Self-deception and Survival: Mental Coping Strategies on the Western Front, 1914-18

@article{Watson2006SelfdeceptionAS,
  title={Self-deception and Survival: Mental Coping Strategies on the Western Front, 1914-18},
  author={Alexander Watson},
  journal={Journal of Contemporary History},
  year={2006},
  volume={41},
  pages={247 - 268}
}
  • A. Watson
  • Published 1 April 2006
  • History
  • Journal of Contemporary History
This article reinvestigates German and British soldiers’ impressive resilience during the first world war. Rather than following previous historiography’s societal and military-institutional approaches, it focuses on combatants’ psychology. Men coped overwhelmingly successfully by failing to recognize fully the front’s disempowering and dangerous nature. Fears were repressed or minimized with black humour. Through religion and superstition, imagined order was imposed on the chaotic environment… 
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