Friendly fire is an attack by a military force on non-enemy, own, allied or neutral, forces while attempting to attack the enemy, either by misidentifying the target as hostile, or due to errors or inaccuracy. Fire not intended to attack the enemy, and deliberate firing on one's own troops for disciplinary reasons, is not called friendly fire; nor is unintentional harm to non-combatants or structures, which is sometimes referred to as collateral damage. Training accidents and bloodless incidents also do not qualify as friendly fire in terms of casualty reporting. Use of the term "friendly" in a military context for allied personnel from the First World War, often for shells falling short. The term friendly fire was originally adopted by the United States military; S.L.A Marshall used the term in Men Against Fire in 1947. Many North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) militaries refer to these incidents as blue on blue, which derives from military exercises where NATO forces were identified by blue pennants and units representing Warsaw Pact forces by orange pennants. Whereas in classical forms of warfare—including hand-to-hand combat—death from a "friendly" was rare, in industrialized warfare, deaths from friendly fire are common.
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