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Janet M. Torpy, MD
JAMA. 2012;308(22):2314. doi:10.1001/jama.2012.3374.
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When the Armistice took effect in November 1918, the fighting of The Great War—now more commonly known as World War I—ended. The global cataclysm claimed more than 10 million lives and was responsible for untold suffering and deprivation. Heinous chemical weapons, used in large scale and by Allied and Axis powers alike, included chlorine, phosgene, tear, and mustard gases: those aerosols permeated the trenches and left their victims blind and burned, if not dead. The vapors of destruction lent a new face to the usual casualties of war fought with conventional means and are unfortunately an area of grave concern on today's battlefields: declared war zones and terrorist—domestic and international—activity. Franz Marc (1880-1916), the avant-garde artist from Munich, received his fatal wound on the ground at Verdun, one of more than 700 000 individuals felled in that single conflict.

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Franz Marc (1880-1916), Tyrol, 1913-1914, German. Oil on canvas. 135.7 × 144.5 cm. Courtesy of Staatsgalerie Moderner Kunst (http://www.pinakothek.de/), Munich, Germany. Photo credit: bpk, Berlin/Staatsgalerie Moderner Kunst/Art Resource, New York, New York.



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