House Demolition - Uses - Military Uses

Military Uses

A distinction needs to be made between the destruction of houses as an incidental effect of military necessity, the wanton destruction of houses during a military advance, and the deliberate targeting of houses during a military occupation. In the former case, it is commonplace for civilian homes to be used by armed forces as places of shelter or as firing positions. As a result, civilian dwellings become a legitimate military target and property damage is often inevitable as forces seek to expel their opponents from buildings. This can result in the destruction of houses on a massive scale as a side-effect of urban warfare. Following World War II, for instance, the United States occupation authorities in Germany found that 81 percent of all houses in the American Zone had been destroyed or damaged in the fighting.

The question of under what circumstances the destruction of civilian dwellings becomes a legitimate military tactic remains controversial, and recent international conventions have agreed that civilian houses, dwellings, and installations shall not be made the object of attack, except if they are used mainly in support of the military effort.

However, there are also many non-combat situations in which house demolition has been used. It has served a variety of purposes, depending on the nature and context of the conflict.

Read more about this topic:  House Demolition, Uses

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