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How Fighting Ends – A History of Surrender - Oxford Scholarship Online
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How Fighting Ends: A History of Surrender

Holger Afflerbach and Hew Strachan


There are many histories of how wars have begun, but very few which discuss how they have ended. This book fills that gap. Beginning with the Stone Age and ending with globalized terrorism, it addresses the specific issue of surrender, rather than the subsequent establishment of peace. At its heart is the individual warrior or soldier, and his or her decision to lay down arms. In the ancient world surrender led in most cases to slavery, but a slave still lived rather than died. In the modern world international law gives the soldiers rights as prisoners of war, and those rights include the pro ... More

Keywords: history of warfare, surrender, culture of war, military code of honour

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2012 Print ISBN-13: 9780199693627
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2012 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199693627.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Holger Afflerbach, editor
Professor and Chair of Central European History, University of Leeds

Hew Strachan, editor
Chichele Professor of the History of War, Director of the Changing Character of War Programme, and Fellow of All Souls College, University of Oxford

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How Fighting Ends: A History of Surrender

Holger Afflerbach and Hew Strachan

Part I No Quarter? The Beginnings of Surrender

3 Surrender in Ancient Rome

Loretana de Libero

Part II Learning to Surrender? The Middle Ages


Hans-Henning Kortüm

Part III The Development of Rules and Regulations: Surrender in Early Modern Times


John A. Lynn I I

Part III a Surrender in Intercultural Wars

Part III b Surrender in Early Modern Europe

Part IV A Question of Honour: Surrender in Sea Warfare

Part V The Times of International Law: Surrender in Modern Wars


Hew Strachan

Part V a The Nineteenth Century

Part V b Surrender in World War I

Part VI Unconditional Surrender? World War II


Gerhard L. Weinberg

Part VI a ‘Conventional’ Surrenders

Part VI b Germany and Japan in World War II

Part VII Our Times: Asymmetric Wars—Endless Wars and No Surrender?

A ‘True Chameleon’?

Holger Afflerbach and Hew Strachan

End Matter