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Atrocities, conscience, and unrestricted warfare: US Submarines during the Second World War

Sturma, M. (2009) Atrocities, conscience, and unrestricted warfare: US Submarines during the Second World War. War in History, 16 (4). pp. 447-468.

Link to Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0968344509341686
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Abstract

This article explores the meanings of ‘unrestricted warfare’ as practised by US submarines in the Pacific during the Second World War. The submarine war in the Pacific is typically represented as a series of torpedo attacks that devastated Japanese warships, freighters, and tankers. There was also, however, a less familiar submarine war fought on the surface with deck guns. Particularly in the later stages of the war, submarines attacked hundreds of small craft of questionable military value. Drawing on comparisons with Allied aerial bombing campaigns, it is argued that, while the submarine war involved a similar blurring of combat and atrocity, submariners frequently acted on their consciences in encounters with the enemy and civilians.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Social Sciences and Humanities
Publisher: Sage Publications
Copyright: 2009 SAGE
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/19415
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