View Full Version : CASUALTIES

11-04-2005, 08:25 PM
Does anyone know the definition of a "casualty"?

Is it anyone that is killed or wounded? Or is it anyone that has to be replaced in their unit for some period of time (i.e. not all wounded need to be removed from their unit)?

Also what level of wound do you need to have to be classified as wounded? i.e. if I scratch myself on some barbed wire then am I wounded? If I gash my leg and patch it up and carry on then am I wounded? If a finger is shot off then is that wounded?

Out of interest the following information applies to teh US Purple Heart:

"While clearly an individual decoration, the Purple Heart differs from all other decorations in that an individual is not "recommended" for the decoration; rather he or she is entitled to it upon meeting specific criteria.

(1) A Purple Heart is authorized for the first wound suffered under conditions indicated above, but for each subsequent award an Oak Leaf Cluster will be awarded to be worn on the medal or ribbon. Not more than one award will be made for more than one wound or injury received at the same instant or from the same missile, force, explosion, or agent.

(2) A wound is defined as an injury to any part of the body from an outside force or agent sustained under one or more of the conditions listed above. A physical lesion is not required, however, the wound for which the award is made must have required treatment by a medical officer and records of medical treatment for wounds or injuries received in action must have been made a matter of official record.

(3) When contemplating an award of this decoration, the key issue that commanders must take into consideration is the degree to which the enemy caused the injury. The fact that the proposed recipient was participating in direct or indirect combat operations is a necessary prerequisite, but is not sole justification for award.

(4) Examples of enemy-related injuries which clearly justify award of the Purple Heart are as follows:

(a) Injury caused by enemy bullet, shrapnel, or other projectile created by enemy action.

(b) Injury caused by enemy placed mine or trap.

(c) Injury caused by enemy released chemical, biological, or nuclear agent.

(d) Injury caused by vehicle or aircraft accident resulting from enemy fire.

(e) Concussion injuries caused as a result of enemy generated explosions.

(5) Examples of injuries or wounds which clearly do not qualify for award of the Purple Heart are as follows:

(a) Frostbite or trench foot injuries.

(b) Heat stroke.

(c) Food poisoning not caused by enemy agents.

(d) Chemical, biological, or nuclear agents not released by the enemy.

(e) Battle fatigue.

(f) Disease not directly caused by enemy agents.

(g) Accidents, to include explosive, aircraft, vehicular, and other accidental wounding not related to or caused by enemy action.

(h) Self-inflicted wounds, except when in the heat of battle, and not involving gross negligence.

(i) Post traumatic stressdisorders.

(j) Jump injuries not caused by enemy action."

Source = http://www.americal.org/awards/ph.htm

PzKpfw VI Tiger
11-05-2005, 06:12 AM

One injured, killed, captured, or missing in action through engagement with an enemy. Often used in the plural: Battlefield casualties were high.


11-05-2005, 06:26 AM
Yeah thanks. It wasn't really the dicyionary definition of casualty I am after. It is more what is meant when a General says there were 1000 casualties as a result of a battle. Obviously this includes dead and severely wounded, but does it also include say 50 men with a cut finger which a quick wash sorts out?

11-07-2005, 05:21 PM
A Casualty in wartime would generally be classified as a soldier that could no longer fight. The effectivness of the unit would be reduced if they had wounded soldiers fighting (broken fingers, cuts, etc). A casualty would be a soldier removed from the front lines/fighting.

11-08-2005, 03:09 PM
Thanks - that makes sense.

Timbo in Oz
11-11-2005, 12:10 AM
It will include those who are simply missing at the count, but were in front- line duty at the start, and who weren't ordered somewhere else safe, that you'd know about, I mean.

This will include those 'unknown to be' POWs, and deserters - the majority of the missing may be lying dead or wounded out there, not - reported - dead etc, and not brought in.