Wastage (military)

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Wastage was a British term used during the First World War. It was used to describe the losses experienced during the war that occurred during times when no infantry attack was taking place. Wastage was deaths as a result of artillery fire on soldiers who were manning their own trenches, not actively attacking the enemy's trenches. On the "quietest days" of the war, the British were losing 7,000 men killed and wounded per day to wastage. Even during major battles, wastage could often exceed casualties suffered during an infantry attack. Such was the case at 3rd Ypres and other major battles, especially later in the war.