The Australian Imperial force

Topics: Army, Military, Death Penalty Pages: 7 (2065 words) Published: July 15, 2014
Despite the fact that the Australian Imperial force in the First World War ought to have a reputation as successful fighting force, it displayed the worst disciplinary record away from the frontline when the compared with other authority forces and other British army. This paper will examine the relationship between the AIF indiscipline and the advantaged position they held of being the sole force impervious to the death penalty, with an exception of insubordination, disloyal activities, and absconding a rival. These activities influenced proportionally a high number of absentees and abandonments within the ranks of the AIF. The Australian government was reluctant to impose field punishment and impose penalties to hold their military forces accountable. There were instances of self-maiming or commitment of military crimes by those who wanted to avoid front line duties. This paper will explore various levels of indiscipline of AIF within the background of war on the Western Front and their disciplinary code of operation. That does not mean that other forces were fully disciplined. No, they were there, but AIF‘s indiscipline was stupendous and protected by their government. The military code of conduct of Britain, France, and German recognized the field punishments, including death sentence for indiscipline soldiers. In that case, several soldiers, from the earlier mentioned countries, were being executed as a result of indiscipline. The strict British disciplinary code subjected their military force into high looses. In contrast to that, the Australian military experienced a problem with discipline at the front line, particularly in the late 1918 when the Battalion was against returning to the line. Therefore, the element of discipline was problematic even away from the frontline. Unlike other forces, the Australian forces’ code of conduct did not put a lot of emphasis on severe disciplinary actions against their soldiers. Additionally, the Australian armies were civilians selected from urban centers who brought an initiative to the fighting force. So, the Australian soldiers were implying the values of civilian populations back in their homelands who had minimal formal inter-rank with an attitude of performing military work. Contrary to that, at the initial stages of the war, the British army was not indicating the civilian values directly as the armies of France and German did. During these times, British army was not attractive to citizens of ability, and therefore, most of the soldiers were less educated and less intelligent who would easily be restrained by strict British commands and disciplinary structures. The British army, therefore, was not in agreement with the British’s perception that it was focused and people-loving. Therefore, the British army came to the war with their culture while Australian counterparts left theirs and joined a different one. In that perspective, the Australians were capable and ready to support initiative within their military ranks. The disciplinary rules for British soldiers were being created by the parliament and then descended down to the commanding officer. The army act provided disciplinary conditions in which troops were to live and work .The minor mistakes were being handled with by the commanding officer while serious offences were handled by court-martial, which issued penalties including death sentences to many soldiers. Despite the fact that the fate of the soldiers facing undisciplined cases were entirely determined by the commander -in –chief, who had power to ensure discipline among the soldiers, different commanding officers were being consulted before a final decision was made by the court-martial. On top of that, there was no appeal for the condemned soldiers as it was happening for civilian. For less severe crimes, the field punishment included hard labor involving public humiliation of tying soldiers’ hands and legs fixed objects in front of his or her...
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