Daily Archives: February 5, 2009

Didn’t mean to step on your toes, Brother

or engage my weapon–I didn’t know it was you.

When I was an undergrad at Emory University, I worked in the Government Documents section of the main library.  When I was a grad student at Emory University, I did as well, though very briefly.  During the summer of 2006, I came across this study:

Amicide: The Problem of Friendly Fire in Modern War
by: Lieutenant Colonel Charles R. Shrader, U.S. Army
December 1982
Research Survey Vol. 1 Combat Studies Institute

It discusses WW I, WW II, the Korean War, and Vietnam and why/how friendly fire takes place.  There are specific examples of incidences involving the chaos of attack and retreat.

I thought this part was quite fascinating, from the introduction.

“The noun amicide, derived by the legitimate combination of the Latin noun amicus, -us (friend) with the common latinate suffix for killing (-cide), provides a single word that adequately describes without distracting connotation the incidence of human casualties (both dead and wounded) incurred by military forces in active combat operations as a result of being fired upon unintentionally by the weapons of their own or allied forces.”  (viii).


Read the study here.

The reason I even bring up this topic is because of this news story regarding an increase in suicide in the army.