Practice Relating to Rule 65. Perfidy
Section E. Simulation of an intention to negotiate under the white flag of truce
Under Germany’s Soldiers’ Manual (1991), “the feigning of the intention to negotiate under a flag of truce” constitutes a perfidious act.
Germany’s Military Manual (1992) provides:
Misusing the flag of truce constitutes perfidy and hence a violation of international law … The flag of truce is being misused, for instance, if soldiers approach an enemy position under the protection of the flag of truce in order to attack.
The manual also states: “Grave breaches of international humanitarian law are in particular: … perfidious … use of recognized protective signs.”
Germany’s Soldiers’ Manual (2006) states that perfidious acts are those “by which the adversary is induced to believe that there is a situation affording protection under public international law, so that he may be attacked by surprise, e.g. the feigning of … the intention to negotiate under the flag of truce.”
Germany’s Law Introducing the International Crimes Code (2002) punishes anyone who, in connection with an international or non-international armed conflict, “makes improper use … of the flag of truce, … thereby causing a person’s death or serious injury”.