From Appomattox Courthouse to the Hall of Mirrors at the Versailles palace, from the beaches of Dunkirk to the toppling statues of Saddam Hussein in Baghdad, the moment of victory in any conflict, whether temporary or definitive, has and will always incorporate a similarly powerful moment of defeat. History may be written by winners, but it is lived equally by the losers. ‘Defeat’ exists upon a multitude of levels: military and political, strategic and tactical, absolute and partial, permanent and temporary, complete triumph and mere absence of victory, societal and individual, and even concrete and spiritual. The aim of this collection of essays is to examine the manner in which defeat in its military form has been understood and remembered by individuals and societies in the era of modern industrialised warfare.
Macleod, J. (2008). Defeat and Memory: Cultural Histories of Military Defeat in the Modern Era. Palgrave Macmillan