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Profiles

  • Maj. Gen. Carl Gustaf Roos (1655 - 1722)
    Major General of the Carolean Swedish Army Carl Gustaf Roos (before 1705, Carl Gustaf Roos af Hjelmsäter; 1655–1722) was a friherre and Major General of the Carolean Swedish Army. After his...
  • CSA Samuel W Holt (1832 - 1863)
    Five of the Holt brothers fought for the confederacy during the Civil War. Enlistment information on four of them can be found here: A story about Samuel W Holt can be found here: Samuel W. Hol...
  • Private (USA), George Nixon (1821 - 1863)
    Civil War Union Army Soldier. He served during the Civil War as a Private in Company B, 73rd Ohio Volunteer Infantry. During the second day of the Battle of Gettysburg (July 2, 1863), he was wounded in...
  • Capt. Eric Buckingham Alley (1892 - 1916)
    Eric Alley was working on Frederic Alley’s land in Lumsden when war was declared. Eric wasted no time in joining the Otago Mounted Rifles and later the Otago Infantry. Although wounded, Eric survived...
  • Hans Henrik Karlsson von Dellwig (1754 - 1790)
    Kiikka > syntyneet-vihityt-kuolleet, 1698-1787 > 211 Kiikka > syntyneet-vihityt-kuolleet, 1698-1787 > 308

Please add those who died as a result of war wounds.


  • If they died of other causes, please add the profile to that cause.

Died of Wounds Received in Action:

  • A battle casualty is someone who later dies of wounds or other injuries received in action, after having reached a medical treatment facility. In the United States the acronym used is DOW, while NATO uses DWRIA.
  • A battle casualty is other than killed in action & who has incurred an injury due to an external agent or cause. The term encompasses all kinds of wounds and other injuries incurred in action, whether there is a piercing of the body, as in a penetrating or perforated wound, or none, as in the contused wound; all fractures, burns, blast concussions, all effects of biological and chemical warfare, the effects of exposure to ionizing radiation or any other destructive weapon or agent.

Throughout most of the history of warfare, more soldiers died from disease than combat wounds, and misconceptions regarding the best timing and mode of treatment for injuries often resulted in more harm than good. Since the 19th century, mortality from war wounds steadily decreased as surgeons on all sides of conflicts developed systems for rapidly moving the wounded from the battlefield to frontline hospitals where surgical care is delivered.

The need for surgical care of the injured during warfare is part of the story of civilization. The history of military trauma has changed with the evolution of newer weapons and wounding agents, more so in the 19th and 20th century.

It was not until the Civil War that the techniques of battlefield treatment began. The surgeon Jonathan Letterman devised a system of collecting casualties and transporting them from the battlefield to field hospitals, where doctors would perform surgery.

With the discovery of antisepsis, disease and non-battle deaths began to decline. Disease was no longer the principal threat to military forces. Prior to World War I, however, advances in technology increased weapon lethality. The greatest number of casualties and wounds were inflicted by artillery, followed by small arms, and then by poison gas. During the war, the number of casualties from combat wounds began to approach the number of disease and non-battle injuries.

  • In World War II, for the first time, battle casualties exceeded disease casualties. The medic or corpsman was first used during World War I. These individuals would accompany the infantry in combat and administer first aid to the injured, before they were evacuated to field hospitals. Significant advances in military medicine helped to minimize casualties in World War II. Discoveries in antibiotic drug treatments, such as penicillin and sulfa (sulfanilamide), decreased wound infections, and the use of blood plasma helped prevent shock and replace blood volume.
  • During the Korean War, the helicopter was routinely used to evacuate casualties from the battlefield to near by mobile army surgical hospitals (MASH), where new lifesaving surgical techniques, such as arterial repair, saved many lives.
  • These advances continued in military medicine during the Vietnam War with more sophisticated surgery and additional antibiotics and equipment. These developments contributed to just 2.5 percent of casualties dying from wounds received, the lowest number ever.
  • During the Gulf War of 1990–1991, disease and non-battle injury rates were markedly lower than expected. In addition, the number of combat casualties was never so high as to test the capabilities of the medical force.
  • The nature of wounds in Iraq and Afghanistan has been transformed by IED's contributing to massive tissue damage and amputation.
  • In 2006, approximately 9.8 percent of wounded service members died either on the battlefield or after leaving it in Afghanistan and Iraq. During the Vietnam War, that figure, the “case fatality rate” was 16 percent. During World War II, it was 19 percent.
  • During the first eight years of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, 4.6 percent of troops who got to the trauma bay of a hospital eventually died. (During the 2007 “surge” in Iraq, that number was 3.2 percent.) Furthermore, the number has stayed low even as the severity of injuries has worsened.

These days, if you make it to a hospital alive, your chances of surviving are extremely good.

Resources & Further Reading:

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