Dear Richard,
It is not restricted to men: women have historically been cooperative and emotionally connected. But also in much of history and space, they have been separated by the expectation and even cultural requirement that they remain in separate homes with husbands in charge. When, for example, the suffragettes in England went to jail and were force fed (a form of torture), they exhibited the same willingness to be heroic with their sisters. In one Highland village, during the Clearances, it was all the women who met those sent to remove them and fought for their land. The lost, of course. It has been used about men because until very recently soldiers were all men. Have you read Achilles in Viet Nam? It examines this phenomenon--I think convincingly.
I have read a lot of the analysis, and I don't doubt this reason, but how does it outweigh total horror?
Also, some neighborhoods may well have decided to enlist together, but it was also deliberate war policy to encourage that, and it was organized. It made the whole thing seem like mates together on an adventure. Ironically, it is also why so many whole towns lost nearly all their young men.

>>> Richard Seddon <[log in to unmask]> 11/19/12 11:47 AM >>>

Nancy wrote, "How did any of them live even a day"

Because all their "mates" were there with them

It is an often commented factoid that men in combat will endure most anything and perform heroic acts while enduring it as long as their friends are nearby and enduring the same life challenges. Why this is i have no idea and I also have no idea whether it is gender specific.

It is why during WW I neighborhoods of men enlisted together, were kept together as soldiers and all to often were killed together.

Today, as an example, establishing group identity is one of the central tasks of SEAL training

Richard Seddon
Portales, NM