drumhead court-martialdrumhead court-martial
a summary court-martial held in the field for trial of offenses committed during military operations or troop movements
Origin of drumhead court-martialfrom the former use of a drum as the judges' table
A summary trial held during military operations, without the usual level of protection for the rights of the accused.
Origin of drumhead court-martialSo called because it was sometimes held around a drumhead.
(plural drumhead court-martials)
- (military) A court-martial held in the field to hear urgent charges of offences committed in action.
Perhaps because a drumhead had to be used as a meeting point or an improvised writing table.