Beyond Duty: The Reason Some Soldiers Commit Atrocities

ISBN: 9781625451125
$23.00 $33.00
Soldiers have gone to war throughout the ages. Some commit atrocities. There are some similar factors that caused these actions.
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  • Historians in large part have described in detail the actions of military groups that have committed brutalities, but not have dealt with the factors that contributed to those actions

  • This book will appeal to historians and readers of all levels interested in military history and the reasons behind the actions of soldiers in combat

  • A reference book for students of psychology studying the effects of external and internal forces on young soldiers

  • Policy-makers will want to read this book as they plan and direct the actions of military groups

Accounts of brutality fill the history of warfare. The behaviour of any human being is a complex phenomenon whether in war or peace. Historians have described in detail the actions of military groups that committed brutalities, but failed to deal with the factors that contributed to those actions.

After examining the collective behaviour of six military groups, representing combat actions in different periods in history, unexpected similarities became clear: there are comparable factors, which allowed men to kill, women and children in cold blood and to commit acts of unspeakable brutality. Five principle factors that had the greatest influence, either directly or indirectly, on the groups have been identified. Together, the factors supported each other and crystallised into a modus operandi that resulted in atrocities and bestial acts on civilians.

Beyond Duty: The Reason Some Soldiers Commit Atrocities is the first book to identify the factors that lead to the most horrific cruelty in history and to predict the actions of future groups given similar circumstances.

BOOK ISBN 9781625451125
FORMAT 234 x 156 mm
BINDING Hardback
PAGES 288 pages
ILLUSTRATIONS 40 black-and-white photographs



Walter S. Zapotoczny Jr. is an award-winning writer/editor with over 25 years’ experience and is the author of over 150 published articles and three books. Zapotoczny Jr. is a contributing writer and reviewer for several international publications and is a former historian with the US Army, specialising in military history and Holocaust studies. A native of Pennsylvania, he holds a Bachelor of Arts degree with honours in world military history and a Master of Arts with honours in global history from the American Public University.