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 (1939-1945) WWII
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mikecmaps
CAMARILLO CA USA
Posts: 144
Joined: 2020
US INF div TOE
2/4/2022 5:15:48 PM
02-04-2022
All Group
I am by no means a WW2 specialist/expert.
I vaguely recall from old time war gaming days (-50 yrs.) that US INF div TOE was for
8-9k infantry per infantry division. (out of 12-14k depending on TOE)
So, question one? What per cent of casualties were INF casualties? WW2 France/Germany.


Question two? How many months from enlisted to actual front line deployment? Again WW2 France/Germany.
Again from long ago I vaguely remember many units entered France with about 24 months training before D-Day France.
(not including troops that had served in N-africa, Sicily, Italy)
Again these just vague memories so happy to hear any data for major correction – and thanks for.
Yours Mike_C
mikecmaps
RichTO90
Bremerton WA USA
Posts: 604
Joined: 2004
US INF div TOE
2/22/2022 8:22:21 PM
1. 80.3% of all U.S. Army battle casualties in World War II were infantry.

2. It varied. Divisions were supposed to take one year from activation to deployment, but the average for infantry divisions was around 23 months. However, once the divisions were in Britain they continued to train. Individual replacements were different. Most had about five months of training before they shipped out.
17thfabn
Ohio OH USA
Posts: 161
Joined: 2008
US INF div TOE
2/22/2022 10:08:55 PM
I've read where there was a problem with replacement training. Men where trained as replacements in proportion to how many men where in the various MOSs. But casualties where much higher in the infantry than most other MOSs.

So men where trained in many other MOSs and often transferred to the infantry. My uncle was trained as a combat engineer and transferred to an infantry unit.

Many of the Divisions that went into Normandy had served and trained together for an extended time before their first action.

The "high number divisions" had been stripped of troops several times before being deployed.

For example my uncles division the 76th Infantry Division. They were stripped of troops to replace losses by divisions in action in North Africa, Italy and North West Europe. Even though they had been activated in mid 1942 by the time they deployed to Europe in 1945 they were more like a fairly new unit.

Some "high number" divisions did fairly well in combat such as the 100th Infantry Division. Others were less lucky. The 106 th Division was ran over by the tidal wave of the launch of the beginning of the last great German offensive of the war, the beginning of the Battle of the Bulge
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Withdrawal in disgust is not the same as apathy.
RichTO90
Bremerton WA USA
Posts: 604
Joined: 2004
US INF div TOE
2/23/2022 12:52:25 AM
Quote:
I've read where there was a problem with replacement training. Men where trained as replacements in proportion to how many men where in the various MOSs. But casualties where much higher in the infantry than most other MOSs.


The major problem with replacement training was the early decision to curtail separate Replacement Training Centers and concentrate all training in the mobilizing divisions. The unintended result was that when divisions deployed to combat early began suffering casualties, the sole source for replacements were divisions further back in the mobilization queue. They were stripped of trained men as replacements, which then forced them to retrain fresh intakes of draftees from the Reception Centers. That set back training and delayed deployment.

Quote:
So men where trained in many other MOSs and often transferred to the infantry. My uncle was trained as a combat engineer and transferred to an infantry unit.


That retraining was done in theater as a stopgap to fill the requirement for Infantry and specifically Riflemen. It really did not get into gear in Europe until late fall 1944.

Quote:
Many of the Divisions that went into Normandy had served and trained together for an extended time before their first action.


Some had. The 1st Infantry Division had been overseas since it landed in North Africa. The 29th Infantry Division went to England in September 1942, but had been Federalized 3 February 1941, so by 6 June 1944 it was well trained, perhaps overtrained.

Quote:
The "high number divisions" had been stripped of troops several times before being deployed.


