Venereal Disease Rates in the Armies of 1914
Armies have long suffered from venereal disease. But even before the advent of miracle drugs, some armies had a lower infection rate than others. A good example can be seen by looking at the VD infection rates for the principal mass armies of Europe on the eve of World War I, in 1914.
|Venereal Disease Rate, 1914|
There were a number of reasons for the differences in the VD rate among these armies. The French and particularly the Germans, supervised the health of their troops better than the other armies listed, providing basic education in sexual hygiene, distributing condoms, and even organizing officially supervised brothels, steps that could easily reduce a manís danger of infection by as much as 90 percent.
Losses, Men vs. Horses, 1691-1871
Considerable media attention resulted from the recent appearance of a handful American Special Forces troops riding horses into battle against the Taliban and Al Qaeda in Afghanistan. Yet little more than a half-century ago making war without horses was what elicited the media attention. From virtually the earliest recorded evidence of war through the Second World War, the horse was common on the battlefield. Of course just as men became casualties of war, so too did the horses. And at a higher rate.
In 1893 British Army veterinarian Capt. F. Smith, made a comparative study of the losses among men and horses over the preceding two centuries. His conclusions were interesting.
To calculate these figures, Smith included not only deaths among men and horses, but also injuries incurred in combat. Horses become casualties at rates higher than men for a variety of reasons, but primarily because their size; they present a target thatís about five times larger than a man. As a result, although Hollywood always depicts it otherwise, they get hit a lot more often than do the men.
|Horses Lost per 100 Men, 1691-1871|