->''"The real war will never get in the books."''
-->-- '''Creator/WaltWhitman'''

A form of KickTheDog in war movies, where the heroes (or more often, the side that the heroes fight for) commit a war crime of some sort, most often mistreatment of [[WouldNotShootACivilian enemy prisoners of war or civilians]]. Done to illustrate that most [[WarIsHell wars]] aren't instances of BlackAndWhiteMorality, as well as the mix of good and bad in most armies and how wartime can change a person's personality. Sometimes, these crimes will be reprisals for earlier ones against the heroes' side. May sometimes overlap with TokenEvilTeammate.

A fairly young trope that emerged from the previously-hidden TruthInTelevision of TheVietnamWar. Often used to show that WarIsHell and/or to [[AvertedTrope avert]] TruffautWasRight. Contrast TheWomenAreSafeWithUs, WouldNotShootACivilian.

It is important to note that this scene, whether in real life or in a work, does not mean the entire army [[RapePillageAndBurn Rapes Pillages and Burns]]. Unless the work in question is an AuthorTract about how ArmiesAreEvil, in which case it might be included for this purpose.

See also UsefulNotes/TheLawsAndCustomsOfWar.



[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* In an early scene in ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamSEEDDestiny'', the guerrilla fighters in Gibraltar whom ''Minerva'' assisted previously are shown executing the Earth Alliance officers they've taken prisoner. This can be interpreted as an early indication that the protagonist may not be fighting on the righteous side, after all...
* A similar scene occurs in the Battle Of Panama in ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamSEED''. After taking Panama base and destroying its mass driver, several ZAFT mobile suit pilots start shooting the surrendering Federation troopers. This was said to have been in response to the Battle of JOSH-A, where the Atlantic Federation brass activated a microwave device hidden underneath the base, wiping out most of the ZAFT forces as they broke through, as well as the remaining Federation defenders (Who were [[TheUriahGambit mostly from the Eurasian Federation, solidifying the Atlantic Federation's dominance of the Earth Alliance]]). It was a sign that the war was [[ItsPersonal turning personal]] (or [[GuiltFreeExterminationWar worse]]) for soldiers on both sides.
** A much earlier example is arguably Yzak's destruction of a shuttle full of civilians during a battle with Kira. Even if Yzak's assumption that the shuttle contained fleeing soldiers was correct, shooting an unarmed shuttle is still a pretty heinous act.
*** Yzak gets to see this from the other side later in the series. He was at the Battle of Panama mentioned above. Yzak is horrified by the slaughter, and it greatly contributes to his HeelFaceTurn at the end of the series.
* The entire ''Manga/FullmetalAlchemist'' flashback to the Ishval Genocide Campaign is basically one long hideous war crime.
** Especially poignant was the death of [[TheChick Winry's]] parents, who had gone to the battlefields of Ishval for [[UsefulNotes/TheRedCross Red Cross]]-type volunteer duties, and were killed while at it. In both the manga and the ''Brotherhood'' series, this was done by [[spoiler:[[AntiVillain Scar]] during a FreakOut -- and had he not done it they would've been killed by Kimbley who then would've [[MakeitLookLikeAnAccident made it look like an accident]] on orders of their superiors, so the military wouldn't spend time and money protecting them]]; in the [[Anime/FullmetalAlchemist 2003-anime]] where they were killed by [[spoiler:a '''very''' reluctant Roy Mustang on orders from his superiors, because they ''healed Ishvalian civilans''. (And Roy is almost DrivenToSuicide out of guilt.)]]
** It's worth noting that Armstrong outright refuses to kill civilians. Kimblee kills them instead but keeps Armstrong from getting in trouble, respecting the strength of his convictions.
* In ''Anime/CodeGeass'', the flashback to Lelouch, Suzaku and the blind Nunnally fleeing through Japan's countryside as pre-teenagers involves them stumbling onto the scene of genocide in a village. This event scars Lelouch and Suzaku, leading the former to hate Britannia with a vengeance and the latter to be [[spoiler:horrified at what had happened, compounded with killing his father, leading him to blame himself for it all. Ironically, Lelouch and Suzaku would both precipitate a repeat of this, with Suzaku joining the Knights Of Round and conquering countries, and Lelouch accidentally causing a country-wide riot, and eventually leading his own massacre, AND ruling the world with a bloody iron fist. (The latter is part of a ThanatosGambit.)]]
** There's also Tamaki, who's usually just the PluckyComicRelief of the Black Knights, ordering some of the Ashford Academy students executed after he finds them sneaking around, trying to save Suzaku, who is trapped in the disabled Lancelot. No one actually gets a chance to carry out those orders, though, and the event's never mentioned again.
*** Worse yet, those civilians were Lelouch's friends... Lelouch, who was Tamaki's superior. Though this is a very unusual situation, as Tamaki has no idea.
** The first episode has Clovis' purge of the Shinjuku ghetto. Cornelia replicates this in Saitama, far more effectively, in order to lure out Zero.
* The Emperor Rescue Mission Arc in ''TheFiveStarStories'' features a scene with the AKD forces (more or less the good guys here) lining up and shooting captured enemy troops as the Morale Officer (actually a member of the [[SuperSoldier Headdliner corps]] in disguise) begs their commanding officer to call it off.
* In the ''Manga/{{Area 88}}'' manga and OVA, Nguyen kills an enemy pilot who has ejected from his jet.
