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The dirty dozens

“In April 1944, the War Department decreed that inductees need have only a ‘reasonable chance’ of adjusting to military life, although psychiatric examiners were advised to watch for two dozen ‘personality deviations,’ including silly laughter, sulkiness, resentfulness of discipline, and other traits that would seemingly disqualify every teenager in the United States. In addition, the Army began drafting ‘moderate’ obsessive-compulsives, as well as stutterers. Men with malignant tumors, leprosy, or certifiable psychosis still were deemed ‘nonacceptable,’ but by early 1944, twelve thousand venereal disease patients, most of them syphilitic, were inducted each month and rendered fit for service with a new miracle drug called penicillin.” – Rick Atkinson, The Guns at Last Light

Published inRick AtkinsonThe Second World War

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