Lethality in Combat shines a blazing light on the three most controversial aspects of military combat: the necessity of killing; the taking, or not, of prisoners; and the targeting of civilians. This book argues that when a nation-state sends its soldiers to fight, the state must accept the full implications of this, uncomfortable as they may be. Drawing on seven conflicts - the Boer War, World Wars I and II, and the wars in Korea, Vietnam, the Falklands and Iraq - the author considers these ethical issues.
A retired naval officer and high school teacher, Dr Tom Lewis OAM served in the Australian Defence Force, where he saw active service as an intelligence analyst in the Middle East. Tom has written 21 history books, with his most recent being “The Sinking of HMAS Sydney”, which focuses on living, fighting and dying in WWII cruisers. “The Bombing of Darwin – Australia Remembers 4”, was written for young people – while “Lethality in Combat”, republished as “The Truth of War”, remains his most controversial. In 2003 Tom was awarded the Order of Australia Medal for meritorious service to the Royal Australian Navy, particularly in the promotion of Australian naval history. In 2021 he was the winner of the Commodore Sam Bateman National Book Prize from the Australian Naval Institute for “Teddy Sheean VC”.