When a soldier is in a strange mental state and is rendered unable to fight, but displaying no wounds. Caused by trauma from war experiences or disturbance to the brain by outside forces (artillery shells). http://www.wfa-usa.org/new/shellshock.htm
<ul><li>Symptoms: being tired, easily irritated, giddiness, a lack of attention and constant headaches. </li></ul><ul><li>Further in time, once the soldiers returned home they could suffer from blindness, nightmares, limb dysfunction, irrational twitching </li></ul><ul><li>The soldiers also found themselves seemingly “reliving” their war experiences long after the war had ended. </li></ul>http://www.wfa-usa.org/new/shellshock.htm
“ What medical officers quickly realized was that everyone had a 'breaking point': weak or strong, courageous or cowardly - war frightened everyone witless. “ - Bourke 'right in the middle of an ordinary conversation' when 'the face of a Boche that I have bayoneted, with its horrible gurgle and grimace, comes sharply into view‘ – An infantry captain
<ul><li>Shell shocked victims were looked down upon as cowards by the public </li></ul><ul><li>Some men were even charged, and went through a mock trial, sometimes even being convicted and shot by their own side. </li></ul><ul><li>As early as 1917, 1/7 of all personnel already discharged because of psychological reasons. </li></ul><ul><li>Officials suffered more from shell shock than soldiers on the front. </li></ul>
<ul><li>Once believed as direct physical injury to the nerves </li></ul><ul><li>Later on, seen more and more caused by psychological trauma. </li></ul><ul><li>4/5 of men affected and hospitalized with shell shock were never able to return to the war again. </li></ul><ul><li>Some underwent massage, electro-shock treatment, diets, to attempt and cure “physical nerve damage” </li></ul><ul><li>Cures for psychological damage included therapy, and hypnosis. </li></ul><ul><li>Ultimately, 80,000 soldiers of just the British army was affected by shell shock. </li></ul>
Wilfred Owen <ul><li>http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/worldwars/wwone/av/wilfred_owen_sentry_full.ram </li></ul>'The Sentry' We'd found an old Boche dug-out, and he knew, And gave us hell, for shell on frantic shell Hammered on top, but never quite burst through. Rain, guttering down in waterfalls of slime Kept slush waist high that, rising hour by hour, Choked up the steps too thick with clay to climb. What murk of air remained stank old, and sour With fumes of whizz-bangs, and the smell of men Who'd lived there years, and left their curse in the den, If not their corpses ... There we herded from the blast Of whizz-bangs, but one found our door at last, -- Buffeting eyes and breath, snuffing the candles. And thud! flump! thud! down the steep steps came thumping And splashing in the flood, deluging muck - The sentry's body; then, his rifle, handles Of old Boche bombs, and mud in ruck on ruck. We dredged him up, for killed, until he whined "O sir, my eyes - I'm blind - I'm blind, I'm blind!" Coaxing, I held a flame against his lids And said if he could see the least blurred light He was not blind; in time he'd get all right. "I can't," he sobbed. Eyeballs, huge-bulged like squids', Watch my dreams still; but I forgot him there In posting next for duty, and sending a scout To beg a stretcher somewhere, and floundering about To other posts under the shrieking air. Those other wretches, how they bled and spewed, And one who would have drowned himself for good, - I try not to remember these things now. Let dread hark back for one word only: how Half-listening to that sentry's moans and jumps, And the wild chattering of his broken teeth, Renewed most horribly whenever crumps Pummelled the roof and slogged the air beneath - Through the dense din, I say, we heard him shout "I see your lights!" But ours had long died out. BBC
<ul><li>The public was stunned at the cost of war and began to distrust their governments. </li></ul><ul><li>Feelings of disillusionment came about and they began to wonder why the war was fought at all </li></ul><ul><li>Pre-war nationalistic feelings and pride was replaced with depression and the grim reality people had to face. </li></ul>
<ul><li>Works Cited </li></ul><ul><li>Bourke, Joanne. "Shell Shock during World War One." BBC History . 01 Mar. 2003. BBC. 17 Sept. 2008 <http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/worldwars/wwone/shellshock_01.shtml>. </li></ul><ul><li>Karpilovsky, Suzanne, Maria Fogel, and Olivia Kobelt. "Effects of WWI." IB History Pages . 1996. Pleasant Valley High School. 18 Sept. 2008 <http://www.cusd.chico.k12.ca.us/~bsilva/projects/great_war/effects.htm>. </li></ul><ul><li>Simkin, John. "Shellshock." Spartacus Educational . 19 Sept. 2007 <http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/fwwshellshock.htm>. </li></ul><ul><li>Stagner, Annessa C. "Reevaluating Society's Perception of Shell Shock: A Comparative Study Between Great Britain and the United States." Winner of the 2004 WFA-USA Alpha Theta Undergraduate Essay Award to Annessa Stagner . 2001. West Texas State University. 17 Sept. 2008 </li></ul><ul><li><http://www.wfa-usa.org/new/shellshock.htm>. </li></ul>
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