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Soldiers Honour

Croatian Sociological Association and Jesenski & Turk Publishing House
Publication Date
  • Ratnik
  • čast
  • Vojni Poziv
  • Vijetnamski Rat
  • Soldier
  • Honour
  • Calling
  • Vietnam War


The paper deals with the question of soldier’s honour as a value that is an integral part of the soldier’s mentality and, as such, present in all military societies throughout history. The author defines honour through the development of the code of honour. He traces the transformation of the notion of honour from an exclusively aristocrat trait in medieval times to a trait which the middle and upper class share with the military elite, in matters relating to vocation, as well as those connected with personal honour. As a contemporary example the author examines the American soldiers’ understanding of honour during the Vietnam War. Through the analysis of letters and diaries of the soldiers who participated in military operations, the author shows how much contemporary warfare has distanced itself from the traditional romantic notion of honour. A dishonourable war, as the Vietnam War has already been defined, through American soldiers’ writings on it most often show an absence of the concept of honour.

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