After Germany’s defeat in WWII, the Nuremberg and later trials were organized primarily for political purposes rather than to dispense impartial justice. Wears War brings to you each week a quote from the many fine men and women who were openly appalled by the trials. All of these people were highly respected and prominent in their field, at least until they spoke out against the trials.
Daniel Vincent Gallery was a rear admiral in the United States Navy. He saw extensive action during World War II, fighting U-boats during the Battle of the Atlantic, where his most notable achievement was the June 4, 1944, capture of the German submarine U-505.
Awards and honors: Navy Distinguished Service Medal, Navy Commendation Medal, Victory Medal, American Defense Service Medal, American Campaign Medal, European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal, World War Two Victory Medal, National Defense Service Medal
From the epilogue to Rear Adm. Dan V. Gallery’s book Twenty Million Tons Under the Sea, Chicago: Henry Regnery Co., 1957.
“You might think that since our submarines fought the same way the Germans did, we would sweep the question of Prize Warfare under the rug after the war and say no more about violation of the laws of war at sea. Our naval officers were perfectly willing to do this, but our statesmen and lawyers were vindictive. When the war was over, they insisted on trying the German Admirals Raeder and Doenitz at Nuremberg as war criminals for permitting their submarines to do exactly what ours did. A justice of our Supreme Court prosecuted them and tried to hang them. To our eternal shame, we convicted the German admirals of violating the laws of war at sea and sentenced them to long terms of imprisonment…
This kangaroo court at Nuremberg was officially known as the “International Military Tribunal.” That name is a libel on the military profession. The tribunal was not a military one in any sense. The only military men among the judges were the Russians. Some military titles are listed on the staffs of the secretariat and prosecuting counsel, but these belong to a lot of lawyers temporarily masquerading in uniform as military men.
Nuremberg was, in fact, a lawyer’s tribunal, although I can readily understand why the legal profession is ashamed to claim it, and deliberately stuck a false label on it.”