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Browned Off and Bloody-MindedThe British Soldier Goes to War 1939-1945$
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Alan Allport

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780300170757

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300170757.001.0001

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Categories of Courage

Categories of Courage

(p.243) Chapter 13 Categories of Courage
Browned Off and Bloody-Minded

Alan Allport

Yale University Press

This chapter describes the categories of courage that were tested under different circumstances during the war, and which soldiers possessed to widely fluctuating degrees. There was the courage displayed in the heat of the moment, the adrenaline-fuelled, almost impudent boldness that could occasionally propel men to conduct actions of the most astonishing fearlessness. A second, altogether different category of courage is the unglamorous but more fundamental courage of the long haul. This was the courage of soldiers who risked their lives day after day without faltering or complaint, who never did anything particularly dramatic, but whose calm competence was often a good deal more valuable to their comrades than the occasional rush of blood to the head. The chapter also discusses what happens to soldiers once their capital of courage was exhausted; nervous breakdowns in combat; and why the majority of British troops successfully withstood the test of war.

Keywords:   British soldiers, combat, violence, fearlessness, courage, bravery, nervous breakdown

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