** In the manga, Rocky witnesses anti-government forces slaughter an entire Bedouin camp. When Shin and Mickey fly over the desert carnage afterwards, they're both horrified.
* The [[TheWarOfEarthlyAggression Second Interplanetary War]] in ''Anime/AldnoahZero'' opens with the Orbital Knights bringing their [[MileLongShip Landing Castles]] down on several of Earth's major cities, generating massive, nuke-like explosions that kill what is likely to be millions of civilians.
** When flying in to his mission, [[BloodKnight Sir Trillram]] deliberately has his sky carrier crash into an ejected Terran pilot, disintegrating him with his [[HumongousMecha Kataphrakt]]'s dimensional barrier.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* Appears several times in ''ComicBook/NthManTheUltimateNinja'', often pushing the boundaries of UsefulNotes/TheComicsCode. These include the aftermath of a mass execution of civilians, children ''hacking to death'' a wounded soldier in reprisal for said execution, and a bombing run on a field hospital.
* ''Franchise/{{Transformers}}''
** ComicBook/TheTransformersIDW: Many scenes featuring Decepticons have them blasting humans left and right with glee.
** ''ComicBook/TheTransformersMoreThanMeetsTheEye'': Whirl proves that he's a HeroicComedicSociopath and a SociopathicHero, when he fights Nautilator, and pins him down, Nautilator surrenders and begs for his life, but Whirl is more interested in the fact that the con's voice sounds like Megatron. Whirl tries to make his voice sound like Optimus Prime's to make the confrontation more epic, but gives up, and just executes him.
** ''ComicBook/TheTransformersLastStandOfTheWreckers'' reveals why Impactor is now the ''former'' leader of the Wreckers. After defeating and capturing Squadron X, the [[EvilCounterpart Decepticon counterparts]] to the Wreckers, he was told that the world they fought on was in fact neutral territory and that the Wreckers had to release the Squadron or the Autobots would face diplomatic problems. Impactor's solution was to execute all of the restrained prisoners on the spot and convince most of the Wreckers to lie and cover for him, claiming the Squadron had attempted to escape. Only Springer had the conviction to testify against Impactor and reveal the unpleasant truth.
** The ''Transformers IDW'' run also features issue #8, "Scrapper," where the eponymous Decepticon engineer is pinned in a building by iron beams, including one that goes through his abdomen. Crippled and vulnerable, he offers to surrender to the humans--Spike Witwicky in particular--but in lieu of accepting the surrender of a disabled fighter unable to offer resistance, Spike executes Scrapper by using his own gun to blow his face off. The Decepticons recovered his body and were able to view his final moments, and Megatron is able to use this information to gain the upper moral hand against Optimus for once, showing it as proof that humans could not be trusted to accept the honors of war, not even Optimus' closest human friends. This revalation disturbs Optimus so much he has to dispatch Prowl to investigate if this is a ploy on Megatron's part--naturally, it's not, as Prowl finds out firsthand when the Decepticons make ''him'' into the rebuilt Devastator's head later.
* ''ComicBook/ThreeHundred'' tries to play this as entirely justified and even admirable, which its iconic scene of the heroic and manly king of Sparta kicking an unarmed messenger down the well from ''Film/ArmyOfDarkness''.
* One happens off-panel in the Nicaragua arc of ''Comicbook/FuryMyWarGoneBy'', led by ''ComicBook/ThePunisherMAX'' villain Barracuda during his military days. Fury is investigating Barracuda's activities, and finds the remains of a village destroyed by his Contra forces, with horribly mangled bodies everywhere, including [[spoiler:a corpse of a pregnant woman who had her stomach cut open and her baby stomped on]].
-->'''Fury:''' Jesus fucking Christ almighty.

[[folder:Fan Fiction]]
* In [[http://www.fimfiction.net/story/90939/shell-shock Shell Shock,]] this trope is chillingly partnered with SadisticChoice. A truckload of captured zebras are machinegunned in the middle of the road.
* In ''Fanfic/TiberiumWars'', a Brotherhood of Nod soldier attempts to rape a GDI prisoner of war. Though she fights back, he eventually overpowers her, but before he can actually get started, a [[WarriorMonk Black Hand officer]] smashes down the door, and a [[DestinationDefenestration firsthand experience]] [[PunctuatedPounding with Brotherhood field justice is observed]] - as [[RapeIsASpecialKindOfEvil sexual assault on a prisoner of war is considered an offense punishable by immediate execution]] according to the Brotherhood codes of justice.
* In ''Fanfic/BoysDoTankary'', during a flashback, some of Vincent's men [[MoralEventHorizon rape and murder some teenage POWs]]. Only Vincent's intervention saves the youngest, Nyra, and as a result, he and Nyra are locked in a room, given a month to kill each other. Vincent is ultimately forced to kill Nyra at her request, [[spoiler:or so he thought at the time]].

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* ''Film/FlagsOfOurFathers'' and ''Film/LettersFromIwoJima'' both showed the protagonists of both films (American in the former, Japanese in the latter) killing enemy soldiers trying to surrender by stabbing them with bayonets (and setting them on fire in one case). Known to have actually happened quite a bit in the Pacific Theater on both sides, as it was common for a surrender [[ISurrenderSuckers to be a ruse instead]].
* Several instances of this happen in ''Film/SavingPrivateRyan'':
** The shooting of surrendering Czech conscripts by American troops during D-Day.
-->'''Soldier #1''': What'd he say!?
