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2300AD & 2320 Discussion of the original 2300AD from GDW, the revised 2300 from Mongoose Publishing, or QLI's 2320AD.

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Old March 19th, 2014, 12:47 PM
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Default Privateers in Space

Originally Posted by Vladika View Post
In questions of Prize Money:

Under US Constitution Article 1 Section 8, it is still theoretically possible for Congress to authorize Letters of Marque.

The United States continued paying prizes to naval officers in the Spanish-American War, and only abjured the practice by statute during World War I. The U.S. prize courts adjudicated no cases resulting from its own takings in either World War I or World War II (although the Supreme Court did rule on a German prize - the Appam - that was brought to and held at Hampton Roads).

Russia, Portugal, Germany, Japan, China, Romania, and France followed the United States in World War I, declaring they would no longer pay prize money to naval officers.

November 9, 1914, the British and French governments signed an agreement establishing government jurisdiction over prizes captured by either of them.

The Russian government acceded to this agreement on March 5, 1915, and the Italian government followed suit on January 15, 1917.

Shortly before World War II France passed a law which allowed for taking prizes, as did Holland and Norway, a prospect to which the Nazi invasion quickly put an end. Britain formally ended the eligibility of naval officers to share in prize money in 1948.

Under contemporary international law and treaties, nations may still bring enemy vessels before their prize courts, to be condemned and sold. But no nation now offers a share to the officers or crew who risked their lives in the capture.

The British paid out (commonwealth nations shared in this):

...more than 20,000,000 ..., but the sharing, out took ten years. Payments varied from 3000 to-admirals to 25 to able seamen. This time admirals would receive less and able seamen more. (based on Napoleonic precedents)

This was "across the board" men who did the actual sinking or capturing of enemy ships would not be paid "extra". Conditions of modern' war had rendered that custom' obsolete.

Last US Navy prize money awarded.

The USS Omaha (CL-4) and the German commerce raider Odenwald, prior to the US entry into World War II, on 6 November 1941.

An admiralty court ruled that since the ship was illegally claiming American registration, there was sufficient grounds for confiscation. A legal case was started claiming that the crews of the two American ships had salvage rights because Odenwald's crew attempting to scuttle the ship was the equivalent of abandoning her. The court case - settled in 1947 - ruled the members of the boarding party and the prize crew were entitled to $3,000 apiece while all the other crewmen in Omaha and Somers were entitled to two months’ pay and allowances. This was the last prize money awarded by the US Navy."

In this case it was less "prize" and more "salvage"
Originally Posted by Drakon View Post
I had thought that the issuance of such letters was forbidden by treaty. However my wikifu says that the US was not a signatory to the Paris Declaration of 1856. which tried to outlaw the practice.
As a spin-off of those reasonings, how do you envision this would affect 2300AD setting?

  1. Will the Paris Declaration be extended to space (as it seems most naval laws are)?
  2. Wich contries would be signataries of this extension?
  3. Would it be honored?
  4. Would it be enforced?

See that in the description of Grosshiddenhafen (DM +35 2436) in the Invasion Sourcebook (page 49) it's told that both Manchurian (during the Central Assian War) and German (during the War for German Reunification) raiders opperated from it, but it's not specified if they were privateers or military ships.

Also in the same book (page 62) privateering is told about, but being against Kaffers I guess the Declaration would not apply even if it was in force (after all, the Kaffers would not be signataries of it ).
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Last edited by McPerth; August 2nd, 2017 at 12:13 PM.. Reason: typos
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