Many infantry divisions suffered stripping of personnel for many reasons, and not all were high numbered. Six divisions lost a calculated total of 86 months training time due to being stripped of over 50% personnel (30th, 31st, 33d, 35th, 38th, and 44th). Nineteen infantry divisions lost a calculated total of 54 months due to stripping of 20% to 50% personnel. Eighteen divisions lost 125 months due to stripping of individual personnel for OCS/AGCT/ASTP. Thirty divisions lost 120 months due to mass stripping of personnel for AGCT/ASTP. And forty divisions lost 113 months to general personnel turbulence. Note that many divisions suffered multiple forms of stripping. The greatest loss was to the 44th Infantry Division, which was delayed by 28 months - organized 1 April 1942 it was ready to deploy on 1 August...1944.

Quote:
For example my uncles division the 76th Infantry Division. They were stripped of troops to replace losses by divisions in action in North Africa, Italy and North West Europe. Even though they had been activated in mid 1942 by the time they deployed to Europe in 1945 they were more like a fairly new unit.


The 76th and 78th Infantry Division were special. One problem delaying mobilization was the need for divisions to provide cadre for new units forming, which in turn they needed to replace and retrain those cadre. So for seven months the two divisions did nothing but train cadre and replacements from late 1942 into early 1943, before reverting to regular divisions and completing their own mobilization. The 76th was also caught in the great mass stripping for AGCT/ASTP as well and was calculated to have lost 15 months. It was organized 15 June 1942, but was theoretically not ready for deployment until 15 January 1945, but deployed 30 November 1944 anyway because of the personnel crisis in Europe.

Quote:
Some "high number" divisions did fairly well in combat such as the 100th Infantry Division. Others were less lucky. The 106 th Division was ran over by the tidal wave of the launch of the beginning of the last great German offensive of the war, the beginning of the Battle of the Bulge


Yep. the 106th also went through personnel turnover, but oddly enough not that much.
17thfabn
Ohio OH USA
Posts: 161
Joined: 2008
US INF div TOE
2/23/2022 10:13:42 AM
I've read my Uncles regimental (304th) and divisional (76th) unofficial histories. These where done by the troops after the war.

The 76th Division didn't see action until 1945. Reading their histories some times they were going up against Volksstrum units full of old men and boys or paper thin regular units that had already been badly mauled . These they handled easily. Other times they went up against positions that for what ever reason were held with more determination and they suffered much worse casualties. For only 3 months in combat the 76th Infantry Division had around 800 killed in action including my Uncle Private 1st Class Evan D. Roaden.

Wikipedia has the 76th Divisions KIA as 433. Looking at their Honor Roll of those killed I count just shy of 800. And there would be a number of men who died of wounds latter that are not included in that count.

If the 106thth Infantry Division hadn't had the misfortune to be in the path of the last great German offensive in the West I wonder how they would have fared.
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Withdrawal in disgust is not the same as apathy.
17thfabn
Ohio OH USA
Posts: 161
Joined: 2008
US INF div TOE
2/23/2022 10:51:54 AM
Quote:
Quote:
I've r


Quote:
For example my uncles division the 76th Infantry Division. They were stripped of troops to replace losses by divisions in action in North Africa, Italy and North West Europe. Even though they had been activated in mid 1942 by the time they deployed to Europe in 1945 they were more like a fairly new unit.


The 76th and 78th Infantry Division were special. One problem delaying mobilization was the need for divisions to provide cadre for new units forming, which in turn they needed to replace and retrain those cadre. So for seven months the two divisions did nothing but train cadre and replacements from late 1942 into early 1943, before reverting to regular divisions and completing their own mobilization. The 76th was also caught in the great mass stripping for AGCT/ASTP as well and was calculated to have lost 15 months. It was organized 15 June 1942, but was theoretically not ready for deployment until 15 January 1945, but deployed 30 November 1944 anyway because of the personnel crisis in Europe.



The biggest contribution the 76th Infantry Division provide to the U.S. Army was the number of personnel they provided to other divisions.

http://76thdivision.com/WRF/w-r-f_001start.html

http://76thdivision.com/
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Withdrawal in disgust is not the same as apathy.
17thfabn
Ohio OH USA
Posts: 161
Joined: 2008
US INF div TOE
2/23/2022 10:53:38 AM
You read about state side divisions being stripped for replacements for the MTO and ETO, but not so much for the Pacific Theater of Operations.
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Withdrawal in disgust is not the same as apathy.
Phil Andrade
London  UK
Posts: 5455
Joined: 2004
US INF div TOE
2/23/2022 11:31:36 AM
Quote:


Wikipedia has the 76th Divisions KIA as 433. Looking at their Honor Roll of those killed I count just shy of 800. And there would be a number of men who died of wounds latter that are not included in that count.



