Acts of War: Behavior of Men in Battle

Acts of War Behavior of Men in Battle This ambitious wide ranging exhaustively researched book is a compelling attempt to grasp the very nature of war It takes us through the soldier s experience in its entirety from the humiliation of

  • Title: Acts of War: Behavior of Men in Battle
  • Author: Richard Holmes
  • ISBN: 9780029148518
  • Page: 130
  • Format: Paperback
  • This ambitious, wide ranging, exhaustively researched book is a compelling attempt to grasp the very nature of war It takes us through the soldier s experience in its entirety from the humiliation of basic training and the intense comradeship of army life, to the terror, isolation and exhaustion of battle What does it feel like to be in the firing line How does killinThis ambitious, wide ranging, exhaustively researched book is a compelling attempt to grasp the very nature of war It takes us through the soldier s experience in its entirety from the humiliation of basic training and the intense comradeship of army life, to the terror, isolation and exhaustion of battle What does it feel like to be in the firing line How does killing change a man And what do the extreme conditions of war reveal about a man s basic instincts, his courage or his fear, his urge for self preservation or self sacrifice Covering several centuries of warfare, and including the personal recollections of veterans from two World Wars, from Korea, Vietnam, the Falklands and the Arab Israeli conflicts, Richard Holmes gives us a powerful picture of what motivates the soldier and enables him to maintain the struggle in conditions of extreme degradation and danger.

    One thought on “Acts of War: Behavior of Men in Battle”

    1. Extremely well done, by an expert (both scholar and veteran.) Holmes studies the psychology of combat. This book belongs on the same shelf as Grossman's On Killing and On Combat, Shay's Achilles in Vietnam and Odysseus in America, Keegan's The Face of Battle, and the like.The author doesn't come to startling new conclusions (although this book predates a lot of the literature now around on its topic) but he covers this ground vividly and articulately. Like the others cited above, he makes it cle [...]

    2. An excellent survey of the wide range of experiences, emotions, and behaviors that humans exhibit and experience in battle. Holmes draws on centuries of evidence for his findings and covers the entire spectrum of experiences.

    3. The man is the first weapon of battle. Let us study the soldier, for it is he who brings reality to it.Although Holmes' book is subtitled "The Behaviour of Men in Battle," it goes far beyond that. Overall, it examines the life of a soldier from enlistment through training, onto the battlefield and then follows him home after his war. If you've ever wondered what the realities of military life entail or what goes mentally and physically for someone on a battlefield, you will surely find both in t [...]

    4. Brigadier Holmes of the British Army was a researcher into battlefield mentality. He fills four hundred pages with quotations from the lips and writings of men who have experienced battles over the centuries from Ancient Greece to Vietnam and the Falklands. He adds little of his own opinion save for to set the narrative in context, and he covers the experiences of soldiers from youthful naivety through training, to unit cohesion and then on to the act of combat and its aftermath. This book shoul [...]

    5. I really enjoyed this book because of the great details and reality of the story. Each and every soldier has a different personality and a different story. Whether it is a Colonel speaking about his encounters with the Vietcong, or a private that made it through Pearl Harbor they all have the same views of war. They are all intimated. Almost of all of the soldiers except a few felt that they left their life behind them and that the only benefit was that they had the ability to fight for their fr [...]

    6. Richard Holmes does not look to campaigns, generals and the big picture in this book, but tries to gain understanding of the common soldier, why he or she enlists, experiences training and his or her baptism of fire and handles the stress and terror involved. Ravished with examples from the Middles Ages through the Napoleontic Wars and through both World Wars to Vietnam and the Falklands, he paints an intersting insight picture in the mind of the common soldier!

    7. Whew! This tome was a long, boooorrring read. There were occasional interesting tidbits and noteworthy passages, but this book is more of a reference than a "sit down and read" book. Recommended only for those that are really, REALLY interested in an analytical, non-emotional account of how human beings act in a wartime environment.

    8. This exhaustive examination of how men feel in war is well-researched, careful, and deeply interesting. It complements soldiers' autobiographies with a more meta-analysis of combatants' experiences.

    9. I was skeptical because of the quote on the front saying that it was an absolute-must for history lovers but it turned out to be just as good as it boasts!

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