Combat Morale Podcast E8S1 released today

On my other website the above is out! Historian and author Dr George Lepre talks about the ‘fragging’ phenomenon that occurred in US forces during the latter stages of the 1965-72 Vietnam War. You can listen here:

‘Fragging’is the deliberate killing or attempted killing by a soldier of a fellow soldier, usually an officer or NCO. The word was coined by U.S. military personnel during the Vietnam War, when such killings were most often attempted with a fragmentation grenade.

From 1965 to 1968, incidents of fragging were virtually unknown. However, in 1969, 96 instances were recorded, in 1970, 209 and in 1971, 222. As the number of episodes increased so the US presence in Vietnam was rapidly reduced from the 1969 peak of 543,000 personnel to fewer than 200,000 two years later.

In the interview, George provides a convincing explanation for perpetrators motivations and why the phenomenon started to occur from 1968/9 onwards. He explains that the vast majority of attacks occurred in non-combat units in garrison type environments and he examined the records of the 71 combatants convicted of crimes to scrutinise whether they had common background characteristics.

My previous review of his book is at