I believe that G.S.Patton said that there was no honour in dieing for your country, its about making the other poor bastard die for his. Therefore, a dead soldier is an unproductive one, and one that must be replaced, probaly from an ever dwindling stock. So the longer you stay alive the better you serve your country/cause. The British have a habit of creating heroic episodes out of near, or actual, disasters, I'll not name them as the collective knowledge of this site will know of many tens, hundreds or even thousands of actions. I do know that discipline, espirt d' corps, unit pride, history and your mates come into it. For instance if you now belong to The Rifles, you'll be related to the Glosters, who have a habit of getting themselves into "last man" fights or the lesser charge of "hold out for as long as you can", most British Regts (and probably most foreign Regts, or perhaps I should say countries, as British Regts alone have tried to retain a continuous 450 year connection, no thanks to the politicians) have at least one story of such action to pull up a sandbag to. I refer to the action by German Regts at the Battle of Berezina (or Beresina), in Poland, which took place November 26–29 (bit nippy), 1812 involving such troops as Westphalia infantry, who were still mustering to their colours and giving fire when the bridge collapsed, leaving them stranded on the Russian side and the Baden Hussars and Hesse-Darmstadt Chevelegers who took part in the "Charge of Death", giving their life time to provide escape time for the rest of the army (bloodymindedness is not the sole possession of the Brits). And, as has been mentioned earlier, a French Waffen SS unit was one of the last effective, and dogged, defenders of Berlin. It's probably just as well we didn't have to clear the Japanese mainland, what would honour have brought then?