Sunday, October 16, 2011

A Farewell to Arms

I finished the book today. If you haven’t read it I recommend it. I didn’t like Catherine Barkley. I felt that her character was too wishy washy, there was nothing about her that you could get your teeth into. I seem to remember thinking something similar of the leading lady in ‘For Whom the Bell Tolls’.

Anyway, this post is about a strange and interesting coincidence. In the book, while Frederic Henry is having his wounds tended to, the doctor says ‘You will have nothing to worry about if it doesn’t infect and it rarely does now’. Amongst our purchases at the auction in Limoges this week we picked up a leaflet written for French surgeons in 1914. The leaflet explains how German bullets are smooth and leave clean wounds that do not infect, are easy to deal with and heal well. Allied bullets however, left a lot of damage and danger of infection, etc. as they shattered on impact. How is that for propaganda? Even your wounds healed better if you were on the right side.


A Lady's Life said...

I loved that book and now you gave me incentive to find it and read it again. Its a classic.
The Germans were ahead in everything in those days but at what cost to lives?
If every one was allowed to torture people like they did, science would explode forward but thankfully this is not the case.
Todays' bullets take off half the body so no one worries about infection lol
But it is nice to see what a perfected, good bullet looks like. It is part of history.

Don said...

The American bullets left a lot of damage on purpose. We were among the first to start looking at the damage a bullet does to stop on one or two rounds instead of the many a "clean" bullet needs to "get the job done".

As A Lady's Life says, today's bullets have advanced to the stage that they "take half the body off" for that very reason, to "save on ammo".

Not saying it is good, just what was happening back then, and now...


A Lady's Life said...

anji a farewell to arms may be seen at
they show domain free movies and have some pretty good ones.