I’m working on a manuscript for a friend who served as a combat medic, four tours, two in in Iraq and two in Afghanistan. This is a non-fiction story, so to familiarize myself, I researched how improvements in medical care and the presence of a medic affected to mortality rate during combat. I looked at all of our conflicts, all the way back to the Revolutionary War. If a space is blank, then no record exists. Notice the disparity in battle deaths and other deaths.
Just food for thought. Ref – American War and Military Operations Casualties: List and Statistics
# Serving Total Deaths In Battle Other Deaths Wounded
- Revolution 4435 4435 6188
- War of 1812 286,730 2260 2260 4505
- Mexican War 78,718 13,283 1733 11,550 4152
- Civil War 2,213,363 364,511 140,414 224,097 281,881
- (Union only)
- Spanish-US 306,760 2446 385 2061 1662
- WWI 4,734,991 116,516 53,402 63,114 204,002
- WWII 16,112,556 405,399 291,557 113,842 670,846
- Kore 5,720,000 36,574 33,739 2835 103,284
- Vietnam 8,744,000 58,220 47,434 10,786 303,644
Are you wondering? Me too. Some were fought horseback and afoot, including WWI when the world was only 2% mechanized. The world geared up for WWII. We were 98% mechanized.
Do you know why Japan bombed Pearl Harbor? Where was Erwin Rommel going in north Africa? Why did Hitler invade Poland and make a beeline for the Baku?
I’m aged, (but not too ripe yet,) and as young man who had to register for the draft right at the end of the Vietnam War, I heard protesters chant (they chanted back then) about the white man forcing the black man to go to Vietnam to die for him.
Vietnam Total deaths = 58,220. Black = 7243 White = 49,826 Other = 1146
What does all of this have to do with medics? Heck I don’t know.
Michael Shaara wrote “Killer Angels.” Won the Pulitzer. It’s about the Battle of Gettysburg. Brilliant.
Man is an angel, but he’s the “Killer Angel.”