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The Blood Test Revisited: A New Look at German Casualty Counts in World War I

From: The Journal of Military History
Volume 70, Number 3, July 2006
pp. 667-701 | 10.1353/jmh.2006.0180


This paper presents a "new" set of data on German casualties in World War I, using the German medical corps's official history to resolve two major controversies concerning casualty comparisons in Winston Churchill's "Blood Test" chapter in The World Crisis: first, treatment of the 496,000 German casualties that Churchill could not assign to battle periods; and second, provision of German casualty data comparable to that of the French and British through the inclusion of "lightly wounded" German casualties. Finally, these data weaken somewhat, but do not overturn Churchill's argument that, in every battle period on the Western Front, Allied casualties were greater than German casualties.

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