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

Anthony King


How are soldiers able to fight together in combat and why are they willing to do so? The phenomenon of small-group cohesion on the battlefield has long fascinated social scientists, philosophers, and historians. Examining the evolution of infantry platoon tactics from the First World War to current operations in Afghanistan, this book proposes a provocative sociological thesis. It challenges many existing presumptions about military cohesion and combat performance by highlighting the fundamental difference between cohesion displayed by the citizen soldiers of the twentieth century and today’s ... More

Keywords: citizen soldier, professional soldier, first world war, second world war, Vietnam, Afghanistan

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2013 Print ISBN-13: 9780199658848
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2013 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199658848.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Anthony King, author
Professor of Sociology, University of Exeter