When Soldiers Fall: How Americans Have Confronted Combat Losses from World War I to Afghanistan
When Soldiers Fall: How Americans Have Confronted Combat Losses from World War I to Afghanistan by Steven Casey is a fascinating book that discusses a wide array of issues surrounding combat losses in war. For instance, the political stance versus public support, as well as the media and public portrayal of casualties in comparison to the actual numbers, which can be either higher, if you listened to the Nazi propaganda, or lower, if you had a political agenda and wanted to keep down the numbers of men lost to the jungles of Vietnam. Casey explains the reasoning behind the misreporting of casualty numbers, such as in the Civil War when formal rosters of soldiers was not kept by the army but instead by individual commanders, and also the issues around informing the families of the fallen. Again, this is a fascinating read, that delves into the meaty history of twentieth and twenty-first century warfare and combat losses, into the diverse ways presidents have handled casualties, the clash between the political and practical, and the unexpected role of the dog tag.
Oxford University Press