-->'''Soldier #2''': ''*raises hands in imitation of the surrendering troops*'' "Look! I washed for supper!" Hehehehaha!
** The mental torture of the German soldier after the assault on the machinegun nest, with Reiben threatening to desert TheSquad if they ''don't'' execute the German and Horvath threatening to ''shoot'' Reiben if he doesn't obey orders and get back in line. When Upham kills [[spoiler:the same German trooper that was captured but set free earlier, while he's surrendering, but only after Upham saw him [[UngratefulBastard deliberately shoot Captain Miller, the man who let him live.]]]]
* In ''Film/{{Stalingrad 1993}}'', many of these scenes are depicted:
** A German soldier is seen abusing captured Russian prisoners of war.
** A temporary cease-fire to gather the wounded from the battlefield is broken by a suspicious German soldier.
** The unsympathetic German officer orders the soldiers to shoot some Russian civilians who have been taken prisoner, saying they were found trying to commit sabotage. The protagonists state to themselves that the sabotage allegation is nothing more than a pretense to shoot the prisoners because they're running out of food to feed them, and one of them is a child who they themselves took prisoner and befriended. They hesitate before finally being intimidated into doing it.
** After discovering a German officer's stronghold, the German soldiers find [[spoiler: Russian sniper Irina who has been tied to a bed and raped. The protagonists even suggest taking turns to 'use' her before Leutnant Von Witzland [[TheWomenAreSafeWithUs puts a stop to it.]]]]
* In ''Film/TheLongestDay'', there is one brief scene with an American shooting a German soldier who is unarmed and trying to surrender, saying, "Bitte, bitte!" The American soldier says, "I wonder what 'bitter bitter' means." It was later found that, historically, the medic that shot the Germans ''spoke'' German, but had a "take no prisoners" policy.
* ''Film/ApocalypseNow'': Willard shoots the badly wounded only survivor of the accidental attack on the sampan, to avoid having to take her for medical attention ''and'' to make an example of the crew.
* The extended version of ''[[Film/TheLordOfTheRings The Two Towers]]'' movie shows Faramir's troops brutalizing Gollum in hope of getting him to talk. This scene was cut for the theatrical version.
* An actual montage of this trope occurs early in the 2008 film ''Film/{{Defiance}}''. The Bielski brothers raid trucks and people's homes for supplies as well as for vengeance. They shoot the women with the Germans as well as any townspeople who might get in their way. And later, the entire camp of refugees beat to death a captured German soldier. [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Defiance_(2008_film)#Critical_reception There has been some controversy on the film's portrayal of the Bielski partisans]], particularly in regard to their links to [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soviet_partisans#Controversies Soviet partisans]].
* In ''Film/TheHurtLocker'', an American Army officer opts to withhold medical treatment from a wounded insurgent who would otherwise survive. It's implied the insurgent is shot shortly thereafter to hasten the process.
* Sergeant Meserve in ''Film/CasualtiesOfWar'' kidnaps, rapes, and kills an innocent Vietnamese civilian, which is the main plot of the entire story, and the other soldiers' reactions.
* ''Film/ToHellAndBack'' has the scene where Creator/AudieMurphy shoots several German soldiers as they try to surrender. [[TruthInTelevision The film was an autobiography.]] Also potentially the TropeMaker.
* ''Film/FullMetalJacket'' makes no attempt to assign [[GrayAndGreyMorality moral roles to each side]] of the conflict and consequently includes two scenes:
** An American door gunner is randomly shooting civilians as they fly over rice paddies.
---> '''Gunner:''' Anyone who runs is a VC, anyone who stands still is a ''well-disciplined'' VC! You guys oughta do a story about me sometime!\\
'''Joker:''' Why should we do a story about you?\\
'''Gunner:''' 'Cuz I'm so fuckin' good! I done got me 157 dead gooks killed. Plus 50 water buffalo, too! Them's all confirmed!\\
'''Joker:''' Any women or children?\\
'''Gunner:''' Sometimes!\\
'''Joker:''' How can you shoot women or children?\\
'''Gunner:''' Easy! Ya just don't lead 'em so much! ''(laughs)'' Ain't war hell?
** Joker covers the story of a mass-grave where 20 civilians executed by the North Vietnamese Army lie, some of the victims were buried alive.
* ''Film/InglouriousBasterds'': Pretty much every act committed by the Basterds is a war crime, from [[DressingAsTheEnemy donning enemy uniforms]] to [[JackBauerInterrogationTechnique torturing their own spy]] to ''beating prisoners to death with a baseball bat.''
* In the Russian war movie ''Zvezda'', a Soviet scout team captures a German soldier, interrogates him (with help of their [[TooGoodForThisSinfulEarth innocent, nerdy interpreter]] who earlier demonstrated his knowledge of German by quoting a poem) and then shoot him while he's crying, [[TearJerker "I'm not a Nazi! I'm a proletarian!"]] Then it gets [[WarIsHell a bit]] [[KillEmAll more brutal.]]
* Pretty much everything Bunny does in ''Film/{{Platoon}}'', including beating a crippled Vietnamese civilian and his elderly mother to death just for the hell of it, and nearly raping a young girl.
* You have to really look for it, but in ''Film/PansLabyrinth'', after the rebels win their battle against the government troops, they proceed to shoot their captives to death, [[LaserGuidedKarma thus mirroring an earlier moment of Vidal's soldiers doing exactly the same thing to surrendering partisans]].