The disparity between the totals posted as killed in action and the final totals of dead commemorated in Rolls of Honour and War Graves and memorial tabulations is often attributable to the large numbers of missing in action who were not, initially, included among the confirmed killed. Large numbers of missing were recorded, and in very many cases these had been taken prisoner ; but the passing of time allowed their fate to be clarified, and all too many of them were subsequently recorded as killed. And, as you say, mortally wounded men would also account for the difference between totals posted as KIA and final figures for deaths.


Regards, Phil
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"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!" "That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress." Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes
RichTO90
Bremerton WA USA
Posts: 604
Joined: 2004
US INF div TOE
2/23/2022 12:04:22 PM
Quote:
Quote:


Wikipedia has the 76th Divisions KIA as 433. Looking at their Honor Roll of those killed I count just shy of 800. And there would be a number of men who died of wounds latter that are not included in that count.



The disparity between the totals posted as killed in action and the final totals of dead commemorated in Rolls of Honour and War Graves and memorial tabulations is often attributable to the large numbers of missing in action who were not, initially, included among the confirmed killed. Large numbers of missing were recorded, and in very many cases these had been taken prisoner ; but the passing of time allowed their fate to be clarified, and all too many of them were subsequently recorded as killed. And, as you say, mortally wounded men would also account for the difference between totals posted as KIA and final figures for deaths.


Regards, Phil


Unlikely. The losses of the 76th Infantry Division were 433 KIA and 90 DOW for a total of 523 Battle Casualties as defined by the U.S. Army. There were also 141 Captured, all of whom returned alive to military custody. Of the 10 MIA, all returned to duty. The remaining number died in service, but of non-combat causes. For every 3.85 Battle Deaths among Army Ground Forces there was 1 Non-Battle Death, so for the 76th Infantry Division about 136 may have died of other causes.
Phil Andrade
London  UK
Posts: 5455
Joined: 2004
US INF div TOE
2/23/2022 1:19:27 PM
Quote:
Quote:
Quote:


Wikipedia has the 76th Divisions KIA as 433. Looking at their Honor Roll of those killed I count just shy of 800. And there would be a number of men who died of wounds latter that are not included in that count.



The disparity between the totals posted as killed in action and the final totals of dead commemorated in Rolls of Honour and War Graves and memorial tabulations is often attributable to the large numbers of missing in action who were not, initially, included among the confirmed killed. Large numbers of missing were recorded, and in very many cases these had been taken prisoner ; but the passing of time allowed their fate to be clarified, and all too many of them were subsequently recorded as killed. And, as you say, mortally wounded men would also account for the difference between totals posted as KIA and final figures for deaths.


Regards, Phil


Unlikely. The losses of the 76th Infantry Division were 433 KIA and 90 DOW for a total of 523 Battle Casualties as defined by the U.S. Army. There were also 141 Captured, all of whom returned alive to military custody. Of the 10 MIA, all returned to duty. The remaining number died in service, but of non-combat causes. For every 3.85 Battle Deaths among Army Ground Forces there was 1 Non-Battle Death, so for the 76th Infantry Division about 136 may have died of other causes.


Rich,

Thanks. To satisfy my curiosity, please would you tell me how many were posted as wounded in action ? I would like to find out what percentage the DOW represented from the total of those admitted to medical care.

