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News — Shell Shock

British soldier Henry Farr executed for cowardice

Posted by Kenneth Peck on

On this day October 16th, 1916 Private Henry Farr of the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) is executed for cowardice after he refused to go forward into the front-line trenches on the Western Front during World War I.After joining the BEF in 1914, Farr was sent to the front in France; the following May, he collapsed, shaking, and was sent to a hospital for treatment. He returned to the battlefield and participated in the Somme Offensive. In mid-September 1916, however, Farr refused to go ahead into the trenches with the rest of his squadron; after being dragged forward, struggling, he broke...

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Ike warns of the risk of “shell shock” AKA (PTSD Today)

Posted by Kenneth Peck on

On this day October 4th, 1944 Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower distributes to his combat units a report by the U.S. Surgeon General that reveals the hazards of prolonged exposure to combat. “[T]he danger of being killed or maimed imposes a strain so great that it causes men to break down. One look at the shrunken, apathetic faces of psychiatric patients…sobbing, trembling, referring shudderingly to ‘them shells’ and to buddies mutilated or dead, is enough to convince most observers of this fact.”On the basis of this evaluation, as well as firsthand experience, American commanders judged that the average soldier could last...

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