* ''Film/BattleLosAngeles'' has a particularly disturbing scene where the Marines have grabbed one of the wounded alien invaders. The Marines had previously emptied entire magazines into individual invaders to little effect, so Staff Sergeant Nantz has his men hold the alien down while he and a local veterinarian rip, cut, and stab at the still-living alien's body in search of a vital point. Once they find a point to aim for, the Marines become a lot more effective at bringing down the invaders. Unusually, the movie doesn't present the scene in either a negative ''or'' positive light; the viewer is left to determine whether or not the act is justified or heinous. The aliens themselves have a take-no-prisoners policy, and dead civilians can be seen throughout, as it's stated the aliens shoot up everything living in sight.
* ''Film/TheDirtyDozen'' has been criticized for depicting war crimes: in one scene, Lee Marvin's character orders that a group of surrendered German soldiers be summarily executed. A later scene in which a group of German officers and their wives/mistresses are killed in a basement has also been cited as an example, though in the context of the mission the killing of the women would more likely be classified as collateral damage.
* The whole point of ''Film/TheWhistleblower''. The UN peacekeepers stationed in 1990s Bosnia are importing [[spoiler:girls to be their sex slaves]]. Based on a true story.
* ''Film/PlayDirty'' ends with the only two survivors of the squad (With the possible exception of a man left behind with a mortal gut wound who potentially hadn't died ''yet'') being gunned down by a British soldier who saw their white flag (they were disguised as German soldiers) and shot them anyway. The killer's CO simply said "Don't do it again".
* ''Film/RedDawn1984'' is almost nothing but war crimes on both sides. The Communists start executing unarmed civilians left and right the moment they parachute in, and their response to any wolverine attack is to round up a group of random townpeople and execute them in public as a "message". A fairly large portion of the town is held in a gulag converted from a drive in movie theater. The wolverines are more then happy to bomb civilian buildings and torture, then execute, captured Russian soldiers "because we live here".
* In ''Film/BloodDiamond'', the RUF terrorists shoot anyone who's not on their side, and their leader hacks a mans hand with a machete. Much of this happened in the Sierra Leone Civil War.
* Two cases in ''Film/{{Fury2014}}'', both committed by the main characters.
** Committed by Wardaddy in an attempt to cure Norman of his fear of killing. He holds Norman's hand to a gun to force him to shoot a prisoner.
** A little later Wardaddy orders the summary execution of a captured SS officer. The officer had been hanging civilians for not joining the army at gunpoint, so it ''might'' have been legal - if there had been modicum of due process attached.
*** In fact, it's legal, as summary execution for witnessed war crimes is allowed if there is no possibility that the criminal can be detailed for future trial. It just requires a "in the field" trial, presided over by an officer, with a pro-forma trial of testimony.
* In ''Film/{{Yamato}}'', American planes are shown strafing Japanese civilians. [[spoiler:One such attack claims the life of Kamio's mother.]]

* ''Literature/{{Animorphs}}'':
** In "The Hork-Bajir Chronicles", we discover that the (up until now apparently innocent) Andalite host of the leader of the Earth invasion killed thousands, if not millions, of Hork-Bajir in an effort to keep that planet from falling into enemy hands. By creating and releasing a virus that will break down the DNA proteins unique to the Hork-Bajir, meaning a peaceful race whose resistance movement has been of tremendous help has over half their population die by having their bodies disintegrate slowly and painfully.
** A recurring theme is to what degree the Animorphs' actions are war crimes, especially since the {{Puppeteer Parasite}}s they fight a.) are helpless in their natural form and b.) cannot be harmed without hurting their host if they ''are'' given a fighting chance.
** Probably the best example of this trope is the second to last book, where Jake [[spoiler:has a pool of 17,000 Yeerks dumped into space because [[WeNeedADistraction they needed a diversion]]]].
* ''Literature/TheReynardCycle'': [[TokenEvilTeammate Tybalt's]] men rape and torture prisoners of war in the second chapter of ''Defender of the Crown'', leading to a confrontation between Tybalt and Isengrim. Reynard cites WarIsHell in order to get Isengrim to stand down.
* ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire'' has all five sides in the war committing terrible war crimes. The worst were committed by Tywin Lannister's outrider troops, although Robb Stark's army were incredibly brutal to the peasants in the allied Riverlands (though to be fair, the commander of this army was Roose Bolton, who neither asked nor cared for Robb's approval, and simply did it. Plus he later [[spoiler: sold Robb out to the Lannisters)]]. Tavern wenches who slept with Lannister soldiers were likewise executed and hanged from trees, their bodies left to the crows.
* The ''Literature/SwordOfTruth'' series has shades of this, where there are several drastic and questionable actions the hero takes [[PayEvilUntoEvil (having a prisoner tortured,]] [[KickTheDog mowing down peace protesters,]] imposing total war). Sometimes averted, where it's [[ProtagonistCenteredMorality treated as if the hero doing this is ''completely right and just'' (the peace protesters)]], while in other places it's justified as the only option he has left (the total war).
** [[ProtagonistCenteredMorality It's ''always'' portrayed as totally right and just,]] the only distinguishing factor is how long they spend [[AuthorTract providing self-justifications]]. At one point Kahlan explained how torturing a captured soldier to death as slowly as possible was the right thing to do so he (who saw himself as a martyr) [[MoralDissonance could understand how important life was.]]