Regards, Phil
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"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!" "That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress." Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes
RichTO90
Bremerton WA USA
Posts: 604
Joined: 2004
US INF div TOE
2/23/2022 1:28:42 PM
Phil,

There were a total of 1,811 wounded and injured in action recorded for the 76th Infantry Division. Of those, 90 DOW (technically that included died of injuries, but was not differentiated), 846 were evacuated to the U.S., recovered and were discharged, and 875 were returned to duty in the ETOUSA.
Phil Andrade
London  UK
Posts: 5455
Joined: 2004
US INF div TOE
2/23/2022 1:57:20 PM
Quote:
Phil,

There were a total of 1,811 wounded and injured in action recorded for the 76th Infantry Division. Of those, 90 DOW (technically that included died of injuries, but was not differentiated), 846 were evacuated to the U.S., recovered and were discharged, and 875 were returned to duty in the ETOUSA.



Thanks Rich.....roughly five per cent death rate among the wounded.

I can't get over the very large proportion of non battle deaths.

WW1 is more my speciality, but in the British armies on the Western Front 1914-18 there were 677,000 KIA and DOW compared with only 32,000 non battle deaths.


Regards, Phil
----------------------------------
"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!" "That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress." Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes
17thfabn
Ohio OH USA
Posts: 161
Joined: 2008
US INF div TOE
2/23/2022 3:33:58 PM
I wonder how many were like my grandmothers cousin.

He was seriously wounded in Europe during the World War II. He was discharged as disabled. Initially walking with a cane with difficulty. Then on crutches and eventually in a wheelchair. He died in the early 1970s of complications from his injuries. He was in his early 50's. We come from a family with good longevety.

In my mind his death was a direct result of the war. But I would be surprised if men like him are counted in the official totals.
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Withdrawal in disgust is not the same as apathy.
17thfabn
Ohio OH USA
Posts: 161
Joined: 2008
US INF div TOE
2/23/2022 3:54:48 PM
Quote:
Quote:
Phil,

There were a total of 1,811 wounded and injured in action recorded for the 76th Infantry Division. Of those, 90 DOW (technically that included died of injuries, but was not differentiated), 846 were evacuated to the U.S., recovered and were discharged, and 875 were returned to duty in the ETOUSA.



Thanks Rich.....roughly five per cent death rate among the wounded.

I can't get over the very large proportion of non battle deaths.

WW1 is more my speciality, but in the British armies on the Western Front 1914-18 there were 677,000 KIA and DOW compared with only 32,000 non battle deaths.


Regards, Phil


The Pentagon used to give the figure of 54,260 for U.S. deaths in the Korean War.

Then they went back and recalculated.

The new figure was 33,652 battle deaths, and 3,262 non battle deaths for a total of 36,914 deaths for the Korean War for the U.S. So almost 9% of U.S. fatalities were non battle.

Originally they had included ALL deaths of U.S. service men during the era. I find it interesting that there were 17,000 fatalities during the three year period outside of the Korean operational area to U.S. service personnel.

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/how-many-americans-died-in-korea/
----------------------------------
Withdrawal in disgust is not the same as apathy.
RichTO90
Bremerton WA USA
Posts: 604
Joined: 2004
US INF div TOE
2/23/2022 4:32:11 PM
Quote:
Quote:
Phil,

There were a total of 1,811 wounded and injured in action recorded for the 76th Infantry Division. Of those, 90 DOW (technically that included died of injuries, but was not differentiated), 846 were evacuated to the U.S., recovered and were discharged, and 875 were returned to duty in the ETOUSA.



Thanks Rich.....roughly five per cent death rate among the wounded.

I can't get over the very large proportion of non battle deaths.

WW1 is more my speciality, but in the British armies on the Western Front 1914-18 there were 677,000 KIA and DOW compared with only 32,000 non battle deaths.


Regards, Phil


Phil,

I think the difference may be in the classification. There were 234,874 deaths among battle casualties. Of those, 192,798 were KIA, 26,762 died of wounds and injuries, 6,058 were missing declared dead, and 9,256 died of other non-battle causes in a battle casualty status - in other words while in a theater of war and in combat. There was also 83,400 deaths in the Army to non-battle causes while not in a battle casualty status - in other words while in training, had a heart attack at the Pentagon, overate at Claridge's and suffered a perforated ulcer and so forth. Most significantly, of the 83,4000, nearly half were non-battle deaths to AAC personnel, including flying personnel, and included 25,844 deaths in aircraft accidents, 4,848 accidental deaths not in aircraft, 5,385 deaths to disease, and 1,779 deaths to other causes.

