The Geeks of War: The Secretive Labs and Brilliant Minds behind Tomorrow's Warfare Technologies

By John Edwards | Go to book overview

CHAPTER FOUR
FITTER FIGHTERS

HEALTH, MEDICINE,
AND BIOTECHNOLOGY

THE HEALTH AND FITNESS of troops have always been a major concern for military leaders. Until very recently, there wasn't much that could be done to help troops fight and feel better beyond providing adequate food, clothing, and shelter.

Until the twentieth century, more men were killed by disease and infection than by battle-related events. In the American Civil War, for example, 120,012 men were killed in action and 64,582 died of their wounds. A total of 186,216 soldiers died of a variety of different illnesses during the conflict. A big problem was that large numbers of soldiers came from rural areas and had not been exposed to common diseases such as chicken pox and mumps. Living in unhealthy conditions and often denied proper medical treatment, soldiers sometimes died of these diseases. For example, 5,177 soldiers in the Union Army died of measles during the war. Cases of smallpox, tuberculosis, and malaria were also rampant.

Contaminated food and water, including drinking from streams polluted by waste and corpses, also led to thousands of needless deaths. Union records show that diarrhea, typhoid, and dysentery claimed 35,127, 29,336, and 9,431 lives, respectively.

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The Geeks of War: The Secretive Labs and Brilliant Minds behind Tomorrow's Warfare Technologies
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page i
  • Contents vii
  • Preface xi
  • Introduction: The Military­ Technology Matrix 1
  • Chapter One: Finding and Breaking Things 11
  • Chapter Two: The Fingertips War 39
  • Chapter Three: Early Warning 57
  • Chapter Four: Fitter Fighters 99
  • Chapter Five: Moving Ahead 135
  • Chapter Six: The Shadow War 153
  • Chapter Seven: Uniforms, Protective Gear, and Other Things They Don't Sell at Bloomingdale's 175
  • Glossary 199
  • Index 211
  • About the Author 221
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