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Old 11-20-2014, 12:00 PM
 
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By distant past I mean in Antiquity and Medieval days. Obviously there was no such thing as PTSD known back then, but for a King/Emperor that commanded large Armies how likely do you think PTSD would've effected them and thus their fighting ability? Now we have a more or less controlled way of fighting and we use guns but back in the days where guys had to actually get up close and personal stabbing guys and hacking off limbs wouldn't it be fair to say it was just as much, if not more of an issue?
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Old 11-20-2014, 03:11 PM
 
Location: FROM Dixie, but IN SoCal
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Simply put, yes.
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Old 11-20-2014, 03:29 PM
 
Location: North Beach, MD on the Chesapeake
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Shell shock.
Combat fatigue.

Both fairly modern names used prior to PTSD.
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Old 11-20-2014, 08:07 PM
 
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You know I'd think that it was highly likely that ancient commanders did experience the fact that some of their soldiers would break down with perhaps continuous and ferocious fighting when on campaign. Wonder what the word they used for it! That 'breakdown' would probably
be based on the duration and intensity of the combat they experienced.

The way battles were fought in the ancient world no doubt were a bit different on some matters, i. e. weapons, tactics, generalship etc but in the main men who fought just couldn't be very different than modern fighters. If a group was left continually fighting say for a long period of time under great duress and with no prospect of leave the result would be the same as in modern warfare namely the group would lose their fighting effectiveness. I don't think soldiers in any century or era would be different when it came to engaging in deadly battle especially when it involvied stress and anxiety. Regardless of time period, there always would be limits as to what soldiers can endure on battlefields.
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Old 11-20-2014, 08:48 PM
 
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An interesting question.
Those times was full of the cruelty (nothing have changed though) and maybe people were psychologically stronger.
But in all times there was such important thing like morale.

Last edited by Atai J.; 11-20-2014 at 08:57 PM..
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Old 11-20-2014, 10:33 PM
 
Location: Miami, FL
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PeaceAndLove42 View Post
By distant past I mean in Antiquity and Medieval days. Obviously there was no such thing as PTSD known back then, but for a King/Emperor that commanded large Armies how likely do you think PTSD would've effected them and thus their fighting ability? Now we have a more or less controlled way of fighting and we use guns but back in the days where guys had to actually get up close and personal stabbing guys and hacking off limbs wouldn't it be fair to say it was just as much, if not more of an issue?
There is a book Achilles in Vietnam...
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Old 11-21-2014, 12:57 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PeaceAndLove42 View Post
By distant past I mean in Antiquity and Medieval days. Obviously there was no such thing as PTSD known back then, but for a King/Emperor that commanded large Armies how likely do you think PTSD would've effected them and thus their fighting ability? Now we have a more or less controlled way of fighting and we use guns but back in the days where guys had to actually get up close and personal stabbing guys and hacking off limbs wouldn't it be fair to say it was just as much, if not more of an issue?

Life was cheaper then. People were lucky to make it to their 30s, whether during war or not. I remember reading about people travelling west in America in the 1800s (not so long ago, relatively speaking), women would have stillborn babies and bury them wherever they were camping at the time and move on. Not that they didn't mourn, but it was just part of life. As far as PTSD in antiquity? Maybe some did feel it, we'll never know because it would have been a sign of weakness. It's only recently that it's been recognized in our military.
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Old 11-21-2014, 02:13 AM
 
Location: Texas Hill Country
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PeaceAndLove42 View Post
By distant past I mean in Antiquity and Medieval days. Obviously there was no such thing as PTSD known back then, but for a King/Emperor that commanded large Armies how likely do you think PTSD would've effected them and thus their fighting ability? Now we have a more or less controlled way of fighting and we use guns but back in the days where guys had to actually get up close and personal stabbing guys and hacking off limbs wouldn't it be fair to say it was just as much, if not more of an issue?
Maybe.

On combat stress, it is reported that those who see the eyes of their enemies experience the highest stress. So that would mean those on the ground and perhaps close air support. As I was told, "even those in 8th Air Force bombing Germany would have lower stress.".

BUT one must also keep in mind how society and individual orientation was different back then. Simply put, many a person probably didn't think of himself as an individual or at least, not as one thinks now. Further, one has to remember that the Church and its teachings were much more powerful back then than they are now. Basically, then, it was taught and probably believed that a life of suffering was good for the soul...........what does the common man think of that now?

Across the board, things were much different back then.
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Old 11-21-2014, 06:21 AM
 
Location: Miami, FL
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In Lord Moran's book the Anatomy of Courage there was the belief that courage can be visualized as a well that if one dipped into it too often then it would run dry. Ancient and Medieval armies would be in close combat contact for only a day or so and so did not experience the degradation of long term stress as occurs in modern warfare.

Although the ancient Roman accounts do show how a related experience panic and loss of morale would lead one army to cut the other to pieces in wholesale and generally undefended slaughter due to loss of cohesion and the will to fight.

Last edited by Felix C; 11-21-2014 at 06:42 AM..
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Old 11-21-2014, 06:29 AM
 
Location: North Beach, MD on the Chesapeake
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As a note, aviators are taught that they are "bombing targets" or shooting down other aircraft, not killing people.

One thing about warfare in the past, it wasn't constant, armies would have months if not years of standing down before a relatively short battle. Just look at the American Revolution, fighting in the warm months, winter encampment when it was cold. Sometimes the American and British armies were only a few miles apart.

During the Civil War George Armstrong Custer was on leave almost as much as he was with the Army. The same happened later when he was on the Plains fighting the Sioux.
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