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Response to Review no. 997

I would like to thank Professor Jason Crouthamel for his generous and thoughtful review of Broken Men. Crouthamel is quite right to note that the time is now ripe for comparative studies of post-war war neurosis especially with the British, French and German experiences. Crouthamel’s own work on ‘nervous Nazis’ has highlighted the significance of war-wounded veterans in German history but European-wide analyses are still missing. In addition, work is required on the status and the taboos associated with wounds across inter-war Europe. As Jay Winter has already pointed out, shell shock became emblematic of the war in Britain whereas in France les gueules cassées (the men with smashed faces) became the primary symbols of the Great War during the 1920s and 1930s. These conditions – shell shock and les gueules cassées – denoted shame, victimhood, heroism and glory all at the same time. It is hoped that we see the development of collaborative studies in these fields very soon.