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Aggression/Conformity within the military

chieftiff

War Hero
Moderator
It's interesting that none of the crews appear to have gone wibble, the enormity of the act would be enough to disturb many. This suggests to me that rather than simply conforming to their expected roles they were either psychopaths without the emotional eqiupment to truly experience remorse or more likely they were able to genuinely justify the act to themselves as the best option given the alternatives.............. or perhaps they just figured that if it weren't for them then someone else would do it if told to. I think that to live with such an act you truly have to believe that you did the right thing rather than you had no choice.
 

Seaweed

War Hero
Book Reviewer
But they did do the right thing, and millions of casualties were avoided by the Japs being pushed into surrender without an invasion. Far fewer died in both atom bombings put together than the Japanese slaughtered individually in Nanking alone - a massive war crime of which the Japanese Govt is STILL in denial.
 

Bergen

ADC
Seaweed said:
But they did do the right thing, and millions of casualties were avoided by the Japs being pushed into surrender without an invasion. Far fewer died in both atom bombings put together than the Japanese slaughtered individually in Nanking alone - a massive war crime of which the Japanese Govt is STILL in denial.

The Japanese had been attempting to surrender for 6 months prior to Hiroshima.

All of the justifications for dropping the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima I can understand and many of them are valid. The bombing of Nagasaki is a different matter particularly since it was the secondary target for Bock [Kokura was the primary].

But then Fat Boy was a plutonium bomb that had never been drop tested; so why waste the opportunity.

EDITED TO ADD:-

It was interesting that Oppenheimer later quoted a line from the Hindu scripture the Bhagavad Gita:

Now I am become Death, the destroyer of Worlds.

RM
 

JonnoJonno

Banned
I forget where I read it, but wasn't there a study done on WW2 combatants where they worked out that only x% of soldiers were responsible for x% of casualties; many of the enlisted men never firing their weapon at the enemy?
 

Guns

War Hero
Moderator
It is in Dave Grossman's book On Killing - well his reference to it. The study was done after WWII by a US General (well respected one at that, Marshall springs to mind but I will check my copy). He found that most did not engage in combat and that only small, well lead, well trained and cohesive units had high combat engagement (Paratroopers and US Marines were some of them).

He found that people often lacked the will to kill. Instead some would be the guy who fetched the ammo, tended to the wounded etc. They were prepared to accept and share the risk (exposure to fire etc) of their fighting friends but couldn't kill. Note there was no lessening of their role and he was keen to state that they took the risks and offered combat enhancement allowing those that had resolved killing in their minds to do their job. Then there were many who would hunker down and shut themselves off to all around them.

The ratio has reduced now by training and conditioning and the modern warrior who does not engage the en is considered the odd statistic.

As I have said both books are well worth a read and should be considered standard for those of us who's business is war.
 
D

Deleted 7

Guest
O've got Grossman's AQA Psychology book but I think the syllabuses do not use it anymore. It's worth a read as he has some interesting info in there, that other books do not have.

I think I might just have to purchase one of those books you've mentioned, Guns.
 

Bergen

ADC
Guns said:
It is in Dave Grossman's book On Killing - well his reference to it. The study was done after WWII by a US General (well respected one at that, Marshall springs to mind but I will check my copy). He found that most did not engage in combat and that only small, well lead, well trained and cohesive units had high combat engagement (Paratroopers and US Marines were some of them).

He found that people often lacked the will to kill. Instead some would be the guy who fetched the ammo, tended to the wounded etc. They were prepared to accept and share the risk (exposure to fire etc) of their fighting friends but couldn't kill. Note there was no lessening of their role and he was keen to state that they took the risks and offered combat enhancement allowing those that had resolved killing in their minds to do their job. Then there were many who would hunker down and shut themselves off to all around them.

The ratio has reduced now by training and conditioning and the modern warrior who does not engage the en is considered the odd statistic.


As I have said both books are well worth a read and should be considered standard for those of us who's business is war.

Of course some men do not need conditioning to kill but the ones that do need to be conditioned do not escape unscathed. The incidence of PTSD is through the roof and suicides amongst veterans are an under-reported nightmare:-

QUOTE

WASHINGTON, Jan 13, 2010 (IPS) - Suicides among United States military veterans ballooned by 26 percent from 2005 to 2007, according to new statistics released by the Veterans Affairs (VA) department.

"Of the more than 30,000 suicides in this country each year, fully 20 percent of them are acts by veterans,'' said VA Secretary Eric Shinseki at a VA-sponsored suicide prevention conference on Monday. "That means on average 18 veterans commit suicide each day. Five of those veterans are under our care at VA."

The spike in the suicide rate can most clearly be attributed to the ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the high number of veterans returning to the U.S. with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

RM
 
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