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The Impact of Disease on the Military

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It is staggering to think about the impact of disease, even on more modern armies.



 Indeed, in every American war before 1941, more soldiers died of disease than from battle. George Washington’s army was ravaged by smallpox, which he described as more dangerous than “the Sword of the Enemy”; the Continental Army lost ten men to disease for every one in battle. Two-third of the Civil War dead were from disease; in the Spanish-American War, that number rose to five-sixths. Half of military deaths in the First World War were from disease, mainly the Spanish Flu, and more died from contracting it just while signing up to serve.




One can only imagine the devastation on ancient populations and armies at a time before there was any understanding of disease and its prevention .


guy also known as gaius

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