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Inf Coy as a society: WWII

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  • Inf Coy as a society: WWII

    During the Second World War Knut Pipping, a young Finnish sociologist, served as a NCO in a Finnish machine gun company. In 1942, during the war, he began an extensive sociological study of his own company. He gathered empirical material systematically during and after the war, and in 1947 his work was published as a doctoral dissertation at Åbo Academi. The dissertation was written in Swedish and had only a short English summary. In 2001 the Finnish Military Sociological Society started a project to translate Knut Pipping’s study into English.

    There are very few scientific military sociological or military psychological studies that deal with small, integrated World War II military units, like platoons, companies or batteries. “The American Soldier”, a classical WW II study, was based on large-scale surveys and did not focus on small platoon or company-sized units. There are also a great number of very good military historical books and articles that deal with platoon or company-sized units in the Second World War, for instance “Band of Brothers” (Ambrose 2002, also a TV series), which tells the story of one infantry company. Although books like “Band of Brothers” provide fascinating reading and extremely interesting data for researchers, they are not scientific studies, like Pipping’s. Since Pipping’s work is relatively unknown to the English-speaking readership, and since there are very few similar small unit WW II studies, the Finnish Military Sociological Society wanted to have it translated into English.
    PDF here
    "The Question is not: how far you will take this? The Question is do you possess the constitution to go as far as is needed?"

  • #2
    Nice find. Looking forward to reading that after my exams.
    "Attack your attic with a seen on the Late Late Show..."


    • #3
      Hi all,
      You should read "From the City, from the Plough", by Alexander Frater(I think).Brilliant on this topic.