Present day soldiers, who mutilate enemy corpses or take body-parts as trophies, are typically considered to be suffering from the extreme stresses of battle.
But, research  shows that this sort of misconduct has most often been carried out by fighters who viewed the enemy as racially different from themselves and used images of the hunt to describe their actions.
“The roots of this behavour lie  in a social history of racism and in military traditions that use hunting metaphors for war. Although this misconduct is very rare, it has persisted in predictable patterns since the European Enlightenment. This was the period when the first ideologies of race began to appear, classifying some human populations as closer to animals than others.”
Metaphors of ‘war-as-hunting’ that lie at the root of such misconduct are still strong in some armed forces in Europe and North America, not only in military training but in the media and in soldiers’ own self-perception.