The German military manual states that a military order is not binding if it is not “of any use for service,” or cannot reasonably be executed. Soldiers must not obey unconditionally, the government wrote in 2007, but carry out “an obedience which is thinking.”.

Why German Soldiers Don’t Have to Obey Orders

Consider, if you will, a fraught military standoff. A soldier from the German army receives an order from a superior to fire his gun, but he puts it down and walks away. In the United States, he would have just committed the unforgivable and illegal act of insubordination, even if the superior officer weren’t from the same service branch.

But in this scenario, the German soldier didn’t break the rules—he followed them. Military disobedience is actually baked into the German Bundeswehr, or armed forces. And the reasons why can be found in the country’s sinister past.

American military law states that an order can only be disobeyed if it is unlawful. However, the German military manual states that a military order is not binding if it… Continue Reading

Source: https://www.history.com/news/why-german-soldiers-dont-have-to-obey-orders

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