So the figures comparable to the British Army on the Western Front in the Great War are 147,278 KIA, 25,622 DOW, and 2,455 Declared Dead versus 9,256 died of non-battle causes while in a battle casualty status. So actually I suspect the American ground forces experience with non-battle deaths at the front in World War II was very similar to the British in the Great War, roughly about 18.95:1 for the US Army in World War II as opposed to 21.16:1 for the British Army in the Great War on the Western Front. Note though the American experience is worldwide rather than just Europe. How did the Great War British Army fair in Mesopotamia, Palestine, and Greece?

Complicating things even more, of the 54,800 non-battle deaths not in a battle casualty status in all other Branches other than AAC, even then the total included 1,784 non AAC personnel who died in aircraft accidents.
RichTO90
Bremerton WA USA
Posts: 604
Joined: 2004
US INF div TOE
2/23/2022 4:47:06 PM
Quote:
The Pentagon used to give the figure of 54,260 for U.S. deaths in the Korean War.

Then they went back and recalculated.

The new figure was 33,652 battle deaths, and 3,262 non battle deaths for a total of 36,914 deaths for the Korean War for the U.S. So almost 9% of U.S. fatalities were non battle.

Originally they had included ALL deaths of U.S. service men during the era. I find it interesting that there were 17,000 fatalities during the three year period outside of the Korean operational area to U.S. service personnel.


Exactly. They did not really recalculate, but they realized the figures used were too broad, since they were all Army deaths, all over the world, from July 1950-June 1953.
Phil Andrade
London  UK
Posts: 5455
Joined: 2004
US INF div TOE
2/23/2022 4:51:58 PM
Quote:
Quote:
Quote:
Phil,

There were a total of 1,811 wounded and injured in action recorded for the 76th Infantry Division. Of those, 90 DOW (technically that included died of injuries, but was not differentiated), 846 were evacuated to the U.S., recovered and were discharged, and 875 were returned to duty in the ETOUSA.



Thanks Rich.....roughly five per cent death rate among the wounded.

I can't get over the very large proportion of non battle deaths.

WW1 is more my speciality, but in the British armies on the Western Front 1914-18 there were 677,000 KIA and DOW compared with only 32,000 non battle deaths.


Regards, Phil


The Pentagon used to give the figure of 54,260 for U.S. deaths in the Korean War.

Then they went back and recalculated.

The new figure was 33,652 battle deaths, and 3,262 non battle deaths for a total of 36,914 deaths for the Korean War for the U.S. So almost 9% of U.S. fatalities were non battle.

Originally they had included ALL deaths of U.S. service men during the era. I find it interesting that there were 17,000 fatalities during the three year period outside of the Korean operational area to U.S. service personnel.

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/how-many-americans-died-in-korea/


Young men are accident prone. WW2 was more mechanised than the war of 1914-18, with more sophisticated training and, I suppose, this was bound to entail a significant risk of fatal accidents. OTOH, relentless battle in prolonged positional warfare in WW1 made the toll of combat reach a truly appalling level, which was bound to supress the ratio of non combat deaths.

Dad was a gunner in North Africa from 1941 to 1943, but he was transferred to the infantry in Italy. His story was different from the norm : his most lethal experience was at the Second Battle of El Alamein, when, as a gunner, he came under the fire of German 88s that were trying to knock out his Bofors team as they deployed to fire tracer through the minefields and mark the path for the advancing infantry and armour. His position was badly knocked about, and one or two of his pals were killed. He was promoted to sergeant's rank after that, although I'm not sure about the way the rank system worked in the field artillery. I think he had been called a bombardier, or a lance bombardier, before this promotion. He was more fortunate in Italy, despite the fact that he was deployed as an infantryman, serving in a mortars section. Significantly, one of his friends was killed by a mortar round in training, which rather serves to illustrate the point I was making about the hazardous training environment of WW2. I wonder if the greater reliance on technology in WW2 made the infantry reinforcement situation more fragile, and left a shortfall in replacements : a bigger tail to teeth ratio than had occurred in 1914-18. The casualties in the British army were far fewer than they had been in WW1, but the lack of infantry was a bigger problem. Normandy was to make this very apparent,

Regards, Phil
----------------------------------
"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!" "That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress." Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes
mikecmaps
CAMARILLO CA USA
Posts: 144
Joined: 2020
US INF div TOE
2/24/2022 1:58:38 AM

RichTO90, !7thfabn, and Phil,

Thanks so much great job. Learned alot and questions answered.
and especially reference to personal connections.

