My language intuition may be imperfect. Still, in cases of overpowering and disruptive or damaging forces, I would refer words such as ‘yielding’ or ‘succumbing’ to inanimate objects. A tree might succumb to drought. A dam might yield to water. The effect would be that of a dramatic narrative. http://teresapelka.hubpages.com/hub/Carpe-Linguam I have noticed uses like a person's 'succumbing to a wound/poison/cancer'. Would you consider them natural?
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If you care to say that when you become shot, your choice is to be shot down, fine with me, why should I question your language use. Do you choose to die - do you say, 'what the heck or hell, I just die right now, to be a nice guy' (succumb) ?
Webster definitions would allow volition: you succumb to temptation, your wife, or give up a loosing battle. Wounds, illnesses, or poisons would not have this negotiating aspect of volition - they are overpowering.
It's more often in British English. I don't feel much concerned with their ways.
It would be most awkward on the part of any commenters to try to win an audience saying 'he/she succumbed to the guillotine'. Obviously, they cut your head off not asking your permission. Wrong. If you don't have the head owner's permission, leave it
Stay inanimate over the Charlie, should you want to belong the 'most humans' ;)
No, Webster does not promote the humility as to die for others' wishes. Webster does not imply resistance in the word 'succumb' itself. 'Stretcher bearers!' (would you look up the etymology?)
'To succumb' can be only an act of volition. A human decides to get along, or if overpowered, couldn't be assumed willing. If you look it up with the Webster, you get the passive voice for the active, if there should be overpowering.
'His legs succumbed' shows the cognitive distance to the body part to fail. Legs don't have independent volition. You don't yet say you 'succumbed to a bullet/quillotine, etc. If someone robs you, it's not submissiveness if you can't defend yourself.
With that explanation I understand what you're asking for and the answer is No.
Thanks! I found this use the media and wondered if it really was correct. Myself, I'd never say someone 'succumbed' when he or she would be unable to act according to own volition. The media use is probably some overgeneralized dramatic narrative.