When Soldiers Quit: Studies in Military Disintegration

Overview

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 ...

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Overview

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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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Offers a historical and sociological analysis of the effects of disintegrating military units in combat, looking at implications of troop defections, mutinies, looting, and massacre, explaining the causes, and examining events from the Great Indian Mutiny of 1857 to the My Lai Massacre in Vietnam in 1968. Includes b&w maps. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780275952235
  • Publisher: Greenwood Publishing Group, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 1/28/1997
  • Pages: 216
  • Lexile: 1210L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.38 (w) x 9.60 (h) x 0.74 (d)

Meet the Author

BRUCE ALLEN WATSON is Professor Emeritus of Art History and past chairman of the Division of Applied and Fine Arts at Diablo Valley College.

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Table of Contents

Maps
Preface
Acknowledgments
1 Historical Perspectives of Military Disintegration 1
2 Sociological Perspectives: Regimental Behavior 17
3 The Great Indian Mutiny, 1857 27
4 The French Army Mutinies, 1917 47
5 The Siege of San Sebastian, August 1813 67
6 Surrender: The Disintegration of a Division, December l944 89
7 The Sand Creek Massacre, Colorado, 1864 111
8 The My Lai Massacre, Vietnam, 1968 131
9 Toward a Sociology of Military Disintegration 155
Notes 175
Selected Bibliography 183
Index 187
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