* It comes up in Literature/{{Discworld}} novels from time to time. Fred Colon mentions beating prisoners of war mostly because you just saw an arrow go through your friend's face and you're looking for the first son of a bitch in the wrong uniform to make an example of. In ''Discworld/MonstrousRegiment'', Sergeant Jackrum intentionally arranges things so that he can murder a POW (by having the shakiest and least-useful fighters guard the prisoner to give him the hope of making a break for it), although in this case it's because he knows they don't have the luxury of keeping him as a prisoner in spite of the commanding officer's orders to do so.
* No ''Literature/HammersSlammers'' novel would be complete without at least one graphic description of what happens to civilians who get caught in the crossfire. In one story their employer chews out Colonel Hammer for nerve-gassing a village that was harboring insurgents, the Colonel responds that a nuke would have been noticed by the press.
* In the climax of ''Run Silent Run Deep'', the hero has his submarine SinkTheLifeboats to make sure a particularly effective Japanese destroyer captain will never sink another American sub. His crew obey orders, but they're shocked. In the sequel ''Dust on the Sea'' it is made obvious that the American captain's [[MyGodWhatHaveIDone own mileage varied]].
* ChivalricRomance books and KnightErrant tales always depicted WarIsGlorious. [[WriteWhatYouKnow Cervantes, a veteran soldier, shows us that]] WarIsHell in his OlderThanSteam {{deconstruction}}: Literature/DonQuixote travels to Barcelona, a province of the [[TheEmpire Spanish Empire]] that is facing a CivilWar.
* ''Literature/HarryPotter'':
** In ''Literature/HarryPotterAndTheOrderOfThePhoenix'', Harry himself uses the "unforgivable" torture-inflicting Cruciatus curse to ambush a Death Eater--and reminds us that for the curse to work, you have to ''genuinely want'' the target to suffer.
** Also, he uses Imperio like a JediMindTrick in book seven.
* In ''Literature/AHarvestOfWar'' the queen test-fires her lover's gift - an arquebus - on an initially live prisoner.
** The woman flogged to death with her whole back a giant open wound.
* In ''Literature/TheFivePeopleYouMeetInHeaven'', a war crime is the main impetus for the plot. The protagonist is Eddie, a World War II veteran who fought in the Pacific. He ends up being held as a prisoner of war, but he and the others manage to escape. After escaping, they burn the camp down. Eddie ends up thinking that there is a little girl inside one of the huts near the camp and tries to run back into the hut, but is shot in the leg. After he dies (years later at the age of 83) and goes to heaven, he meets, among others, [[spoiler:the little girl that was in the hut.]]
* In the final book of the ''Literature/{{Timeline 191}}'' series, SociopathicSoldier Boris Lavochkin orders several massacres of civilians, including the murder of an entire village. So as well as an expy of UsefulNotes/NaziGermany in form of the CSA, Turtledove also provides an expy of war crimes committed by the Red Army.
* A Venezuelan sniper in ''[[Literature/{{Countdown}} Countdown: M Day]]'' assassinates [[spoiler:Seamus O'Reiley]] after the rest of her unit had formally surrendered. In a RoaringRampageOfRevenge, M Day soldiers start killing Venezuelan [=POWs=], until his wife stops the unit... eventually. If not for thinking about what he would have done in a similar situation, she would have taken even longer to order his unit to stop the POW killing.
* [[TheVorkosiganSaga Cordelia and Aral Vorkosigan's]] first meeting is laced with these. An unexpected meeting between his squad and her survey team turned into a firefight, which would be bad enough on its own (the Betans were unarmed noncombatants,) but by the time they catch up with the Barrayaran forces a few days later, they are in the process of torturing a mute, brain-damaged Betan prisoner to death.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* ''Series/BandOfBrothers'':
** Ronald Speirs' execution of German [=POWs=]. Historically, Speirs had a reputation for killing German [=POWs=], but it was never confirmed if he indeed had. Stories were passed through the company and battalion, but rumors were, according to the soldiers interviews, probably embellished, and Speirs was known to believe that having his own troops fear him wasn't necessarily a bad thing. The truth of what he did or did not do died with him.\\
He is shown to politely offer the Germans smokes and then the camera moves to another soldier who watches in horror as bursts from an SMG are heard. Speirs later gets amusement out it by offering some [=GIs=] a cigarette in another episode, just before he's given command of E Company. Speirs' deadpan expression while the scared-shitless men take the offered cigarettes is a CrowningMomentOfFunny.\\
The "did he or didn't he" aspect of Speirs' reputation was explicitly pointed out during a conversation with Lipton.
--->'''Speirs:''' You want to ask me, don't you?
--->'''Lipton:''' Ask you what, sir?
--->'''Speirs:''' You want to know if they're true or not... the stories about me. Did you ever notice with stories like that, everyone says they heard it from someone who was there. But then when you ask ''that'' person, they say ''they'' heard it from someone who was there. It's nothing new, really. I bet if you went back two thousand years, you'd hear a couple of centurions standing around, yakking about how Tertius lopped off the heads of some Carthaginian prisoners.
--->'''Lipton:''' Well, maybe they kept talking about it because they never heard Tertius deny it.
--->'''Speirs:''' Well, maybe that's because Tertius knew there was some value to the men thinking he was the meanest, toughest son of a bitch in the whole Roman Legion.
