Battle Casualties now we have 24 hr news coverage

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by AmberSpyglass, Nov 10, 2004.

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  1. In previous WWs I understand casualties ran at their highest at a BATTALION an we have national outrage (quite right too) at 4 men dying in a week. What views do other users have on this?
  2. Battle of the Somme, 20,000 on the first day.
  3. The war supposedly ended over a year ago (yet allied forces have incurred more casualties since the war ended than during it )
  4. That's life I suppose in these modern times. We need to adapt to it and start using the fourth estate to our advantage rather than just sitting back and moaning. The opposition are masters at manipulating the media, maybe we could get a few hints by watching them.

    The sort of war going on in Iraq will be decided by information not bullets. It doesn't matter how many we kill as long as new ones appear, fired up by what they've heard. The US seem to be running a psy-ops campaign aimed at keeping middle America happy rather then the Arabs we need to affect. Arrogance and a big gun won't win this one. Convincing the locals that they should stop flighting will.
  5. If the war was less controversial the casualties would probably be accepted more stoically. Because of the no WMD controversy, the US mishandling of the situation and the uprising, this war is opposed by 2/3 of the UK population.
  6. Unknown_Quantity

    Unknown_Quantity War Hero Moderator

    I reckon that the outrage is due to:

    1) The increased perceived value of the individual life (a good thing),

    2) The feeling that we are great and so won't get any casualties (a bad thing),

    3) The ignorance of the capabilities of the enemy (an accepted thing from the public),

    4) The average bod on the street having no idea what we are doing and putting up with to do it (another bad thing, the public think we're great then have no idea why. That just pis$es me off).

    before I'm shouted at, I am aware of the sweeping generalisations, but I think that for the public as a whole my points are accurate. For an individual I would expect them to be wrong.
  7. Have you not heard of the phrase "Ignorance is bliss!" In previous wars the media didn't have the technology to report the battles as they happened, in fact, some dispatches from France (first WW) took just as long to reach Blighty, as they did from South Africa (during the Boer Wars). People at home where not told of the true nature of the casualties either, due to the demoralising effects.
    In the sixties, due to the technology available, the spams started the practice of beaming the battles, directly into the living room, via the T.V. set in the corner, of the Vietnam War (sorry, that was also a 'police action' I believe?) This was one of the main reasons for the growth of the anti-war movement that eventually led to the pull out of S. E. Asia. People where sickened by the daily reports of KIA and MIA and demanded an end to hostilities (even though it would mean no clear cut victory). They then tried to deny the war but that's another story! The point is, that when every last casualty can be witnessed by everyone in their homes, it is damned uncomfortable to support a Just and righteous war, let alone one so steeped in controversy such as this one!
  8. On top of what gobshoite said, both world wars were based by an axis of evil that affected many nations.

    Having lost most of Europe to an invading army, the slaughtering of millions of Jews etc does a lot to justify the rights and wrongs of moral conflict.

    today we aspire to live in a more enlightened society than 60-80 years ago. God forbid if we were to be plunged into a mass conventional world war again.
  9. Unknown_Quantity

    Unknown_Quantity War Hero Moderator

    Good points, both of which I completely overlooked.

    Note to self: Must think harder!
  10. As a counter to the negative aspects of the reportage of the casualties of the conflict in Iraq, perhaps we should be showing the atrocities committed by the scum our boys are fighting? Hard to take, I agree, and sickening but propaganda is a two edged sword and I think some of the same scenes that are used to stir the ragheads into a blood fever, would just as soon stiffen a few backbones and get the people 100% behind our troops.
  11. i believe the Allied forces have found rooms in Falluja which has been used for executions of foreign hostages with cds and hoods terrorist stuffs etc were found.
  12. ugly

    ugly LE Moderator

    Not to be a pedant but according to google
    Haig used 750,000 men (27 divisions) against the German front-line (16 divisions). However, the bombardment failed to destroy either the barbed-wire or the concrete bunkers protecting the German soldiers. This meant that the Germans were able to exploit their good defensive positions on higher ground when the British and French troops attacked at 7.30 on the morning of the 1st July. The BEF suffered 58,000 casualties (a third of them killed), therefore making it the worse day in the history of the British Army.
    I have read a lot of similar histories which put total casualties Inc missing, wounded and prisoners at 60, 000.
  13. Its all relative. These are the figures for Waterloo.

    "The British, Belgians, Dutch and Germans lost 15,000 casualties or 1 in 4 engaged. The Prussians lost 7,000. The casualties of the French army are estimated at 25,000 dead and wounded, 8,000 prisoners and 220 guns lost."

    1 in 4! 8O
  14. I have several opinions.

    1st - join up to become a soldier, you also sign up for an uncertain life and death (call it adventureism).

    2nd - Meida coverage, which started with the Viet-Nam war, has usually been the best intel. which an enemy could want!

    3rd - Joe Pubic, sorry, Public wants to know all, but cannot handle the fact, that soldiers die in battle!

    Christz, what´s hard to realise that that is a soldiers lot.

    No disrespect for the dead comrades we have had to bury or will be burying in the future but that is a fact!
  15. I believe that part of the problem caused by the 24hr, wall-to-wall coverage of the current conflict is that it is so 'realistic' that it convinces many civvies that they know exactly what is going on. What must be remembered is that the camera and reporter still acts as a filter. Granted, USMC tank crews mounting cameras on their turrets (as with last night's Sky News report) looks very good, but I contend that it cannot fully convey the feeling of what it is like to be in a battle zone - the smell, the sounds (sudden noise and equally sudden silence), the fear, the elation, and the wide-awake feeling that soldiers under fire experience. This sort of coverage I actually find quite invasive, as it intrudes into the world of the combat soldier, which only really makes sense to those trained to live and fight in such an environment. What purpose does such coverage serve? Is it really informative or just a war film made 'real'? I am not calling for a blanket ban on such coverage, only that some thought should be given to the impact it will have. I confess that I want to know what is going on, but at the same time I feel that I am intruding into a very personal matter for combat soldiers - my view is let them get on with it, and stop poking a camera into their faces and breathlessly asking them if they are scared. The stakes are far too high to treat this like entertainment.

    I also believe that some of the current coverage induces viewer fatigue i.e 'Oh no, not the war again....what's on the other channel?' It also diminishes what is really happening in that it reduces battle to the level of being just another part of the scenery. Those of us here and elsewhere, with direct or indirect connections to what is happening can appreciate what is being shown but I do wonder if this is so with the wider populace.