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Contagion.


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Whilst we may be faniliar with the Black Death and the Great Plague; it seems disease has been the biggest killer in warfare throughout history. :? The mere fact of assembling a large number of men in a confined area, with all the logistical problems of food and supply, often meant such things as smallpox, typhus and cholera could decimate an Army before it even went to war. :shock:

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Think your on about incinerators that didn't need planning permission?! :roll: Battlefield medicine was practised by the Greeks, Romans and throughout history and could be surprisingly effective at dealing with trauma, but death from infection was a big killer. :shock: One of the best medics historically was Napoleon's Surgeon to the Guard (Baron de Larrey?), who brought in a system of field ambulances and casualty clearance systems that reduced the death rates from wounds. :shock: Modern tactical theory is that wounded enemies cause more disruption than dead one's, requiring fit men to evacuate the wounded - rather cynical eh?! :shock: But the really big killer, has always been disease, especially in the later period of colonial expansion. :shock:

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The Lady with the lamp - Florence Nightingale is well remembered in history; but the lady who had far more impact in caring with the caualties of the Crimean War, was a Jamaican born woman named Mary Seacole, who learned her trade treating cholera epidemics in various parts of the world. She volunteered for Nightingale's group of "middle class" do-gooders, but was refused (presumably because of her skin colour); she made her own way to the Crimea, and proceeded to treat troops at the front line, and was much more appreciated by the soldiers than her more famous contempory. :wink:

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