The term panic is often found too in the psychological and sociological specialist literature. Thus Marshall1 describes several cases. They are not based on personal experience and the accounts remain incomplete in his book. (Of course, this aspect is not his main object.) What he does describe, however, allows one to conclude that in these cases, too, we are not dealing with collective abandonment of self-control. The considered actions of individuals were followed by other soldiers who had their own good reasons for doing so. These are examples rather of lack of information or of leadership errors which led to uncertainty and mistakes by subordinates and other troops in the vicinity. Actual panic reactions as defined above are extremely rare. Even this is an important finding. Nevertheless literary sources deal fairly often with the theme and this is understandable. What is puzzling is why it attracts so spectacularly the attention of all leaders and fires the imagination of nearly everybody. Several of these works on panic are brief and clear.2 Little can be added. Therefore, we may, for the purpose of this study, disregard panic. There are other, more important subjects. It is much more fruitful to consider what could be termed, by a twist of the original definition, the 'panic of the individual'. Many sources describe again and again a kind of 'desperado behaviour' by individual soldiers, who suddenly lose their heads completely and exhibit suicidal tendencies. Hence it is preferable to attempt an explanation of this hitherto neglected phenomenon, which occurs much more frequently than panic. In the literature descriptions were repeatedly found of the 'lonely fighter', who has been left to resist the enemy all on his own. He too could not be discovered in personal accounts. A soldier is not easily separated from his friends and comrades. Even if army units break up and retreat in a disorderly manner or flee, old comrades will try to remain together. This explains why units assembled quickly in an emergency under a strong commander could fight with considerable success - a finding which is surprising in this context, as literature tends to claim the opposite. No doubt it is true to say that in the twentieth century soldiers no longer fight side by side, by going into battle in a shoulder to shoulder formation. Instead, and much to the surprise of the layman, the field of battle often appears deserted. There are no masses of troops or equipment.