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U.S. Marine Corps - Small Wars Manual (1940 Edition)



General 				5-1
Purpose, occasion, and circmustances	5-2
Basic orders				5-3
Instructions				5-4
Zone force commander's order		5-5
Proclamation				5-6

5-1. General.--a. A neutral zone is an area in which no hostilities are permitted. The establishment of neutral zones is not of recent origin; the system has been employed not only by civilized nations but also by early American Indians and by African tribes. The procedure at the beginning of a small war operation often follows a sequence that is more or less a matter of routine. First, one or more of our cruisers arrive off a foreign port in consequence of actual or potential danger to our nationals and their property. Then if the situation requires it, a ship's landing force is sent ashore at this port to suppress disorder, provide a guard for our nationals and their property in the port, including our legation or consular buildings, and, in addition, certain local government buildings, such as custom houses. If there is a prospect of fighting between the local factions, the cruiser's commander (or senior naval officer in command locally) forbids combat in areas where the lives and property of our nationals might be endangered. This is done by the establishment of neutral zones; and this procedure frequently results in the cessation of hostilities; the mutually destructive strife may become so severe that absolute chaos is imminent, and neither faction is capable of guaranteeing the security of life and property. Then the neutral forces may be forced to enlarge their sphere of action by a movement inland.

b. The foreign policy of the United States relative to domestic disorders in unstable countries is one of nonintervention. However, as a measure to safeguard our nationals and, incidental thereto, other foreign nationals, havens of refuge will no doubt be established at certain seaports of an unstable country whenerer the domestic disorder threatens the lives of these nationals. To provide protection en route to the haven of refuge, certain routes of evacuation, such as railroads, highways, and rivers leading to the seaports may also be designated as a part of the neutral zones. In such cases, a definite time limit may be set for refugees to clear the routes. Situations undoubtedly will arise where our individual nationals will not seek safety within the neutral zone established at the seaport, but will elect to remain with their property and goods in the interior. In such cases the responsibility of the commander of the United States forces at the seaport neutral zone should be considered to be at an end with regard to any protection to be afforded these nationals. Should any harm come to these nationals who elect to remain with their property and goods in the interior of the country, recourse must be had later to diplomatic action for redress, and recompense for loss of goods and property must be made in the case of those nationals who seek safety in the neutral zone seaports and abandon their property in the interior.

c. The establishment of a neutral zone may not necessarily be followed by further military operations; however the prolongation of the unsettled condition in the country may necessitate such action, involving a movement inland from those zones. Accordingly, Neutral Zones and Movement Inland are presented in that order in this chapter.

5-2. Purpose, occasion, and circumstances.--a. Purpose.-- ( 1 ) Project treaty rights.
(2) Assist in maintaining the existence of, or the independence of, a government in accordance with treaty provisions.
(3) Protect lives and property of our nationals located in disturbed areas and unfortified cities.
(4) Further the provisions of our national policy.
(5) Protect and prevent depredations on neutral territory of adjacent countries.
b. Occasion.-- (1) In time of revolution, during riots, or when the local government has ceased to function.
(2) In time of war between two nations.
c. circumstances.--( 1 ) At the request of a recognized government. or at the insistence of regular local officials.
(2) At the request of the opposing factions.
(3) By forces of another power, or group of powers. without the invitation of any faction.
(4) By agreement between contending states or ftmces.

5-3. Basic orders.--The orders directing the establishment of a neutral zone should be brief and concise, ancl should contain the following information:
(1) Designation of the military force to be employed in the establishment and maintenance of the zone, and the zone force commander.
(2) The mission of the force.
(3) Information relative to the purpose, occasion and circumstances necessitating the establishment of the neutral zone,
(4) The exact time after which an area shall be considered as a neutral zone, relative to movements by land, water and air.
(5) The limits of the neutral zone.
(6) Logistic provisions, including those pertaining to the requirements of refugees.
(7) Reference to the communication plan and notification of the location of the zone force commander.

5-4. Instructions.--Additional information required should accompany the Basic Order in the form of an annex, or if there are existing general instructions relative to the establishment of neutral zones, reference should be made to them in the order. These instructions should contain, when applicable, stipulations covering the following matters:

(1) Control to be exercised by the zone force commander and the local civil authorities.
(2) Restrictions placed on opposing force (s) within limits of neutral zones at the time of establishment.
(3) Instructions relative to local authorities and civilians bearing arms within the zone.
(4) Acts to be prohibited, such as the delivery from, or passage through the zone, of supplies destined for the contending forces who are prohibited the use of the zone.
(5) Type of vessels and also land and air transportation carriers prohibited entrance to or passage through the zone.
(6) Restrictions upon the communication facilities.

55. Zone force commander's order.--The operation orders of the zone force commander should contain so much of the information furnished him in his orders from higher authority as will be of value to his subordinates, and also any additional information that may The order should contain detailed instructions for each be pertinent. If general instructions for the establishment task group of his force. of neutral zones have been issued by higher authority, those parts that are applicable to the immediate situation should be promulgated to the task groups of the local zone force either in the zone force commander's order or as an annex thereto. Logistic provisions, munication plan and location of the zone force commander should complete the order.

5-6. Proclamation.--The civilian population of the neutral zone and its vicinity, as well as the factions to be prohibited the use of the zone, should be informed of its establishment as early as practicable. This may be accomplished by the delivery of a written memorandum to the local authorities and to the heads of the contending factions, or by the publication of a proclamation in the local newspapers with a delivery of same to the local authorities and to the heads of the contending fact ions. SUCII memorandum or proclamation should be published both in English and in the local language. The delivery of the memorandum or proclamation may be made direct or through the diplomatic agent of the country represented by the zone force commander. Regardless of the method of transmission or its form, the proclamation should contain stipulations regarding the following matters:

(1) Precise date and hour at which the establishment of the neutral zone becomes effective.
(2) Area included in the neutral zone, with the boundaries or limits clearly defined by terrain features.
(3) Relationship of armed forces of contending factions with the neutral zone.
(4) Relationship of the zone force with the civilian population and local authorities within the zone.
(5) Acts to be prohibited in or over the zone.
(6) Transportation restrictions on routes of communication through the zone.
(7) Communication restrictions within the zone.
(8) Conduct or status of armed vessels within the zone.
(9) Such other information as may be necessary for a clear understanding of the exact circumstances upon which the establishment of the zone is based, the purpose to be accomplished, and the means to be used.

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