So quickly we forget. By weight, most of those bones would have been animal bones. Horses and mules were everywhere around armies until the middle of the 20th century. And, pre-refrigeration, armies did not move food around in boxes. It walked behind the army on hooves. The combination of dead horses/mules in combat, plus all the cattle being eaten, means that the vast majority of bones around a battle would not have been be human.
Don't forget that canning was invented in response to a prize issued by the Napoleonic army.
However it doesn't look like it was ready for use by the time of the battle at Waterloo.
I read the title, skimmed the article, now I’m listening to ABBAs Waterloo on repeat.
Also interesting to think of names that have become "things" - Waterloo "To be decisively defeated by an encounter with a powerful opponent or a problem that is too difficult" or Hindeberg, Titanic, etc.
I smell the blood of an Englishman,
Be he alive, or be he dead
I'll grind his bones to make my bread.
But apparently not limited to the English, and for fertilizer, which grew the grain, but surprisingly accurate otherwise.
2. "not much different than today"? Is this just some wild rhetoric or do you actually postulate that armies today are using the bodies of their dead for fertilizer/etc?
The soldiers have been either abandoned (a lot in Kiev fighting) or put into number-only graves in Belarus and near Rostov. A few are sent home to have those public funerals.
Also sure sounds a lot like the rumors back during Covid about secret mass cremations to hide how many were dying.
It's improbable for the same reasons it was improbable the last time it wasn't true. Secret mass cremations just aren't practical from a logistical standpoint.
Running non-stop with no breaks, bodies ready to go, matching the efficiency of the most optimal stationary crematories, working around the clock, a single truck could burn 12 bodies using 336 gallons of fuel (per https://www.lng2019.com/how-much-natural-gas-is-used-to-crem...) and generating 6.6 metric tons of CO2. For this to even make sense politically, there would have to be a number of bodies so large that burning it made more sense than anything else, even with how costly and obvious it would be to observers.
I'm open to your guesses, but I'm going to say one thousand innocents in a single place would be sufficiently atrocious. I say this because numbers like 100-200 are thrown around fairly casually when reporting on Ukraine and other locations, so I'm going up one magnitude from that. So 84 trucks working as described could finish this job in one day, releasing 5,500 metric tons of CO2 and consuming 2300+ gallons of fuel to do so. I leave it to the reader to determine whether it's plausible for a military in the midst of a very difficult war to dedicate the human and supply resources necessary to conduct such an operation (at peak efficiency, as described).
At the very least, the movement and fueling of 84 such trucks (or even 30 if we're spending a week doing this) should be observable. We shouldn't have to rely on video from 2013 to make these claims. The video most often shown as proof of Russia's mobile crematories is one of a mobile incinerator, e.g. for trash which can fully combust in minutes.
You keep saying 'single body'.
Crematoriums in mortuaries operate on the principle that you put one body in and get one set of ashes out. These ashes are then put in a single urn and given to a single family who will grieve their single loved one.
That is not what Russia is using their mobile crematoriums for. You're not going to give the ashes of the deceased to the deceased's family; the deceased's family is all in the same pile of bodies with them. You do not put one body in at a time, you put in as many as will fit. As bodies are reduced, you create more space; you fill that space with more bodies. As ashes are generated, you remove the ashes as they accumulate at the bottom.
You are replacing a low volume batch process with a high volume continuous process. You do not need to wait for the crematorium to heat up or cool down. You do not need to ensure 100% complete combustion. You do not need to worry about disturbing the neighbors with the smell. You do not need particularly high flue temperatures. This will be orders of magnitude more efficient.
You are making a distinction between a mortuary grade crematorium and a mobile incinerator which needn't meet environmental regulatory standards; Russia is not making such a distinction.
The truck that someone posted looks like it could fit two bodies and gets to 1200 degrees, which I guess works with your partial cremation theory (full cremation needs 1800-2000 degrees). It doesn't seem to me that fitting 2 bodies into the incinerator, then adding an additional "get rid of these half-burnt bodies" step, really changes my point much.
2. "This incinerator can burn 20000 kg/day of trash" != "This can burn 150 bodies"
3. Is this being used in Ukraine? Are there any of these devices in Russia?
You initially questioned if cremating bodies in mobile crematoria was technically possible.
Then you were pointed out that not only is it technically possible, there are smaller mobile crematoria being sold to the public for civil applications which, even though were designed for a whole different problem, demonstrate this is quite feasable and not a challenge.
And your follow-up question is that you feel a mobile crematorium designed for mobile trash does not do a good job cremating a body?
It seems you're desperately trying to move the goalpost. You've switched from "this is an impossibility" to "this specific product wouldn't be as efficient as the Russian ones".
But even if full cremation is not the goal -- I have laid out a sketch for what the logistics of a large scale field cremation operation would have to look like.
This is perhaps the most video recorded war ever, and certainly a candidate for most propagandized. Has any Ukrainian partisan produced anything remotely resembling this shape? Even if my estimates of operating temperatures and corpse throughput are off, they are off by fractions, not magnitudes.
Where is the evidence that anything remotely resembling this operation is occurring? Where are the freshly dug up fields that would be required to inter these half burnt remains? Where are the convoys of flatbeds carrying incinerators into the country? Where are the giant plumes of smoke? Stacked bodies?
Do you have literally a single thing? Or do you have a substantial reason (instead of convenient preference) to believe that the operation would have a different shape instead?
It is simply amazing to me that you feel you have any right to be smug, given the fact that you nakedly and unabashedly believe a conspiracy theory.
