The definition of war crimes presented great difficulty for every violation of the rules of warfare did not amount to a war crime. The British military manual suggests that such refusal of quarter of, ill treatment of prisoners of war, pillage and purposeless destruction are war crimes.  
 Definition - 

According to Oppenheim, war crimes are such hostile or other acts of soldiers or other individuals as may be punished by the enemy on capture of the offenders. They include acts contrary to international law perpetrated in violation of the law of the criminals own state such as killing or plunder for satisfying private lust and gain, as well as criminal acts, contrary to the laws of war committed b order and on behalf of the enemy state. He classifies war under four categories...

Classification of war crimes -

1) Violations of recognized rules regarding warfare committed by members of the armed forces.

2) All hostilities in arms warfare committed by members of the enemy armed committed by individuals who are not member of the enemy armed forces.

3) Espionage and war treason.

4) Marauding acts.

The following acts as violation of the rules of warfare:

                                  *using of poison gas , killing wounded or surrendered soldiers, disgraceful treatment of dead bodies on battle fields , treacherous request for quarter, killing of hostages , ill-treatment of prisoners of war, killing or attacking harmless private enemy individuals, wanton destruction of museum , hospitals, churches and schools, bombardment of undefended open towns or historical monuments, attack on hospital ships, attack on bearers of flag of truce etc.

Types of crimes  (In International law )– 

There are three types of crime are as follows:

1) Crimes against peace  

2) War crimes

3) Crimes against Humanity

1) Crimes against peace – 

Such crimes included planning, preparation, initiation or waging of a war of aggression , or a  war in violation of international treaties, agreements or assurance,  of participation in common plan  or conspiracy for the accomplishment of any of the forgoing.

        2) War crimes –
              War crimes covered violations of the laws or customs of war, including, but not limited to , murder , ill-treatment, or deportation to slave labour or any of purpose of civilian population of or in occupied territory,, murder or ill-treatment of prisoners of war, or person on seas, killing of hostages , plunder of  public or private property , wanton destruction of cities, towns, villages.

3)  Crimes against humanity –

                 Crimes against humanity included murder, extermination, enslavement, deportation and other inhuman acts committed under any civilian population before or during the war, or prosecution on political, racial or religious grounds in execution of or in connection with any crime within the jurisdiction of the tribunal, whether or not in violation of the domestic laws of the country where perpetrated…      



  1. 'VIETNAM - A War Lost and Won' by Nigel Cawthorne was first published in 2003 by Arcturus Publishing Limited in the UK. Nigel Cawthorne, who was born in Chicago, the United States, is an American-born British writer of fiction and non-fiction, and an editor. The book includes an introduction on what triggered one the worst wars in American war history. blog

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