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re; PTSD

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  • w.woods@rogers.com
    Without claiming any special knowledge of PTSD I have read that the stresses of battle in 1812 were quite likely very different from modern battle stresses.
    Message 1 of 4 , Dec 1, 2009
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      Without claiming any special knowledge of PTSD I have read that the stresses of battle in 1812 were quite likely very different from modern battle stresses. The very nature of warfare such as standing shoulder to shoulder and facing enemy volleys vs.the somewhat more independent movement of small groups moving forward....is the difference between the beginning of the WW1 and the end of it, as well as a profound difference in the immediate experience of the average foot soldier in combat. It is reported that experienced Union units in the Civil War tended to take cover and move forward in short dashes of small groups instead of marching in lines as newer recruits did (as indicated by their drill books based on Napoleonic rifle drilll and smooth bore muskets) It was another hard learned lesson forgotten and doomed to be slowly relearned in WW1. Another key factor is that battles in Napoleonic times usually took hours (excepting sieges which were
      going out of favour as the artillery's ability to reduce almost any fixed position made them more and more successful) ...twelve hours was a long battle. In more modern times battles (WW1 and later), although arguably less intense (NB battles; not attacks or charges), can last weeks or months. It's a difference between a few days of intense terror vs months of boredom with a few more months of somewhat less...but more prolonged fear. Men had to be rotated out of trenches for relief as they slowly lost their ability to fight. This is not to suggest that one or the other is more or less harrowing but just that we really are comparing apples and oranges. The courage and fortitude of the fighting man might remain constant but the conditions under which it is displayed and have changed enormously as have the psychological consequences. many good units in tha Peninsula only fought a few battles over five or six years. As a footnote I thought that
      LMF (lack of moral fibre an expression that I find cruel in every application except to many contemporary politicians) was first used to describe shell shock victims of the First World War. I am quite possibly incorrect.
      Wm Woods


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Anna Snipes
      I myself cannot speak as any kind of military historian, but all of the references to shell shock that I have read in regards to WWI speak of it as casually
      Message 2 of 4 , Dec 1, 2009
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        I myself cannot speak as any kind of military historian, but all of the references to shell shock that I have read in regards to WWI speak of it as casually as they would an amputated leg, or a gas attack, i.e., a physical condition, not a lack of moral fibre.
         
        But, once again, that is beyond the scope of this forum.  I feel a thesis coming on!

        --- On Wed, 12/2/09, w.woods@... <w.woods@...> wrote:


        From: w.woods@... <w.woods@...>
        Subject: 1812 re; PTSD
        To: WarOf1812@yahoogroups.com
        Date: Wednesday, December 2, 2009, 3:10 AM


         



         As a footnote I thought that
        LMF (lack of moral fibre an expression that I find cruel in every application except to many contemporary politicians) was first used to describe shell shock victims of the First World War. I am quite possibly incorrect.
        Wm Woods

        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]








        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Victor Suthren
        During the First World War the British Army executed by firing squad many soldiers who were convicted of desertion but amongst whom, in retrospect, may have
        Message 3 of 4 , Dec 2, 2009
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          During the First World War the British Army executed by firing squad many soldiers who were convicted of 'desertion' but amongst whom, in retrospect, may have been sufferers from "shell shock". Alone among British Empire troops, the Australians refused to execute such men---wittingly or unwittingly providing a more humane reaction to an inhuman situation. War is a foul and despicable business in any light, and to my mind "shell shock" would be a normal modern reaction to any lengthy exposure to its fratricidal insanity. That it may have been less so in 1812-14 may have been, as said earlier, because life was already a nasty, brutish and short business to begin with.

          Vic Suthren


          ----- Original Message -----
          From: Anna Snipes
          To: WarOf1812@yahoogroups.com
          Sent: Tuesday, December 01, 2009 10:53 PM
          Subject: Re: 1812 re; PTSD



          I myself cannot speak as any kind of military historian, but all of the references to shell shock that I have read in regards to WWI speak of it as casually as they would an amputated leg, or a gas attack, i.e., a physical condition, not a lack of moral fibre.

          But, once again, that is beyond the scope of this forum. I feel a thesis coming on!

          --- On Wed, 12/2/09, w.woods@... <w.woods@...> wrote:

          From: w.woods@... <w.woods@...>
          Subject: 1812 re; PTSD
          To: WarOf1812@yahoogroups.com
          Date: Wednesday, December 2, 2009, 3:10 AM



          As a footnote I thought that
          LMF (lack of moral fibre an expression that I find cruel in every application except to many contemporary politicians) was first used to describe shell shock victims of the First World War. I am quite possibly incorrect.
          Wm Woods

          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]





          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • ronaldjdale@netscape.net
          I think that our ancestors were hard people but still there is a limit to what the human mind can handle. There are numerous cases of deserting to the enemy,
          Message 4 of 4 , Dec 2, 2009
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            I think that our ancestors were hard people but still there is a limit to what the human mind can handle. There are numerous cases of deserting to the enemy, hanging back in the advance, floggings for insubordination and breakdowns in discipline that may have had a lot to do with battle fatigue. While most seemed to drink many were drunkards which could be related to PTSD. A team of psychiatrists could study the retreat to Corunna for a lifetime.

            Ron



            -----Original Message-----
            From: Victor Suthren <suthren@...>
            To: WarOf1812@yahoogroups.com
            Sent: Wed, Dec 2, 2009 7:39 am
            Subject: Re: 1812 re; PTSD




            During the First World War the British Army executed by firing squad many soldiers who were convicted of 'desertion' but amongst whom, in retrospect, may have been sufferers from "shell shock". Alone among British Empire troops, the Australians refused to execute such men---wittingly or unwittingly providing a more humane reaction to an inhuman situation. War is a foul and despicable business in any light, and to my mind "shell shock" would be a normal modern reaction to any lengthy exposure to its fratricidal insanity. That it may have been less so in 1812-14 may have been, as said earlier, because life was already a nasty, brutish and short business to begin with.

            Vic Suthren

            ----- Original Message -----
            From: Anna Snipes
            To: WarOf1812@yahoogroups.com
            Sent: Tuesday, December 01, 2009 10:53 PM
            Subject: Re: 1812 re; PTSD

            I myself cannot speak as any kind of military historian, but all of the references to shell shock that I have read in regards to WWI speak of it as casually as they would an amputated leg, or a gas attack, i.e., a physical condition, not a lack of moral fibre.

            But, once again, that is beyond the scope of this forum. I feel a thesis coming on!

            --- On Wed, 12/2/09, w.woods@... <w.woods@...> wrote:

            From: w.woods@... <w.woods@...>
            Subject: 1812 re; PTSD
            To: WarOf1812@yahoogroups.com
            Date: Wednesday, December 2, 2009, 3:10 AM

            As a footnote I thought that
            LMF (lack of moral fibre an expression that I find cruel in every application except to many contemporary politicians) was first used to describe shell shock victims of the First World War. I am quite possibly incorrect.
            Wm Woods

            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

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