July 27, 2018




The Geneva Convention was signed on  July 27, 1929 and became official on June 19, 1931.  It dealt with the treatment of prisoners of war, and was the predecessor of the Third Geneva Convention which was signed in 1949. Articles 82 to 97 covered the implementation of this convention. Two important provisions are included, Articles 82 and 83 which stated, "In case, in time of war, one of the belligerents is not a party to the Convention, its provisions shall nevertheless remain in force as between the belligerents who are parties thereto", and that " the provisions of this convention continue to cover prisoners of war after hostilities up to their repatriation unless the belligerents agree otherwise or a more favorable regime replaces it."  Among the Articles of the Convention, are specific rules regarding the evacuation of POWs from combat zones, the living conditions of the camps, ie quality and amount of food provided, medical and religious needs, as well as the imperative termination of captivity of prisoners who are seriously sick and injured, and preparations for their repatriation to their homeland. The key elements of the 1949 Geneva Convention specifies the inviolability of the wounded, and their right, under international law, to respect, protection, humane treatment and care, as detailed in the Articles of the Convention.


RAF Bombing of Hamburg (4th Night):  On July 27, 1943 just before midnight,  787 RAF aircraft comprising of 74 Wellingtons, 116 Stirlings, 244 Halifaxes and 353 Lancasters, bombed Hamburg relentlessly.  It resulted in one of the largest firestorms created by the Royal Air Force and United States Army Air Forces in World War II.  The lack of rain, and the unusually warm weather in Hamburg provided the conditions which enveloped the city in a raging inferno.  The RAF concentrated on specific targets, dropping explosive and incendiary bombs on the city.  It created a vortex and whirling updraft of super-heated air which created a 460 meter high tornado of fire, which in turn generated winds of up to 240 kilometres per hour (150 mph) with temperatures that reached 800 °C (1,470 °F). It incinerated everything in sight within 21 square kilometres (8 sq mi) of the city. Asphalt streets burst into flame, and fuel oil from damaged and destroyed ships, barges and storage tanks spilled into the water of the canals and the harbour, causing them to ignite as well.  People running for safety towards bomb shelters and cellars never made it as the firestorm had the power to sweep people up off the streets as if they were dried leaves. In the aftermath, British officials referred to it as the Hiroshima of Germany.  The last night of bombing was on August 3. Operation Gomorrah deployed a total of  3,000 aircraft and dropped 9,000 tons of bombs. Over 250,000 homes were destroyed. Total casualties were 42,600 people killed and 37,000 wounded. About one million German civilians fled the city.


PERSONAL AND MOST SECRET MESSAGE FROM Mr CHURCHILL TO MARSHAL STALIN M. (no.305)  "Mikolajczyk and his colleagues have started. I am sure M. Mikolajczyk is most anxious to help a general fusion of all Poles on the lines on which you and I and the President are, I believe, agreed. I believe that the Poles who are friendly to Russia should join with the Poles who are friendly to Britain and the United States in order to establish a strong, free, independent Poland, the good neighbour of Russia, and an important barrier between you and another German outrage.  We will all three take good care that there are other barriers also.  It would be a great pity and even a disaster if the Western democracies find themselves recognising one body of Poles and you recognising another. It would lead to constant friction and might even hamper the great business which we have to do the wide world over. Please, therefore, receive these few sentences in the spirit in which they are sent, which is one of sincere friendship and our twenty-years' alliance."  (July 27th, 1944 )

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