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  Why Did They Fight? American Airborne Units in World War II
Titel: Why Did They Fight? American Airborne Units in World War II
Auteur: Chacho, T. M.
Verschenen in: Defence studies
Paginering: Jaargang 1 (2001) nr. 3 pagina's 59-94
Jaar: 2001
Inhoud: Combat motivation is a critical component of conflict, yet until the mid-twentieth century studies focused primarily on leadership rather than the contributions of the common soldier. Beginning with World War II, however, historians and researchers became interested in the experience and motivation of the combat soldier. These investigations led to the generally accepted theory that ideological motivation - fighting for a cause - does not play a role in modern warfare. The prevalent theories of conflict motivation have focused on unit cohesion and the primary group. Through surveys and interviews, researchers have gathered data that indicates the importance of close personal ties to soldier motivation during combat. Yet these studies often do not address the role of what Charles Moskos has termed 'latent ideology' and hence may under represent the presence of ideological motivation. This article examines the concept of combat motivation among US Army Airborne units in the European Theatre during World War II. It uses a framework established by French Revolutionary War historian John A Lynn, which identifies three phases of a soldier's motivation: (1) initial or enlistment motivation; (2) combat motivation; (3) sustaining motivation (after the first combat experience). This division allows for the examination of soldier motivation through a study of patterns of behaviour over time. The article's findings suggest that ideological motivations may have played a larger role in US Army Airborne units during World War II than previously recognized. However, this conclusion is specific to the elite, all-volunteer airborne units examined, and this topic would benefit from further study.
Uitgever: Routledge
Bronbestand: Elektronische Wetenschappelijke Tijdschriften

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