Wartime: Understanding and Behavior in the Second World War

Fussell, Paul

Oxford University, 1989

p. 270

We never saw in World War II what weapons do to U.S. bodies. No severed limbs. All was sanitized or withheld. “To this date, the appearance of the site of a major airplane accident is unknown to almost everyone. One may hear of fragments, but one is not shown them in images deemed suitable for public viewing.” E.g. some U.S. soldiers were “hurt, sometimes killed, by being struck by the parts of their friends’ bodies, violently detached. If you asked a wounded soldier or marine what hit him, you’d hardly be ready for the answer, ‘My buddy’s head,’ or his sergeant’s heel, or a Japanese leg . . . or the West Point ring of his captain’s severed hand.”