The Combat Soldier: Infantry Tactics and Cohesion in the Twentieth and Twenty-First Centuries

Hardcover | March 5, 2013

byAnthony King

not yet rated|write a review
How do small groups of combat soldiers maintain their cohesion under fire? This question has long intrigued social scientists, military historians, and philosophers. Based on extensive research and drawing on graphic analysis of close quarter combat from the Somme to Sangin, the book putsforward a novel and challenging answer to this question. Against the common presumption of the virtues of the citizen soldier, this book claims that, in fact, the infantry platoon of the mass twentieth century army typically performed poorly and demonstrated low levels of cohesion in combat. With inadequate time and resources to train their troops for the industrial battlefield, citizen armies typically relied on appeals to masculinity, nationalism and ethnicity to unite their troops and to encourage them to fight. By contrast, cohesion among today's professional soldiers is generatedand sustained quite differently. While concepts of masculinity and patriotism are not wholly irrelevant, the combat performance of professional soldiers is based primarily on drills which are inculcated through intense training regimes. Consequently, the infantry platoon has become a highly skilledteam capable of collective virtuosity in combat. The increasing importance of training, competence and drills to the professional infantry soldier has not only changed the character of cohesion in the twenty-first century platoon but it has also allowed for a wider social membership of this group. Soldiers are no longer included or excluded intothe platoon on the basis of their skin colour, ethnicity, social background, sexuality or even sex (women are increasingly being included in the infantry) but their professional competence alone: can they do the job? In this way, the book traces a profound transformation in the western way ofwarfare to shed light on wider processes of transformation in civilian society.This book is a project of the Oxford Programme on the Changing Character of War.

Pricing and Purchase Info

$126.00

Ships within 1-3 weeks
Ships free on orders over $25

From the Publisher

How do small groups of combat soldiers maintain their cohesion under fire? This question has long intrigued social scientists, military historians, and philosophers. Based on extensive research and drawing on graphic analysis of close quarter combat from the Somme to Sangin, the book putsforward a novel and challenging answer to this q...

Anthony King has written extensively on social theory, football, and the armed forces, including his most recent book The Transformation of Europe's Armed Forces: from the Rhine to Afghanistan, published by Cambridge University Press in 2011. As a result of his research, he has developed close relations with the armed forces, especial...

other books by Anthony King

Who Governs Britain?
Who Governs Britain?

Kobo ebook|Apr 9 2015

$12.89 online$16.64list price(save 22%)
The Blunders of our Governments
The Blunders of our Governments

Kobo ebook|Sep 4 2014

$20.09 online$25.99list price(save 22%)
The Structure of Social Theory
The Structure of Social Theory

Kobo ebook|Aug 2 2004

$72.11

see all books by Anthony King
Format:HardcoverDimensions:512 pagesPublished:March 5, 2013Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199658846

ISBN - 13:9780199658848

Look for similar items by category:

Customer Reviews of The Combat Soldier: Infantry Tactics and Cohesion in the Twentieth and Twenty-First Centuries

Reviews

Extra Content

Table of Contents

Preface1. The Elementary Forms of the Military Life2. Cohesion3. The Marshall Effect4. Combat Motivation5. Mass Tactics6. Modern Tactics7. The Persistence of Mass8. Battle Drills9. Training10. Professional Solidarity11. The Female Soldier12. The Professional SocietyBibliography