During and after World War II, vast territories came under military government. During the war, Germany administered occupied countries through a hierarchy of Kommandaturen [military government headquarters], but this normal army administration was often duplicated by civilian economic agencies and Gestapo personnel. In France, Norway, Greece, and Serbia, local puppet governments were authorized to operate under German control; Belgium and NE France were under purely military government; in Eastern Europe, authority was concentrated in 1941 in the ministry for eastern occupied territories. German military government often violated the rules laid down by the Hague Conventions.
Allied Military Government (AMG) began to function in Sicily and in Italy in 1943; it sought to utilize local civilian authorities to the widest possible extent. When operating in Allied territory, such as France, AMG became Civil Affairs and was limited to combat areas. After the termination of military operations, Germany and Austria were divided (1945) into four occupation zones and military government was reorganized. At first it was subject in general policy to the authority of the U.S.-Soviet-British-French Allied Control Councils in Berlin and Vienna. In time, the growing dissension between the Western powers and the USSR led to the breakdown of the quadripartite system in Germany and in Berlin. The British, French, and American zones were soon amalgamated for most purposes and ultimately became the state of West Germany; in opposition to them stood the Soviet zone, which later became the East German state.
In Austria and Vienna disharmony was less evident, and military control ended in 1955 with the signing of a peace treaty between Austria and the four Allied occupying powers. In Japan, military government became a solely American responsibility, though subject to suggestions of an 11-power Allied council. It was ended by the signing of the peace treaty with Japan (1951).
In response to the experiences of World War II, a new convention covering military occupation was signed in Geneva in 1949. In recent years, the most prominent military occupation of a region has been that by Israeli forces of the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
See E. Fraenkel, Military Occupation and the Rule of Law (1944); C. J. Friedrich, ed., American Experiences in Military Government in World War II (1948); D. A. Graber, Development of the Law of Military Occupation, 1863-1914 (1948, repr. 1969); C. Clapman et al., ed., The Political Dilemmas of Military Regimes (1985).
Administration of territory by an occupying power. The definition does not cover military forces stationed in neutral or friendly territory that share administrative responsibilities with local civil authorities. Military government must also be distinguished from military law and martial law. Its control lasts until it either gives up power voluntarily or is overthrown. The term is popularly used for rule of a country by its own military, whether it comes to power through a coup d'état or is the legitimate governing body.
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The Hague Conventions of 1907 specify that "territory is considered occupied when it is actually placed under the authority of the hostile army." The form of administration by which an occupying power exercises government authority over occupied territory is called "military government."
Neither the Hague Conventions nor the Geneva Conventions specifically define or distinguish an act of "invasion." The terminology of "occupation" is used exclusively.
See Birkhimer, p. 25 - 26
No proclamation of the part of the victorious commander is necessary to the lawful inauguration and enforcement of military government. That government results from the fact that the former sovereignty is ousted, and the opposing army how has control. Yet the issuing such proclamation is useful as publishing to all living in the discrict occupied those rules of conduct which will govern the conqueror in the exercise of his authority. Wellington, indeed, as previously mentioned, said that the commander is bound to lay down distinctly the rules according to which his will is to be carried out. But the laws of war do not imperatively require this, and in very many instances it is not done. When it is not, the mere fact that the country is militarily occupied by the enemy is deemed sufficient notification to all concerned that the regular has been supplanted by a military government.
Explanatory Notes: When the administrative authority for the military occupation of particular areas is delegated to other troops, a "principal -- agent" relationship is in effect.
The conqueror is the principal occupying power.
This is explained as follows. For the situation where no territorial cession is involved, the military government of the principal occupying power will end with the coming into force of the peace settlement.
In the situation of a territorial cession, there must be a formal peace treaty. However, the military government of the principal occupying power does not end with the coming into force of the peace treaty.
Hence, at the most basic level, the terminology of "legally supplanted" is interpreted to mean "legally supplanted by a civil government fully recognized by the national (or "federal") government of the principal occupying power."
KAUFFMAN FOUNDATION EXPEDITIONARY ECONOMICS PAPER RECOMMENDS NEW MILITARY GOVERNMENT SCHOOL TO TRAIN NATION-BUILDING EXPERTS.
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