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This book was written to explain a startling fact: throughout most of military history, up until the end of World War II, the vast majority of soldiers (between 75 and 95%) have refused to kill. The Battle of Gettysburg is considered one of America's bloodiest battles, but as Grossman shows, it could have been a great deal bloodier.
Averages and estimates suggest that during Napoleonic and Civil War times, an entire regiment, firing from a range of thirty yards, would hit only one or two men a minute.
Explains Grossman:"In behavioral terms, the man shape popping up in the soldier's field of fire is the 'conditioned stimulus', the immediate engaging of the target is the 'target behavior'.
'Positive reinforcement' is given in the form of immediate feedback when the target drops if it is hit...
It is an opportunity for us to reflect on the language and ideas that represented each year.The idea that psychiatric casualties - henceforth abbreviated PCs - are due to fear of death is pretty intuitive.That was a major reason for the German bombing of Allied cities, and the Allies' bombing of German civilians. Additionally, Grossman's admiration for his fellow soldiers is made manifest throughout the book. Dave Grossman is a military psychologist, not a scientist, and as a scientist I found it incredibly frustrating to read this book - almost none of his assertions are sourced or cited in full.