drumhead courtmartial

drumhead court-martial

a court-martial held, usually on a battlefield, for the summary trial of charges of offenses committed during military operations.

1825–35; so called from the use of a drumhead as a table during the court-martial

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World English Dictionary
drumhead court-martial
a military court convened to hear urgent charges of offences committed in action
[C19: from the use of a drumhead as a table around which the court-martial was held]

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