If ever there was a war that lacked any hint of glamor it was World War I. Trench warfare was a meat grinder. Wikipedia.org tells the tale under the heading Death in the Trenches.
Medical services were primitive and antibiotics had not yet been discovered. Relatively minor injuries could prove fatal through onset of infection and gangrene. The Germans recorded that 15% of leg wounds and 25% of arm wounds resulted in death, mainly through infection. The Americans recorded 44% of casualties who developed gangrene died. Fifty percent of those wounded in the head died and 99% of those wounded in the abdomen died. Seventy five percent of wounds came from shell fire. A wound resulting from a shell fragment was usually more traumatic than a gunshot wound . . .
Although World War I was the first war in which disease caused fewer deaths than combat, sanitary conditions in the trenches were quite poor, and common infections included dysentery, typhus, and cholera. Many soldiers suffered from parasites and related infections. Poor hygiene also led to fungal conditions, such as trench mouth and trench foot. Another common killer was exposure, since the temperature within a trench in the winter could easily fall below freezing. Burial of the dead was usually a luxury that neither side could easily afford. The bodies would lie in no man’s land until the front line moved, by which time the bodies were often unidentifiable.
In other words, death was hardly quick and seldom painless. Which it is in the WWI sim above.
By making horrific war into a relatively anodyne game — not to mention the mainstream media’s reluctance to show modern war’s gruesome face — are we sanitizing and glamorizing military conflict? And by doing so, encouraging teens and young adults to support American military adventurism? Or am I just a Get Off My Lawn OFWG spoilsport?