ICRC databases on international humanitarian law
Treaties and Documents
1949 Conventions and Additional Protocols, and their Commentaries
Historical Treaties and Documents
Manual of the Laws of Naval War. Oxford, 9 August 1913.
Section III : On means of injuring the enemy - Art. 26.
Art. 26. Military works, military or naval establishments, depots of arms or war ' matériel, ' workshops or plants which could be utilized for the needs of the hostile fleet or army, and the war-ships in the harbour, are not, however, included in this prohibition. The commander of a naval force may destroy them with artillery, after a summons followed by a reasonable time of waiting, if all other means are impossible, and when the local authorities have not themselves destroyed them within the time fixed.
He incurs no responsibility for any unavoidable damage which may be caused by a bombardment under such circumstances.
If for military reasons immediate action is necessary, and no delay can be allowed the enemy, it is understood that the prohibition to bombard the undefended town holds good, as in the case given in paragraph 1, and that the commander shall take all due measures in order that the town may suffer as little harm as possible.