I guess one of my interests was to confirm how much burden was carried on backs
of the individual infantry soldier and companies and battalions. And yes WW2 was
high tech for the time but still came down so much to the "dogface" GI rushing
through the rubble trying to get cover in the next doorway.

Bless them all!

Thanks Mike_C.
mikecmaps
Phil Andrade
London  UK
Posts: 5455
Joined: 2004
US INF div TOE
2/24/2022 8:01:19 AM
Mike,

It’s tempting to suggest that in the Anglo American armies, in the Second World War, four fifths of all fatal battle casualties were sustained by one fifth of the total number of soldiers. That’s a very rough and ready estimate, and pretty shocking in its implications. I wonder, Rich, if you might be kind enough to endorse or refute that suggestion .


Regards, Phil
----------------------------------
"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!" "That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress." Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes
RichTO90
Bremerton WA USA
Posts: 604
Joined: 2004
US INF div TOE
2/24/2022 2:55:03 PM
Quote:
Mike,

It’s tempting to suggest that in the Anglo American armies, in the Second World War, four fifths of all fatal battle casualties were sustained by one fifth of the total number of soldiers. That’s a very rough and ready estimate, and pretty shocking in its implications. I wonder, Rich, if you might be kind enough to endorse or refute that suggestion .


Regards, Phil


It is actual difficult to compute Phil.

Yes, 80.3% of battle casualties were incurred by the Infantry Branch. Of 936,113 male battle casualties in the Army, 661,059 were incurred by Infantry. However, of the total battle casualties, 112,766 were Air Corps, so presumably not lost in ground combat (not strictly true, since AAF ground liaison officers were BC and there are certainly other cases). So call it 823,347 BC incurred in ground combat (also not strictly true, given that AGF troops were lost in air crashes, vessels sinking, and so on). Thus the 80.3% (strictly speaking 80.28923406534547%, but I quibble).

Here is another problem. The Armored Force had no commissioned officers. Zero. As a quasi-Branch established on a provisional basis there was no legal means to commission officers in the Armored Force, so it included Infantry, Field Artillery, Engineers, Cavalry, and so on. Many of the enlisted in the Armored Force also retained their previous Branch affiliation, possibly as many as 20% of the Branch strength. So "Infantry" losses were not necessarily in infantry combat.

AGF strength is another fungible figure. On 31 December 1941 the Army consisted of 1,686,403 O&EM of whom 438,881 were Infantry (26%) and 275,889 were Air Corps (16.4%). On 31 May 1945, the Army, not including the AAC, was 5,977,135, but I do not have a breakdown of Infantry strength...it probably remained close to the 26%, but.... So perhaps "all fatal battle casualties were sustained by" one-quarter "of the total number" of ground forces soldiers would be correct.
Phil Andrade
London  UK
Posts: 5455
Joined: 2004
US INF div TOE
2/24/2022 5:03:26 PM
Rich,

Thanks so much for that .

I asked a question, and you gave me an authoritative and helpful answer.

This is much appreciated.

Regards, Phil

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"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!" "That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress." Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes
R Leonard
Richmond VA USA
Posts: 30
Joined: 2005
US INF div TOE
2/25/2022 9:37:04 AM

And I'll chime in with appreciation of some fine reading here.

If you're into statistics, I am, as Rich knows, some interesting reading can be found in the Adjutant General's final report of casualties, "Army battle casualties and nonbattle deaths in World War II" which can be found here in four parts:
https://cgsc.contentdm.oclc.org/digital/collection/p4013coll8/id/126/rec/1

Rich (the other one)

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