I’m currently reading a book about the battle for Iwo Jima. After reading hundreds of books on World War II nothing much makes me dwell on something, however I read something tonight that has given me the willies.
A Marine was recounting how he was under mortar attack and he dived into a shell hole. Upon jumping into the crater he landed on top of another Maine. He said the Maine started to attack him, trying to choke him. He yelled “Marine, Marine!” but continued to be attacked. He said he managed to lift the soldier’s helmet and recoiled from the sight. He said the Marine in the hole “had no face”. He was able to see the man’s sinus cavity, eye sockets and bone, but said there was very little blood.
He didn’t say what eventually happened to this Marine, but is it possible to survive long term without a face? Is there anything doctors could have done back in 1945 to help this man? Is there even anything that could be done today? I realize there have been face transplants, but I would assume that most of the facial bones were still intact when those surgeries were performed.
Apparently a piece of shrapnel had cleanly sliced off this Marines face, if it was me I would have preferred if the man who jumped in my hole would take mercy on me and put me out of my misery. This is one of the rare times something I’ve read had a actually horrified me.