No, not really. You were already repeatedly corrected on this personal assertion alone. Moreover, if you had any interest in expressing a realistic and informed opinion you'd already knew that Nazi furnaces only used fuel to jumpstart the incineration process and from thereon they operated at a continuously fed incinerator self-sustained by human body fat while operating at >1000C.
It's already clear that you are deeply committed to pushing disinformation and denialist propaganda to whitewash Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
The goal is not cremation, the goal is disposal. It only needs to get hot enough to make the bodies go away, not to cremate them.
I think you have mis-extrapolated the logistics.
It takes two hours for a single body, in a single-body crematorium, where the remains will be handled according to protocols developed for legal, social, and sanitary reasons.
In a truck-sized, industrial-efficiency waste disposal incinerator, with military protocols and no laws, I expect you could handle a much higher input rate.
Regarding the waste of resources, these are likely to use lower grade/bunker fuel. And as to priorities, remember Russia is the only country in the world that introduced a national standard for mass graves. In effect since February 1st this year: https://www.mchs.gov.ru/dokumenty/5693
Scroll down to page 13 for pictures if you don't read Russian.
They had thrown tens of millions of rubles to the gut and put thousands of Russian soldiers in a grinder meat, just for make an old man happy before die. They just don't care.
I'm not sure what you think these regulations prove. AFAIK Russia is probably the only military of its size engaged in operations that would result in mass field casualties of soldiers, what should they do?
> I'm not sure what you think these regulations prove.
That getting rid of corpses at scale is a problem they pay substantial attention to.
> That getting rid of corpses at scale is a problem they pay substantial attention to.
Yes, because again, they are probably the only military in the world engaged in conventional, symmetrical combat at their scale. Advanced nations like the US will just drop a bomb on a peasant wedding in Baluchistan and let the locals do the clean up. It's much more efficient, and as a bonus, provides a great boost to the local funerary economy as well.
Arguing from the existence of legislation regulating how to dispose of large numbers of animals or dead soldiers is an ad hominem and an obviously disingenuous argument. In a previous age, this would be understood to be an incredibly stupid way to argue, and I pity you for being incapable of seeing that.
Meanwhile, bring evidence.
JFC, the video is titled "Crematorium" and the narrator talks about incinerating biological substance. Did you expect them to burn a body for youtube video?
> It also says it gets to 1200 degrees, much less than the 1800-2000 degrees required to incinerate a human.
Brass melts at ~1000C. 1200C should be plenty for organics.
See, no body, no crime. Plus, a nasty dollop of uncertainty for the surviving loved ones and friends.
Supposedly the initial goal of Russia's fleet of mobile crematoria was to serve during the post-invasion occupation of Ukraine to disappear elements of the country's local and central leadership that represented a risk to Russia's annexation of the Ukraine.
It just so happened that Russia's plan to steamroll through Ukraine, with their front-line troops carrying parade uniforms and riot control kit and barely any supplies or logistic infrastrucure, didn't really panned out.
Nevertheless, Ukraine claims that Russia is now using their fleet of mobile crematoria to try to hide the full scale of the atrocities in places like Mariupol.
I'd also add that Ukraine's effort to store and preserve the corpses of Russia's own dead soldiers, and be very vocal about returning them either to the deceased soldiers' families or even the Red Cross, is also a way to counter Russia's propensity to thin out their official casualty statistics.
Your personal assertion doesn't really hold any water. Mobile crematoriums, or hiding evidence of crimes in general, are not used because they are practical. They are used because it's a possible solution for a pressing problem.
And the "mass" blurb is a misrepresentation of their mission. The purpose of mass crematoriums is not to hide the mass of battlefield casualties, but relative low volume of politically damaging killings, such as quietly disappearing civil and military leadership without trace in a post-invasion/occupation scenario.
In the case of Russia's invasion of the Ukraine, it just so happened that the planned 3-day war followed by occupation never materialized, and somehow that is evidence that Russia's usage of mobile crematoriums is improbable?
The existence of a portable system to "respectfully" dispose of the bodies is very different from profiting from the crushed bones of the deceased.
As for "who?", if you grew up the 80s of 90s you will remember the
daily, breathless grandiose proclamations of various government
digital literacy programmes. Selling the World Wide Web, the
Information Superhighway, Ubiquity and Universal Access was a
decade-long propaganda drive that laid the foundations for what it now
the "tech industry".
Of course there is much in the world that is over-promised, and
over-reaches. At some point people usually reconcile the reality with
the hype. With "tech" I think that has still not happened, and many
remain in a dream world, high on the fantasies they grew up with.
This is a rhetorical or satirical commentary on the fact that media technology, while having the superficial capacity for increasing access to and quality of information, often has the opposite effect of what one might expect despite that capacity. That is, it just as frequently and even more adeptly appears to embed and reinforce deeply pre-existing biases towards false -- even obviously so -- narratives which are comforting or reaffirm the believer's sense that they see through the confusion of world events.
The answers to "by whom", and "so what" questions are not going to be literal answers, just like "at what precise moment did you stop sleeping and become awake this morning" has no true answer, but would only invite a debate over the definitions of sleeping and waking. It's not meant to literally be a story about a time I was told something. I was told many things, by many people, in various forms, over a long period of time.
The comment is meant to provoke the reader to consider that technology -- far from giving man the ability to conquer his nature -- emanates from man's nature, is a servant to it, and can easily serve to reinforce and entrench it. Therefore, one ought to treat technological progress carefully, and not assume that it is equivalent to human progress.
I think western militaries go to pretty extraordinary lengths to recover and repatriate bodies these days.
In the Falklands in the 1980s there were still some battlefield burials, as that was still the accepted practice, but most of these were dug up after public outcry and I don't think we'd do that anymore, short of a full-scale war of national survival.