Eli5:After a battle, how they do to get rid of the dead people ?



Eli5:After a battle, how they do to get rid of the dead people ?

In: Other

A lot of the time they don’t. Why do you think those fields in Flanders grow such beautiful poppies. Free fertilizer.

Generally a temporary cease fire will be called and both sides will remove their dead from the battlefield. Then, depending on circumstances, they will either be buried individually or temporarily put in mass graves. if only one side is actually able to do so, they are supposed to treat the dead enemy soldiers the same as they would their own if at all possible. This doesn’t always happen, but does surprisingly often.

But all of this depends on the situation at the time.

If it was before the Napoleonic era, the winner would go through the battlefield, burn their dead and take the expensive metal and weapons to be re-used or melted down.

After the Napoleonic war era, the dead are left on the field unless it’s a general or an officer.

It entirely depends.

Sometimes they just dig a large hole and throw them all in, push them all in with a bulldozer, etc. That’s mostly for the enemy though. For their own soldiers they might gather them up to formally identify them and then temporarily bury them in graves until after the war.

After WW1 and WW2 a number of countries went and dug up their dead and moved them to official graveyards. They didn’t take them home as there were too many.

Today countries like the USA and Australia gather up their dead and then send them home in a coffin draped with their national flag.

And of course they still find bodies from previous wars. Some were buried by artillery fire (throws dirt over them, collapsed trenches and buildings, etc). Some were just buried on the spot by their comrades. Others have just laid where they fell.

According to a YouTube video I just watched, which made me an expert, if the battles were near populated areas often locals were forced to handle the dead themselves or else deal with the stench and health risks of rotting corpses but that is usually done by people who can see through the disgusting nature of the chore and see the financial gain of robbing the dead bodies on the way to the mass graves.

What time period are we talking about?