Fear: Soldiers and Emotion in Early Twentieth-Century Russian Military Psychology

Plamper, Jan. 2009. Fear: Soldiers and Emotion in Early Twentieth-Century Russian Military Psychology. Slavic Review, 68(2), pp. 259-283. ISSN 0037-6779 [Article]

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This article provides an analysis of the locus of fear in military psychology in late imperial Russia. After the Russo-Japanese War and the 1905 Revolution, the debate coalesced around two poles: "realists" (such as the military psychiatrist Grigorii Shumkov) argued that fear was natural, while "romantics" upheld the image of constitutionally fearless soldiers. Jan Plamper begins by identifying the advent of modern warfare (foreshadowed by the Crimean War) and its engendering of more and different fears as a key cause for a dramatic increase in fear-talk among Russia's soldiers. He links these fears to literature, which offered—most prominently in Lev Tolstoi's "Sevastopol Sketches" (1855)—some of the vocabulary soldiers could use to express their fears. Mikhail Dragomirov's fear-centered military theory during the Great Reforms was the next milestone. Plamper closes by sketching the history of fear after World War I, from Iosif Stalin's penal battalions to the rehabilitation of military psychology under Nikita Khrushchev and beyond.

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Research Office > REF2014



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Date Deposited:

10 Oct 2013 09:31

Last Modified:

27 Jun 2017 10:28

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Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.



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