"Breaker Morant builds a convincing argument that it is those at the top of the war hierarchy that are truly guilty, and not the lowly soldiers who carry out orders." Discuss

Essay by JinstarHigh School, 12th gradeA, August 2004

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Throughout the course of the film of Breaker Morant, a convincing argument builds that those who are at the top of the war hierarchy are the truly guilty ones as opposed to the common soldiers who simply follow orders. The film shows this through the court trials, as J.F. Thomas repeatedly stresses that Harry Morant, along with Hancock and Witton, were simply following orders from Lord Kitchener. We has also shown the conditions that the Bushvelt carabineer's were in juxtaposed by the situation of the British high class officers, and the guilt that they truly posses.

War has been familiarized by people all around the world, and it is well known that soldiers follow orders from higher class officers. It is military custom for a soldier to carry out ones duty. We see this all throughout the film of Breaker Morant, their daily casual proceedings, and the flashbacks, how the soldiers followed orders from Captain Simon Hunt, and Lieutenant Harry Morant.

Furthermore, Captain Hunt is following orders from a higher class officer, Lord Kitchener.

We see through the film that Lord Kitchener is the one who is truly guilty for the shooting of the Boer prisoners. He consults with his colleagues about sacrificing the three Australian soldiers for shooting the prisoners, as they had neither the facilities nor the supplies to keep prisoners. Lord Kitchener thus gave the order to Captain Hunt not to keep prisoners, but to shoot them, Lord Kitchener was aware of this, and thus it is he himself who gave out the orders to shoot prisoners, Breaker Morant was merely following these same orders, shooting the Boer wearing British Khaki, and yet he was placed on trial along with Witton and Hancock. We see Thomas repeatedly stress this point through the course...