War weariness

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War fatigue is a metaphor that describes the reluctance of soldiers and / or the civilian population to continue a war .


Fatigue is the result of fatigue , i.e. the temporary ( reversible ) reduction in physical and / or psychological performance . Correspondingly, war fatigue in the metaphor is the temporary reduction in the ability and, above all, the will to wage war.

Creation of war fatigue in wars

War fatigue is a central motive for making peace, especially after long wars .

Accordingly, it is a goal of belligerent powers to create war weariness in the opposing population. One example is the aerial warfare in World War II , in which a large number of firestorms caused by area bombing with high explosive and incendiary bombs as part of the aerial warfare were intended to undermine the morale of the opposing population (moral bombing ). Another example is a war of attrition , with effects similar to terror .

War propaganda plays an important role in creating or preventing war fatigue . In particular, perseverance slogans are intended to prevent war fatigue.


Outside of war, war fatigue also plays a role in politics, and here in particular in defense policy . War fatigue not only lowers willingness to wage wars of aggression , it also lowers readiness for military service .

War fatigue is therefore also cited as a major reason for the appeasement policy , the rejection of rearmament or the peace movement .

Web links

Wiktionary: War weariness  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations