Germany, Federal Republic of
Practice Relating to Rule 85. The Use of Incendiary Weapons against Combatants
In 1976, during discussions in the Ad Hoc Committee on Conventional Weapons established by the CDDH, the representative of the Federal Republic of Germany stated that “he did not think … that the time had come to renounce flame weapons. Security considerations prevented not only his country, but many others, from doing so.” He added:
Although his country had to look for solutions which were sound from a security point of view, it did not wish to minimize the seriousness of wounds caused by napalm and other flame weapons. Although he agreed with the United Kingdom representative, who had pointed out that with the elimination of napalm a number of burn casualties would be reduced by only a fairly small percentage, he favoured the widespread endeavours to prohibit the sources of those grave injuries.
At the Preparatory Conference for the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons in 1979, the Federal Republic of Germany stated that proposals made by delegations “for a total ban” on incendiary weapons or for “a ban with explicit exceptions” were
not only inconsistent with the mandate [set out in UN General Assembly Resolution 32/152] but were based on an unproven hypothesis, namely that incendiary weapons were excessively injurious in all circumstances. The exceptions, for their part, would give rise to a definite paradox since, if there was not excessive injury under all circumstances, it was illogical to start from the idea of a total ban.