WWI: The Great War of the Mind

Military historian Tim Cook explores the history of shell shock, also known as the "storm centre" of military medicine.

Read by Nelle Oosterom

Posted May 18, 2010

Listen to an excerpt of Tim’s article, as read by Canada’s History associate editor Nelle Oosterom (duration: 9min, 23sec).

Mental breakdown among soldiers in wartime has been observed through the ages. But not until World War I did soldiers break down in such staggering numbers. Doctors termed the condition “shell shock” and they called it the storm centre of military medicine. But no one really knew how to treat it.

Visit the Canadian War Museum’s online exhibition Canada and the First World War.

To get the whole story, read the June/July issue of Canada’s History magazine.

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