Dealing with killing the enemy

RMcDonagh

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I suppose when it comes down to it, if you have to kill someone it's because they'll either do the same to you, your oppos or the people you're there to help / protect. As Andy Wilson puts it ""He had an AK47 and he was going to kill me."

Then again I can't speak from experience, and I can certainly imagine it being very hard for some. It ruined my granddad, it was something he was never able to get over while my granduncle took it in his stride and never gave it much though, his logic was "it was either him or me". Something that needs to be given serious consideration by all when joining the armed forces, especially the infantry.
 

Stoo2k

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My grandad said, " When you have a gun pointing in your direction and the guy is going to pull the trigger, who wants to go home at the end of it? Me or them!"
 

byrney

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MBBMX

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It's probably the most underestimated psychological act there is.

Loads of people just assume that if at any given moment were they required to kill someone to save a family member, they would be able to do it, when really, most human beings, given the opportunity, would not react, as discomforting as it is to realise.

It's reassuring to remember though, that whilst no amount of training can fully prepare anyone for the act of killing, I like to think in our Armed Forces that we tend to iron out any 'gung ho' or 'get some' attitudes in training, in favour of reminding our lads that the stark reality is that they're signing up to kill the enemies of the state, whomever they are.

I feel sorry for US troops in some ways, since they're placed overseas bellowing 'Oo-rah' after having it drilled into them that killing 'for freedom' is the warrior's way. Yet when it comes down to it, if anyone lacks the reasoning or the realization that life and death in a war zone isn't always a grown man in uniform firing at you, that there are going to be moral circumstances presented to you that if handled incorrectly can have catastrophic after-effects, then that individual, sadly, is going to have to suffer for the rest of their life.

So whilst no-one except the sociopaths are immune to the psychological effects of killing, I think prior realization and respect for the task at hand can help greatly in reducing the impact that killing has on a young man's (or woman's) mind. Brainwashing and forcefulness are just recipes for disaster.
 

Kentish

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This is an excellent book; I would also highly recommend it. I'm just about to start reading the sister book, On Combat.

Wasn't aware of there being another! Where did you get it? Just had a quick google, it's like ?11+!
 

Qwerty123

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If you're interested in this subject, I would highly recommend reading the following:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Killing-Psychological-Cost-Learning-Society/dp/0316330116

Check a local library before buying, I'd suggest, but it's definitely worth buying if they don't have it!

I know AA is a fan.

Seconded, good book.

Here is a link to an excellent 2-part documentary called "The Truth About Killing," which features the author of that book, as well as interviews with falkland veterans etc etc on their experiences:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2vlGR7S2wcI
 

byrney

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Wasn't aware of there being another! Where did you get it? Just had a quick google, it's like ?11+!

I got lucky and managed to get a used copy on ebay for around ?6 I think. I guess as it's not a mainstream book there aren't enough produced to bring the cost down, which is unfortunate as it looks very interesting and informative.
 
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