JF Ptak Science Books
This image--from a collection that I've mentioned previously on this blog--shows a group of wounded-in-action American Doughboys recuperating in London on 4 July 1918. There were at least six of these soldiers aboard this bus, touring, being invited to celebrate their independence day in London, their flag--and a big one at that--draped across the bow of the upper deck of the bus.
There were be about 204,000 American soldiers wounded and 116,500 killed during WWI, the end of which was in sight at this point, just five months away. These were some of the survivors of the American share of war casualties. Almost all other nations fared far worse (see below)
- ITEM: Original photograph from News Photo Service company, July, 1918. 8x6 inches. Good condition. $750
The U.S. lost .13% of its population to casualties (killed and wounded) during the war. New Zealand 18,000/41,312 killed/wounded amounted to 1.6% of its population. The U.K. lost 2.19% (964,000/1,663,000), Italy was 3.48% (650,000/953,000 plus 650,000 civilian casualties), while France suffered a 4.29% (1.4 million/4.27 mil) blow of its total population to war. Things were worse on the other side: Germany 3.82% (2 mil/2.4 mil plus 426,000 civilian deaths, and the Ottoman Empire 12% (400,000/771,000 plus 2.1 million civilian deaths. Worst of all was the Ally Serbia, suffering a catastrophic 16% loss of its population to war, including 275,000/725,000 plus 426,000 civilian casualties. As gruesome as the numbers were, the Americans felt only a small percentage of the total sting of war--by 11 November, more than 21 million soldiers would have been wounded, with 9.7 million soldiers and 6.8 million civilians killed (for a total of 16.4 million). The numbers of killed and casualties are so gigantic that it is difficult to grasp what they all mean.