Military Aviation > Defence in General

Haditha Massacre

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A large percentage of the composition of the regular "grunts" in an infantry unit are young kids, just out of school and ready to prove they are men. When competent officers and SNCOs are in charge, this is fine. The various units move and act in disciplined manners.

When the morale of a unit is low, the officers and SNCOs may lose a lot of control of their "men" and it becomes easier for these kids to do stupid things. A lot of these join the army with the mentality of getting out there and killing "them rag-heads". Ask a bunch of soldiers why they join up and that's often what you'll hear.

I don't have the details behind this particular event, but I would not put it past the lower ranks that their passion for fighting got the better of them. It's not something that has a rare occurrence. Soldiers take their lead from the SNCOs that are supposed to inspire them, based on direction from their commanding officer. If there are issues down this chain, accidents and tragic events can easily happen.

F-111 C/C:
As unfortunate as it is, events like this have taken place in every war, and will probably continue to, do to the unnatural stresses combat puts on human beings psyche. Media coverage has seemed to make it more prevalent now but as the coverage got better (Korean war, Vietnam war, etc.) so to did the number of reports but I can assure you it has always happened to some extent.

shawn a:
I wonder if Atilla the Hun's troops suffered from post-traumatic-stress-syndrome.
And I wonder what Atilla the Hun did about it.


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