** In the 9th episode, E Company passes by while some French soldiers execute German soldiers they found hiding with little more than a shrug. This serves as a quick introduction to WarIsHell for an eager NewMeat named O'Keefe.
** Half of Easy Company break the rules of war at some point. All the loot they carry around is actually war crime material.
* ''Series/ThePacific'':
** There's one poignant scene where US Marines are torturing a Japanese survivor of a banzai attack by shooting him in the arms and legs. The last Japanese soldier they tried to take prisoner blew himself up along with a couple of Marines, so they are not taking prisoners.
** In another scene, a Marine is cutting the teeth out of a live Japanese soldier's head while the soldier screams in pain. Snafu shoots the guy in the head, putting him out of his misery, while saying that it "makes it easier". Although it was legal to take war trophies, taking the personal effects of dead soldiers was not allowed. This included the mutilation of bodies and the removal of their gold teeth.
** In another scene, after a last-ditch suicide charge by the Japanese, Sledge shoots a soldier who was unarmed and wounded. Later in the same episode, he decides not to shoot another unarmed Japanese soldier - but then a few rookie marines gun him down instead and blow off Sledge when he disapproves.
--->'''Marine:''' We're here ta' kill Japs ain't we?!
** In one scene, a wounded soldier who is no longer a threat is seen being choked to death.
* In ''FallingSkies'', when the aliens order a mech to mow down a group of kids, as an example of what happens when the humans attempt to free one.
** Also done by the humans, when the doctor is about to try and vivisect a prisoner, but is stopped.
* On ''Series/{{Alphas}}'' an attempt by government agents to arrest the leaders of Red Flag (an Alpha terrorist organization) gathered for a meeting quickly descends into chaos as some of the Alphas resist and the government agents open fire. They kill everyone they see, even those trying to surrender or hide. They shoot Bill (in his vest), failing to distinguish him from their targets after a demonstration of SuperStrength. One agent nearly kills ''Gary'' when he has a tantrum over finding [[spoiler:Anna]]'s body - given that he weighs ninety pounds soaking wet and can barely lift the baton he was whaling on the agent with, it comes off very much like a Nazi about to [[KickTheDog stomp on a yapping chihuahua]]. The scene demonstrated how unprepared and heavy handed the government is when dealing with Alphas and that the situation has reached the level of a war.
* Two such instances in the 1997 miniseries ''Series/TheRoughRiders''. One involves a Spanish soldier who tries to surrender, but after he's already killed one of the Rough Riders. He's promptly shot. The other is the rather casual bayoneting of a German military adviser. The German's death is fictional, as no such incident is known to have occurred and indeed the presence of German military at the battle is disputed by historians. Why director John Milius would invent a fictional war crime unnecessary to the plot is not known, however he refers to the Germans bizarrely and inaccurately as [[AllGermansAreNazis Nazis]] on the DVD's audio commentary, suggesting a mild axe to grind even against pre-World War II Germans.
* ''Series/{{JAG}}'': The promotion of Rear Admiral Thomas Boone to Vice Admiral is called off in "A Separate Peace" because of credible sources claiming he took part in war crimes during TheVietnamWar when working closely with {{CIA}} officers.
* In ''Series/TrueBlood'', Terry Belflaur and all the other Marines are war criminals, committing some seemingly harmless acts, such as holing up in a mosque, but also for more harmful crimes, such as killing harmless and unarmed civilians.
* In German war drama ''[[Series/UnsereMuetterUnsereVaeter Unsere Mütter, unsere Väter]]'', the Winter brothers' unit is seen shooting Russian [=POW=]s, pushing civilians at gunpoint onto a mined area to clear their path, and carrying out reprisal killings against innocent farmers for the actions of partisans (not that the [[EvilVersusEvil Russians]] are much better, during the little we see of them). And the crimes [[spoiler: Friedhelm]] commits at the behest of [=SS=]-Sturmbahnführer Hiemer are even worse.
* ''Series/{{The 100}}'' sees our heroes torturing a captive prisoner for information, firing on the enemy during a peace conference, and, on one occasion, just snapping from the stress and gunning down a bunch of innocent villagers. Most of them are ChildSoldiers with no formal training, thrust into a war and a world they don't understand, so they don't always handle things as well as they should.
* Done every so often in ''Series/{{MASH}}'', most notably in one episode where Col. Flagg interrogates a North Korean POW in Post-op by throttling the tube to a critical IV the man is hooked up to. This earns him a WhatTheHellHero (for very loose values of "hero") from Hawkeye.

* In Creator/WilliamShakespeare's ''HenryV,'' the hero-king threatens the citizens of Harfleur with some pretty grisly consequences for trying to defend themselves ("In a moment look to see the blind and bloody soldier with foul hand defile the locks of your shrill-shrieking daughters", [[http://shakespeare.mit.edu/henryv/henryv.3.3.html etc.]]). He goes on, at Agincourt, to order his soldiers to slaughter all their prisoners (the text of the play actually has him [[http://shakespeare.mit.edu/henryv/henryv.4.6.html doing this]] [[http://shakespeare.mit.edu/henryv/henryv.4.7.html twice]], which is a little weird). In the next scene this is explained by Captain Gower as retribution for the killing of the boys looking after the baggage (and many readers of the play are inclined to take his word for it), but the first of these orders is given before anyone on the English side learns of it, in response to the French regrouping.
