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The Wisdom of Courts-Martial in Combat

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98 In Nazi Germany, a “Kreisleiter” was a “county leader” and was the highest Nazi Party official in a “kreis” or county municipal government. Today, Kreis Kaplitz is in the Czech Republic. In 1944, however, it was part of Germany, having been annexed as part of German-speaking

Sudetenland in October 1938.

99 Strasser, Case No. 8-27, at 6.

100 Id.

101 Headquarters, Third U.S. Army, Special Orders No. 229 (19 Aug. 1945). For more on war crimes trials at Dachau, see JOSHUA M. GREENE, JUSTICE AT DACHAU (2003). Strasser and Lindemeyer were apprehended and charged after the Army conducted an investigation into the deaths of the five airmen soon after 8 May 1945 (Victory in Europe (VE) Day). JACK R. MYERS, SHOT AT AND MISSED: RECOLLECTIONS OF A WORLD WAR II BOMBARDIER 298–99 (2004).

102 Strasser, Case No. 8-27, at 1.

103 Id. at 5.

104 Id.

105 Id. at 4.

106 Id. at 6.

107 Perhaps by Lindeman or one of the men accompanying him, although this is unclear from the record.

108 Strasser, Case No. 8-27, at 6.


110 Id. at 40.

111 Strasser, Case No. 8-27, at 1.

112 A native of Saginaw, Michigan, Ford R. Sargent entered The Judge Advocate General’s Department after graduating from the 11th Officer Course held at The Judge Advocate General’s School, Ann Arbor, Michigan. THE JUDGE ADVOCATE GENERAL’S SCHOOL, STUDENT AND FACULTY DIRECTORY 42 (1946).

113 Strasser, Case No. 8-27, at 8.

114 Id

115 Id.

116 While the official legal view of the Judge Advocate General’s Department was that “the rule in American municipal criminal law as to

reasonable doubt and presumption of innocence was not applicable as such to war crimes trials, in the absence of a suitable prescribed standard, the rule requiring that an accused be presumed innocent until proven guilty and that proof of guilt be established beyond a reasonable doubt was adhered to in war crimes trials” in the European Theater (emphasis added). REPORT OF THE DEPUTY JUDGE ADVOCATE FOR WAR CRIMES,

EUROPEAN COMMAND, JUNE 1944 TO JULY 1948, at 67 (1948).

117 Strasser, Case No. 8-27, at 8.

118 Id. Claude B. Mickelwait had a lengthy and distinguished career as an Army lawyer. Born in Iowa in July 1894, he later moved to Twin Falls, Idaho and graduated from the University of Idaho in 1916. He entered the Army as a first lieutenant in 1917 and served in a variety of infantry

assignments until obtaining a law degree in 1935 from the University of California School of Jurisprudence and transferring to The Judge

Advocate General’s Department.

With the invasion of North Africa in 1942, Mickelwait was stationed in Casablanca as Judge Advocate, Atlantic Base Section. He subsequently served as Judge Advocate, Fifth Army, in both North Africa and Italy. In March 1944, Colonel (COL) Mickelwait became Acting Theater Judge Advocate of the North African Theater of Operations. Two months later, he was the Judge Advocate of First Army Group in

England and, in July 1944, deployed to France as the Judge Advocate of the 12th U.S. Army Group.

In August 1945, COL Mickelwait was appointed Deputy Theater Judge Advocate of the U.S. Forces in the European Theater and in May 1946, he assumed duties as Theater Judge Advocate of those forces. Colonel Mickelwait returned to the United States when he was promoted to brigadier general in April 1947. He was promoted to major general and appointed as The Assistant Judge Advocate General in May 1954.

Major General Mickelwait retired from active duty in 1956. General Promotions—Army JAG, JUDGE ADVOCATE J., June 1954, at 4–5.

119 Short video clips about the military tribunal of Strasser are available at and

120 Transcript of Record at 8, United States v. Albert C. Homcy, CM 271489 (19 Oct. 1944) (on file with Regimental Historian).