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During the First World War, the Australian Government refused to allow members of the First Australian Imperial Force (AIF) to be executed for desertion, despite pressure from the British Government and military to do so. The AIF had the highest rate of soldiers going absent without leave of any of the national contingents in the British Expeditionary Force, and the proportion of soldiers who deserted was also higher than that of other forces on the Western Front in France.
Conversely, France considered as highly praiseworthy the act of citizens of Alsace-Lorraine who during WWI deserted from the German army. After the war it was decided to award all such deserters the Escapees' Medal (French: Médaille des Évadés).
During the First World War, only 18 Germans who deserted were executed. However, the Germans executed 15,000 men who deserted from the Wehrmacht during the Second World War. In June 1988 the Initiative for the Creation of a Memorial to Deserters who deserted the Wehrmacht came to life in Ulm.
During the First World War 28 New Zealand soldiers were sentenced to death for desertion; of these, five were executed. These soldiers were posthumously pardoned in 2000 through the Pardon for Soldiers of the Great War Act. Those who deserted before reaching the front were imprisoned in what were claimed to be harsh conditions.
The Afghan army, comprising 100,000 men before 1978, was reduced to 15,000 within the first year of the Soviet invasion. Of the Afghan troops that remained, many were considered untrustworthy to Soviet troops. Afghans that deserted often took artillery with them, supplying the mujahideen. Soviet troops, to fill Afghan soldiers' place, were pushed into mountainous tribal regions of the East. Soviet tanks and modern warfare was ineffective in the rural, mountainous regions of Afghanistan. Mujahideen tactics of ambush prevented Soviets from developing successful counterattacks.
Throughout the Second World War, almost 100,000 British and Commonwealth troops deserted from the armed forces. Capital punishment for desertion was abolished in 1930 so most were imprisoned.
During the American Civil War, both the Union and Confederacy had a desertion problem. From its 2.5 million or so men, the Union Army saw about 200,000 desertions. Over 100,000 deserted the Confederate army, which was less than a million men and possibly as little as a third the size of the Union one.
Adoption of a localist identity caused soldiers to desert as well. When soldiers implemented a local identity, they neglected to think of themselves as Southerners fighting a Southern cause. When they replaced their Southern identity with their previous local identity, they lost their motive to fight and, therefore, deserted the army.
A growing threat to the solidarity of the Confederacy was dissatisfaction in the Appalachian mountain districts caused by lingering unionism and a distrust of the slave power. Many of their soldiers deserted, returned home, and formed a military force that fought off regular army units trying to punish them. North Carolina lost 23% of its soldiers (24,122) to desertion. The state provided more soldiers per capita than any other Confederate state, and had more deserters as well.
According to the Department of Defense, 503,926 United States servicemen deserted during the Vietnam War between 1 July 1966 to 31 December 1973. Some of these migrated to Canada. Among those who deserted to Canada were Andy Barrie, host of Canadian Broadcasting Corporation Radio's Metro Morning, and Jack Todd, sports columnist for the Montreal Gazette. Other countries also gave asylum to deserted U.S. soldiers. For example, Sweden allows asylum for foreign soldiers deserting from war, if the war does not align with the current goals of Swedish foreign policy.
Deserted Villages: Perspectives from the Eastern Mediterranean is a collection of case studies examining the abandonment of rural settlements over the past millennium and a half, focusing on modern-day Greece with contributions from Turkey and the United States. Unlike other parts of the world, where deserted villages have benefited from decades of meticulous archaeological research, in the eastern Mediterranean better-known ancient sites have often overshadowed the nearby remains of more recently abandoned settlements. Yet as the papers in this volume show, the tide is finally turning toward a more engaged, multidisciplinary, and anthropologically informed archaeology of medieval and post-medieval rural landscapes.
Few citizens are more honored than military veterans, and there's particular reverence for those who defeated the Nazis in World War II. Like any war, however, World War II was complicated and traumatic for those on the ground, and not a few deserted from the front lines.
"In the American army, only about 10 percent of the soldiers in uniform actually saw combat," Glass tells Fresh Air's Dave Davies, "and they were very rarely rotated out of the fronts. Most of the people [who] deserted were those who broke down in battle. ... That figure of 50,000 ... is extremely high given the number of men who were actually at the front."
"It was very rare for those veterans to turn in a fellow from their unit who deserted. They often saw them deserting the front lines but didn't say a word. The ones who turned them in were the rear echelon troops. So when they went back to Paris or Lyon or somewhere where there was no battle, and a cook or clerk at a desk ... would [see] someone was a deserter ... he would turn them in. But the front-line soldiers very rarely turned in their fellow front-line soldiers ... because they felt, 'There but by the grace of God go I.' "
Wharram Percy is one of the largest and best preserved of Britain's 3,000 or so known deserted medieval villages. It is also undoubtedly the most famous. For over 60 years, archaeologists have pioneered new techniques here to understand what life was like in the village and why it was eventually deserted.
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A quarry is a surface mining operated place, which produces enormous quantities of gravel, limestone, and other materials for industrial and construction applications. Restoration and revegetation of deserted quarries are becoming increasingly important. Three areas of a typical quarry in South China: terrace for crushed materials (terrace), spoiled mound, and remaining side slope, were investigated, to compare the existing plant species and to study the relationship between environmental factors and revegetation. The plant species composition of these three areas was found to differ significantly after eight years of natural recovery. The typical plant communities found over them were composed of gramineous herbs, ferns, and shrubs. Soil organic matter, soil moisture, and soil bulk density were considered to be the major determining factors for vegetation succession. There existed abiotic and biotic thresholds during quarrying restoration. Suggestions had been presented that could have accelerated the process of natural recovery in quarries. 2b1af7f3a8