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When Soldiers Quit: Studies in Military Disintegration
by:Bruce A. Watson
After an introduction showing three examples of military disintegration, the author examines six historical occurrences in depth: The India Mutiny of 1857; the 1917 French Army mutinies; the depredations following the British siege of San Sebastian, 1813; the surrender of the U.S. 106th Infantry Division in 1944; the Sand Creek Indian Massacre, 1864; and...
After an introduction showing three examples of military disintegration, the author examines six historical occurrences in depth: The India Mutiny of 1857; the 1917 French Army mutinies; the depredations following the British siege of San Sebastian, 1813; the surrender of the U.S. 106th Infantry Division in 1944; the Sand Creek Indian Massacre, 1864; and the My Lai massacre in 1968. The final chapter begins with a recapitulation of the four processes shown to be the foundations of disintegration—leadership failure, collapse of the units' internal primary groups, alienation, and desperation among the troops—and continues with an analysis of the crowd behaviors to which these processes give rise. The book ends with a brief discussion of the moral dilemma that disintegration imposes on military institutions.
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