to its own lines,
however, and soon it became apparent that no return at all would be possible if the
prisoners were continued in custody. The Aggressor force commander decided, therefore,
to shoot each of the prisoners in the leg to disable them from future combat. This done,
the Aggressor force returned to its own lines safely. Six months later the individual who
had commanded the Aggressor raiding force was himself captured and brought to trial as