- Hors de combat
"Hors de Combat", literally meaning "out of the fight," is a French term used in
diplomacyand international lawto refer to soldiers who are incapable of performing their military function. Examples include a downed fighter pilot, as well as the sick, wounded, detained, or otherwise disabled. Soldiers "hors de combat" are normally granted special protections according to the laws of war, sometimes including prisoner of warstatus. Baroness Orczywrote in her famous novel "The Scarlet Pimpernel" of Chauvelin saying, "When we find them, there will be a band of desperate men at the bay. Some of our men, I presume, will be put hors de combat. These royalists are good swordsmen, and the Englishman is devilish cunning, and looks very powerful." Kurt Vonnegutdescribed himself as "hors de combat" on the title page of his famous anti-war novel, " Slaughterhouse Five": "...who, as an American Infantry Scout hors de combat, as a prisoner of war, witnessed the fire bombing of Dresden..."
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.