Introduction: War and Sexuality in Europe’s Twentieth Century

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The transformation of European military history from a marginal enclave into a major growth area and enormously respected subfield of the discipline of history writ large has taken place within the last dozen years. Whether the sources of the booming growth in military history and its increasing integration into the mainstream of the discipline can be found in the end of the Cold War and the resurgence in many parts of the globe of interethnic strife and ‘hot wars’ (and, more recently, the increasing incidents of terrorism and subsequent attempts to combat it), or in the succession of numerous anniversaries related to past wars (perhaps most significantly the 50th anniversary of the end of World War II in 1995), or in dynamics more internal to the subfield of military history which more and more opened itself to wider social historical trends (e.g. an interest in the daily lives of soldiers, the impacts of wars on home fronts, or the aftermaths of wars in military occupations and new regimes) even as social historians themselves became increasingly interested in utilizing diaries and letters produced during wars remains an open question. All these factors were consequential. What is indisputable is the richness and variety of the resulting research findings and analyses.1




Herzog, D. (2009). Introduction: War and Sexuality in Europe’s Twentieth Century. In Genders and Sexualities in History (pp. 1–15). Palgrave Macmillan.

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