** The Harfleur sequence is a case of {{Values Dissonance}}. In medieval warfare it was the norm that a besieged town would surrender after the walls were breached. If the garrison did not surrender but continued to fight, that would be a sign of 'no quarter' and followed up by the attackers with a total sack of the town.
** The prisoners were presumably against it, but it must also have been a very unpopular order among his own army. Many of them had captured French knights that would otherwise have paid hefty ransoms. (Henry's kill-em-all order is the reason that his old drinking buddy Pistol looks forward to a future as a pimp and thief: he could have retired comfortably on the ransom his prisoner M. Fer would have brought him.)
** In RealLife, the English archers did the slaughtering of prisoners. Being merely commoners, they would not have expected good treatment if they were captured, and they'd have seen none of the ransom money if the French were ransomed back after capture. Also, the order for the slaughter wasn't a form of DisproportionateRetribution, but rather to prevent the French knights from rearming themselves and attacking the English behind their palings. Even the French sources at the time don't call him out on it.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* Happens several times in the ''VideoGame/CallOfDuty'' game series.
** The execution of German [=POWs=] by Soviet soldiers in [[VideoGame/CallOfDuty the first game]].
** ''VideoGame/CallOfDuty 4'' shows how neither side is saintly, and both the U.S. Marine Corps and the SAS will use brutal techniques to find out what is going on.
** ''VideoGame/CallOfDuty:'' ''World at War'' goes even further. The Pacific campaign starts with your character being tortured by his Japanese captors, and features ambushes from units playing dead, booby traps, and kamikaze attacks. In response, the Americans employ flamethrowers to great effect. The Eastern front has the repeated execution of wounded soldiers, the razing of crops and homes, and the massacre of surrendering soldiers... and that's as the Russians.
** ''Modern Warfare 2'' ups the ante even further with the infamous 'No Russian' level, [[spoiler:where the player, as a deep cover CIA operative tasked with getting in the good graces of the villain of the game, participates in a terrorist attack on a Moscow airport, complete with the gunning down of unarmed civilians.]] In retribution for that mission, [[spoiler: the Russians invade Washington, D.C. with the sole intent of [[RoaringRampageofRevenge killing as many Americans as possible.]] The player gets a front-row view of Russian tanks and helicopters firing on CASEVAC choppers (i.e., civilian evacuation helicopters). In the rules of war, that's what we call a definite no-no.]]
** In the middle of the "Project Nova" level of ''[[VideoGame/CallOfDutyBlackOps Black Ops]]'', Kravchenko is seen executing surviving German prisoners with his pistol as they beg for mercy. As he reaches the last one, he runs out of ammo, and uses his knife to kill him. [[spoiler: Later that mission, Kravchenko and Dragovich betray half of the Soviet squad by gassing them to death in order to test out Nova Six.]]
*** In the beginning of "Payback", [[spoiler: Bowman has his skull crushed by a pipe wielded by the Russian interrogator. Woods and Mason then are forced to play RussianRoulette with each other.]]
*** In the mission "The Defector" the entire civilian staff of the MACV compound is executed by the NVA for collaborating with American forces. Supplemental intel found in the level indicates that off-screen, hundreds of other civilians are similarly massacred for alleged "collaboration" after the NVA capture the city.
* Fictitious war, but ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 3}}'''s Operation Anchorage features an American soldier executing 4 Chinese prisoners. Killing the American before the shooting causes your allies to turn against you, and try to kill you and the prisoners. Turns into RefugeInAudacity when injured American soldiers come out of the hospital, in underwear, in an Alaskan winter, and attack you with grenades. However, [[NotSoDifferent to balance things out]], when you storm General Jingwei's camp, you see him executing American prisoners with his lightning sword.
** Also, in the opening of ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 1}}'', an old T.V. shows a news reel of America's annexation of Canada, with footage of an American soldier executing Canadian prisoners of war, then ''waving at the camera.'' The caption reads [[BlackComedy "Our dedicated boys keep the peace in newly annexed Canada."]]
* Potentially present in ''VideoGame/{{Sabres of Infinity}}'' at the Antari Camp, where the player may massacre the civilians fleeing from the camp, trap them inside before burning it to the ground, or execute all the captured Antari after intimidating them into surrendering, [[WhatTheHellHero much to the disgust of their superiors.]]
* In one Terran mission of ''VideoGame/{{Starcraft|I}}: Brood War'', a civilian technician runs into a squad of UED marines who kill one of his colleagues to convince him to cooperate. When he does, they thank him... [[YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness then shoot him anyway]]. One of them even quips "Err... oops. Heh heh heh..."
* In the first mission ''VideoGame/StarCraftII:'' ''[[VideoGame/StarCraftIIWingsOfLiberty Wings of Liberty]]'', the Terran Dominion are rounding up civilians for labor in a mining site, one of them tries to run, and a marine shoots him.
* In ''Franchise/MassEffect'', if you pick the "Ruthless" reputation, you sent many of your men to certain death in order to defeat a criminal batarian base - and then massacred the surrendering batarians. Said batarians were inferred to be [[AssholeVictim slavers and pirates]] though.
* Games with moral choice systems frequently give you the option of doing this yourself.
* Ulfric Stormcloak (or the [[PlayerCharacter Dovahkiin]], on his order) executing General Tullius after he surrenders, or vice versa, in ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsVSkyrim'', though there's DeliberateValuesDissonance in play: this was somewhat less objectionable in medieval times.
