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Includes 10 detailed tables
‘War is often depicted in the textbooks as a well-orchestrated, albeit violent, exercise in which opposing units strive to achieve tactical and strategic objectives. That each side will suffer casualties in the process is taken for granted; they are the inevitable, if regretable, consequence of such a deadly undertaking. That each side is almost certain to suffer casualties inflicted by its own forces is not generally taken for granted. Yet, in each of America’s wars, especially those of the twentieth century, a significant number of soldiers have been killed or wounded as the result of friendly fire. The fact that the percentage of casualties resulting from friendly fire from World War I through Vietnam has been extremely low does not make the accidental killing or wounding of one’s own troops any less tragic or unpalatable. Nor does it offer much consolation to the commander responsible for the lives of his troops or to the soldier who runs the risk of falling victim to the fire of his own forces.
To be sure, each branch of the Army and each of the Armed Services employ measures calculated to prevent incidents of friendly fire...Before one can undertake a serious and comprehensive analysis of friendly fire, these data must be found and brought together in one place.
In Amicicide: The Problem of Friendly Fire in Modern War, LTC Charles R. Shrader has taken a major step toward the compilation of these data. In his well-informed narrative, he draws tentative conclusions about the causes and effects of friendly fire and offers recommendations for those who expect to study the subject further. He has, in short, produced a superb reference book and a springboard for a deeper and more comprehensive analysis of this grim and complex problem.’-Foreword