Things that are interesting me…

Working out comparative rates of British civilian and military casualties during the Second World War, by service and over time. Making tables and drawing graphs.

The Defence of Britain Project, with its images, maps and records, particularly on the anti-invasion defences constructed in 1940. A very rich site, with much useful material for all sorts of research. And, via the Archaeology Data Service, a download that allows you to locate sites on Google Earth.

The newish Times Higher site, and particularly Alex Danchev’s review of  Darius Rejali’s Torture and Democracy.


7 Responses to Things that are interesting me…

  1. Brett says:

    Yes, graphing casualties is fun! I’ll have to do one for WWII when I can find a decent data set.

  2. trenchfever says:

    Yes indeed. I might drop you a line about the best way to display data when I’ve dug up a bit more. Defining who makes a casualty is a _problem_ though!

  3. Alan Allport says:

    Out of curiosity, where are you getting the data from? *Fighting with Figures* has a fairly detailed breakdown of civilian casualties by year, gender, and age; but it only has total wartime military casualties, as does Command Paper 6832 (my usual reference). Am a being a clot? Is there a much better source?

  4. Dan says:

    I’ve only just come to it as a notion, and as you’ll know, casualty statistics are fraught with difficulties. There isn’t one source with a year by year breakdown that I know of. O’Brien’s Official History of Civil Defence has yearly figures for civilian casualties by enemy action, although these include a ‘Lightly Injured’ category that I’m not sure the forces would recognise. MIlitary sources are harder – I’m exploring some different ways to get at the information (including which files to look at in the PRO – which might mean those behind Cmd 6832 and the Official Histories). One way I’ve thought of researching/presenting it is a graph of casualties by battle or campaign, because some version of this data is available in published sources, and it’s how we tend to think of military casualties. I’d be interested to hear of anything published on the subject as a whole, thoughts about whether it would be useful to know about this sort of thing and so on. There’s a post on this subject brewing up, but I want to spend a week or so in the NA before I do it.

  5. Alan Allport says:

    After I posted I did recall one another source: Casualties and Medical Statistics, Edited by Franklin, William M. [History of the Second World War] London: HMSO, 1972. I’ve browsed through it before and it tends to give you more information than you really want (how many airmen had gastric flu in Burma in the first half of 1943 – that sort of thing); but I imagine you could cull a lot from it.

  6. Dan says:

    Cheers Alan, will have a look. I’m also going to have a dig in AIR20, WO162 and CAB106 next week and see what I can find – more soon.

  7. […] of Britain Project January 24, 2008 — mahross I was reading Dan Todman’s blog, Trench Fever, and he noted an interest in the Defence of Britain Project. I had heard about this […]

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