** Sadly, almost every 'surrendering' enemy will [[RegeneratingHealth quickly regenerate health]] and [[DirtyCoward get back to fighting you]], so you have to choose between committing the war crime of killing a beaten opponent or just letting them get back up so that you can deal an uncontrollable deathblow. The exceptions are duelists, who start the fight by insulting you, and special [=NPC=]s. You also have to deal with the fact that your body absorbs the souls of dragons, permanently killing them, and dealing with keeping/discarding [[YourSoulIsMine black soul gems]], [[FateWorseThanDeath which should practically be considered more of a war crime than zombifying your enemies]].
* Happens from time to time in ''WorldOfWarcraft'', such as early on in the Jade Forest, when Admiral Rogers orders her troops to open fire on Horde soldiers swimming away from their sinking ships and trying to surrender. On the other hand, some of the atrocities that the Forsaken and Garrosh commit are viewed with disgust by much of the rest of the Horde (in the former case, [[EvenEvilHasStandards even Garrosh]]).
** In ''Cataclysm'' the Alliance navy fires upon a Bilgewater goblin (slave)ship which is unaligned with anyone as they are ordered to fire on any ship that passes through. This forces the goblins to land on Kalimdor and ally themselves with the Horde for survival.
** Several events were added to the game to drive home the fact that Garrosh has gone beyond the pale. During the Darkspear Rebellion the player sees trolls being caged, executed, and burned in piles while orcs laugh. Early in the Siege of Orgrimmar a cinematic shows the destruction of the Vale of Eternal Blossoms, a holy place to the Pandaren, due to Garrosh's actions.
* Literally the very first discussion you hear on the Soviet side in ''VideoGame/CommandAndConquerRedAlert'' is about the testing of nerve gas -- on both adults and children. This is followed by your ''actual'' mission: "Go at once to Torun, destroy everything and everyone. No prisoners, no survivors."
** In ''Red Alert 2'' the Soviets gun down civilians with no after thought. In ''Yuri's Revenge'', Yuri's army rounds up mind controlled civilians and sends them to grinder buildings to be [[HumanResources recycled as resources]].
** In ''VideoGame/CommandAndConquerGenerals'', the second [=GLA=] mission has them gunning down civilians to steal their U.N. relief goods, the final level has them launching bio weapons into populated cities.
* ''VideoGame/SpecOpsTheLine'', being the WarIsHell Simulator that it is, takes you from one WCS to another like a nightmarish rollercoaster ride. Let's see: we've got mass execution sites, soldiers hung from lampposts, ravens picking at mutilated corpses, a foul-smelling pit filled with ''a few hundred'' bodies, and gratuitous White Phosphorus attacks. And that's all ''before'' Walker and his team [[spoiler: start adding to the list themselves.]]
* Not a war game but counts just the same: Ryder White of ''VideoGames/DeadIsland'' does actually blow up a bridge and commit other acts for the military in a bid to stop the spread of the infection; despite dooming the survivors, and the BIDF and prison guards had apparently snapped and will shoot anyone on sight. The Australian military reacts to the incident by air bombing villages and KillEmAll, leading to John Morgan defying orders.
* In ''VideoGame/TacticsOgre'', one mission has you make a choice whether to assist in slaughtering an allied town in order to gain sympathy for your side's cause in war. Interestingly, choosing not to obey the orders results in a "chaotic" aligned character, with your friend doing a FaceHeelTurn on you. But if you obey the orders and take part in the slaughter, he does a HeelFaceTurn, and vows to fight against you for doing such an obvious evil act, despite it being considered "Lawful" route. And no matter which route you take, the massacre still takes place.
* ''VideoGame/StarTrekOnline'': The Klingon Defense Force is full of this.
** The Klingon Empire provoked the Federation-Klingon War in the backstory when it tried to forcibly deport civilian populations from multiple planets, [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crimes_against_humanity which is considered a crime against humanity]] in RealLife. Starfleet was quickly deployed to block them.
** The Federation player character's captain is taken prisoner and then murdered by a Klingon in the tutorial.
** The KDF player character tortures a Starfleet captain to death, then blows up his already-disabled ship with his surviving crew still aboard. Not to mention all the things they get to do to [=POWs=] in duty officer assignments as VideoGameCrueltyPotential, like torture, experimenting with assassination techniques, and [[MadeASlave selling them into slavery]]. All of which is either glossed over or PlayedForLaughs as BlackComedy.
* In ''VideoGame/CompanyOfHeroes'' ''2'', the Soviet campaign plays out like a demented who's-who list of your standard war crimes. Shooting surrendering German soldiers is one thing that's commonly done, but this game goes the extra mile by having Soviet soldiers ''burning women and children to death in their farmhouses''. What's funnier, the German campaign takes no such liberties to depict German soldiers executing Russian civilians ([[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_crimes_of_the_Wehrmacht#Invasion_of_the_Soviet_Union which is something they did very, very often]], or indeed committing anything remotely resembling a war crime. Needless to say, the reception to the game among Russian gamers was [[{{Understatement}} a tad negative]]. The game's Russian publisher ceased distributing it, and then there's [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2m4SCUaBHS8 this video]].

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Prevalent in ''WesternAnimation/StarWarsTheCloneWars'', the Separatist armies do this on occasion. In Ryloth they started bombarding Twi'lek settlements when they were losing the planet, to spite the Republic.