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Manual of the Laws of Naval War. Oxford, 9 August 1913.
Section IV : On the rights and duties of the belligerent with regard to enemy property - Art. 41.
Art. 41. Exceptions to the principles in Articles 31
-- Hospital ships. Military hospital ships, that is to say, ships constructed or assigned by States specially and solely with a view to assisting the wounded, sick and shipwrecked, the names of which have been communicated to the belligerent Powers at the commencement or during the course of hostilities, and in any case before they are employed, shall be respected, and cannot be captured while hostilities last.
Military hospital ships shall be distinguished by being painted white outside with a horizontal band of green about a metre and a half (five feet) in breadth.
The boats of the ships above mentioned, as also small craft which may be used for hospital work, shall be distinguished by similar painting.
All hospital ships shall make themselves known by hoisting, with their national flag the white flag with the red cross provided by the Geneva Convention.
The ships and boats above mentioned which wish to ensure by night the freedom from interference to which they are entitled, must, subject to the belligerent they are accompanying, take the measures necessary to render their special painting sufficiently plain.
The distinguishing signs referred to in this article can be used only outside with a horizontal band of green about a metre and a half (five feet) in breadth.
These ships cannot be used for any military purpose.
They must in no wise hamper the movements of the combatants.
During and after an engagement, they will act at their own risk and peril.
The belligerents shall have the right to control and search them; they can refuse to help them, order them off, make them take a certain course, and put a commissioner on board; they can even detain them, if important circumstances require it.
As far as possible, the belligerents shall enter in the log of the hospital ships the orders which they give them.
Hospital ships which, under the terms of this Article, are detained by the enemy, must haul down the national flag of the belligerent to whom they belong.