United States of America
Practice Relating to Rule 106. Conditions for Prisoner-of-War Status
Section B. Levée en masse
The US Air Force Pamphlet (1976) provides:
A levée en masse
need not be organized, under command, or wear a distinctive sign. However, members must carry arms openly and comply with the law of armed conflict. To be a lawful levée en masse
, it must be a spontaneous response by inhabitants of a territory not under occupation to an invading force. Spontaneity requires that there be no time to organize into regular armed forces.
The US Naval Handbook (2007) states:
Lawful combatants … include civilians who take part in a levee en masse
. A levee en masse
is a spontaneous uprising by the citizens of a nonoccupied territory who take up arms to resist an invading force without having time to form themselves into regular armed units. Combatant immunity for a levee en masse
ends once the invading forces have occupied the territory.