Traditional military history has focused on battles and generals, but in the 1970s, John Keegan and others shifted that focus to the perspective ofthe ordinary soldier. In this "New Military History" -and given our present interest in cultural history -the primary concern is with intangible matters: regret, enthusiasm for combat, coping with loss and the reasons for being prepared to use extreme violence, but also the social circumstances of the soldier and the economic effects on "the home front". The Royal Netherlands East Indies Army (KNIL) has been the subject of many publications, dealing mainly with warfare (and its glorification), the generals, or the esprit de corps. With the exception, however, of a few often rather hagiographic biographies and fragments of the careers of generals and brilliant junior officers, there are no exemplary studies of the life and work of officers from the start of their career through to retirement. There are a few scholarly biographies of men who served for a time in the KNIL, but their primary focus is on what those individuals became famous for and not on their military career. The biography ofa KNIL officer is therefore a good way ofdealing with this gap in our knowledge. That is all the more so because it then becomes possible to depict the tension between the institutional position ofthe subject -what happened to him during his career, without his having a choice in the matter -and the personal aspect, i.e. the choices he made for himself.
|Kwalificatie||Doctor of Philosophy|
|Datum van toekenning||14-okt.-2010|
|Plaats van publicatie||Groningen|
|Status||Published - 2010|