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How Fighting EndsA History of Surrender$
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Holger Afflerbach and Hew Strachan

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199693627

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199693627.001.0001

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Introduction

Introduction

Surrender in Modern Warfare Since the French Revolution

Chapter:
(p.213) Introduction
Source:
How Fighting Ends
Author(s):

Hew Strachan

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199693627.003.0014

The French Revolution's stress on the rights of individuals extended to an acknowledgement of the rights of captured soldiers. But as the state claimed to represent the popular will, it became possible to see individual soldiers as more, not less, responsible for continued resistance. So guarantees of rights in international law were the necessary concomitant of the advent of ‘total’ war, particularly in ideological clashes where restraint might be forfeit. Preventing individual decisions to yield from converting into a mass phenomenon and in turn prompting the state to surrender was — in the first instance — the responsibility of the command chain. Thus the pattern of mass surrender, and whether it triggered a national collapse, goes to the heart of the relationship between the individual and the modern state.

Keywords:   laws of war, lieber code, command, French Revolution, First World War, Second World War, Stalingrad, terrorism, command

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