Re: The Spanish Armada of 1588
John, when I first saw the figure of 6,000 to 8,000 deaths, I thought it must be a misprint. For this many men to die, mainly of typhus and dysentery, in the matter of a few short weeks on board ships in English ports is truly horrific. It illustrates vividly just how virulent these diseases are in confined unhygienic conditions. The Spanish fared no better, being also weakened through starvation, but I don't have a figure for them.
We who have not experienced just how deadly these diseases really are, cannot imagine the despair one must have felt seeing your shipmates dying around you, and unable to anything about it - and then feeling unwell oneself, knowing that there is no known cure, and that you too will probably die soon.
As recently as WW1, I believe that most army casualties were from disease, rather than from battle.
With our modern medicines and hygiene, which we now take for granted, it is easy to become complacent about disease. But even in Britain, several diseases which we haven't seen for years, such as measles and TB are re-emerging, simply because people are not bothering with vaccination, forgetting that just because you can't see bacteria, it doesn't mean they are not there.
"To be ignorant of what occurred before you were born is to remain always a child. For what is the worth of human life unless it is woven into the life of our ancestors by the records of history?" - Cicero.