My Lai pp 34-43 | Cite as

The Official Rules of Modern Warfare

  • James S. Olson
  • Randy Roberts
Part of the The Bedford Series in History and Culture book series (BSHC)


In 1863, at the height of the Civil War and at the behest of the War Department, the distinguished political scientist Francis Lieber undertook a codification of existing international law on the rules of land warfare. The War Department published Lieber’s work as A Code for the Government of Armies in the Field and instructed Union soldiers to conduct themselves according to its conclusions. The code’s guiding principle was as follows: “Men who take up arms against one another in public war do not cease on this account to be moral beings, responsible to one another and to God.”


Geneva Convention Hague Convention Congressional Committee Official Rule Combat Operation 
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Copyright information

© Bedford Books 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • James S. Olson
    • 1
  • Randy Roberts
    • 2
  1. 1.Sam Houston State UniversityUSA
  2. 2.Purdue UniversityUSA

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