National Geographic : 1917 Apr
Photograph by Paul Thompson HOW TO TAKE A BUILDING BY STORM : A LESSON AT THE PHYSICAL TRAINING SCHOOL OF VINCENNES Although there have been innumerable new engines of destruction employed in the present world war, such as the submarine, the airplane, and the high-explosive shell, the fighting forces of Europe have also hied back to ancient and medieval principles of warfare with astonishing frequency. For example, we have seen the recrudescence of the "Greek fire" idea in "liquid fire," the evolution of the Chinese stinkpot in the new poisonous gas, the reappearance of the armored knight in the soldier wearing a steel helmet, and the glori fication of the battering ram in the lumbering new "tank." As shown in the above illustra tion, the modern soldier is trained to scale, walls, just as were the soldiers of Darius the Great, Alexander the Great, Alfred the Great, and Charlemagne. There are variations, but no new principles, in the crude art of destroying human life. ually approaching France, both in the manufacture of heavy guns and the pro duction of munitions; but this condition appears after two and a half. years of war. During those two and a half years it was the French cannon, French shells, French soldiers, and Franch brains that checked the military ambitions of Ger many. NEW MIRACLES OF SURGERY With all this effort applied to improve her killing power, France did not neglect the complement of war destruction healing. The best surgical and medical minds of the country pondered long on the problem of saving all that was possi ble from the human wreckage of war. The fruit of this thought is exemplified in the work of Doctor Carrel, whose achievements under the Rockefeller Foun dation are well known in the United States, and Doctor Dakin. These two men put all their efforts into curing the evil of infection. They had found in their work among the wounded that 75 per cent of deaths, after the first 24 hours, were due to infection; that 80 per cent of amputations were due to in fection, and that 95 per cent of secondary hemorrhage came through infection. While the work incidental to healing the wounded was going on, Doctors Car rel and Dakin established a research labo ratory in conjunction with their military hospital at Compeigne.