Armut, Arbeit, Abenteuer : Sozialprofil und Motivationsstruktur von Schweizer Söldnern in der Moderne

Huber, Peter and Koller, Christian. (2015) Armut, Arbeit, Abenteuer : Sozialprofil und Motivationsstruktur von Schweizer Söldnern in der Moderne. Vierteljahrschrift für Sozial- und Wirtschaftsgeschichte, Bd. 102, H. 1. pp. 30-51.

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Official URL: http://edoc.unibas.ch/dok/A6329096

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Swiss mercenaries had been extremely famous in pre-modern Europe, yet in the mid-19th century, the young Swiss Confederation illegalised foreign military service. Nevertheless, a large number of Swiss men would serve in foreign mercenary armies during the 19th and 20th centuries. This article concentrates on this group’s social structure and their motivations. The overwhelming majority originated from the lowest strata of society. They had week family ties, were poorly educated and lacked any career perspectives. Most of them when entering foreign military service were in only temporary employment as unskilled workers or even unemployed. Foreign military service, especially in the French Foreign Legion, thus was to many of them a last resort, rather than the romantic adventure it was portrayed as in contemporary movies and novels. However, soldiers’ and ex-soldiers’ perceptions of this service varied considerably. Whilst some of them simply compared it to slavery, others emphasized career opportunities, either in the military hierarchy or in their post-mercenary lives through skills acquired during their military service.
Faculties and Departments:04 Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
04 Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > Departement Geschichte > Ehemalige Einheiten Geschichte > Historisches Seminar
UniBasel Contributors:Huber, Peter
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:07 Aug 2015 12:06
Deposited On:07 Aug 2015 12:06

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