Between 1985 and 2006, public debates raged in Germany and Britain about overturning courts-martial sentences from the First and Second World Wars. These debates provide a window for understanding how military-historical topics become mainstream contemporary debates. Long a peripheral matter, by the 1990s military justice during the World Wars had vaulted from the field of grassroots activism to the legislative, executive, and judicial arenas of government. The pardon campaigns followed their own trajectories as preexisting narratives, nation-specific actors, and contemporary agendas interacted with historical research and new scholarship. The campaigns culminated in the overturning of Wehrmacht convictions from the Second World War (Germany, 1997) and a blanket pardon for soldiers executed for cowardice and desertion during the First World War (Britain, 2006).


Additional Information

Print ISSN
pp. 1107-1132
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Archive Status
Archived 2010
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