Talk:Cannon fodder

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This article is a bit well thick isn't it?[edit]

i man it reads like it's been written by 14 year olds for 14 years olds, does explaining one special teenagers own particular understanding of popular terms really warrant it's own wiki page? Things like "meat shield" which is typically a hostage that you hold to stop bullets... right..

the article is entertaining but it is part of a wealth of articles that seem to be from this strange perspective of people who don't have just general day to day understanding of basic language but keep trying to document it. As a result they are rather dogmatic about the meanings of things that in 99% of actual speech don't actually mean these things... DarkShroom (talk) 14:13, 24 October 2012 (UTC)

Starship Troopers[edit]

Removed the following from the page:

  • In the movie Starship Troopers, the motto for enlisting troops is "You want to live forever?", an allusion to US Marine Dan Daly's famous quote, "Come on, you sons of bitches, do you want to live forever?" Both imply that enlistees may as well die serving in the armed forces as they will inevitably die. As the troops in Starship Troopers are invariably vastly outnumbered by the alien enemy, they can be seen as examples of "cannon fodder".

He was just copying:

"Come on, you sons of bitches, do you want to live forever?" (Daly was, perhaps unknowingly, quoting Friedrich der Große who asked, on 18 June 1757 at the Battle of Kolin, "Kerls, wollt ihr denn ewig leben?") (Men, do you want to live eternally?).

This is exactly backwards. The Arachnids use disposable soldiers who can be replaced merely by 'warming up' more 'breeding reactors' and who consider themselves (very) expendable. The MI are explicitly *not* cannon-fodder. MilesVorkosigan 16:10, 9 May 2006 (UTC)

Now you're Bantha Fodder[edit]

"In the Star Wars universe there is a term called Bantha Fodder referring to canon fodder"

Most likely not, actually. It just means that the person being addressed is as good as dead.

Removing the line. 22:53, 5 July 2006 (UTC)

Yeah, I believe that line in the movie is addressed to someone who is about to literally be eaten by a Bantha, which pretty much negates the metaphor in this case. --Lurlock 03:40, 31 August 2006 (UTC)

Survival rates[edit]

Is there anything to back up the statement that survival rates in different branches of the armed forces have greater survival rates? I thought that a new fighter pilot's average survival time both in the first and second world wars were measured in minutes. In the second world war, bomber crews were unlikely to survive a single tour of duty. Bryces 23:12, 29 November 2006 (UTC)


"The term may also be used to differentiate infantry from other forces (such as artillery, air force or the navy), who generally have a much better survival rate."

This sounds wrong to me. The casualties in air forces (as a percentage of combat personell) is often far higher than that of the infantry. Also, there are many types of special forces who suffer far higher casualty rates than infantry, but would rarely be described as cannon fodder. I thought the term often referred to infantry simply because they are of so little military value compared to other services (the few hundred foreign pilots in the Battle of Britain were of far greater strategic value than a comparable number of infantry would have been)(TariqAlSuave 02:33, 4 June 2007 (UTC))

Myths, POV etc.[edit]

The following statements were removed from the article (as italicized):

[Examples include trench warfare in World War I] and Russian infantry offensives on the Western Front of World War II.
It was the offensive technique of choice for Communist militaries during the mid-20th Century, due to their huge numerical infantry superiority but greatly outdated technology and training.

Also, the following was tagged as needing verifiable sources:

Examples include the Stalinist Soviet Union during World War II, and Mao's Red China during the Korean War, where casualty ratios of 1:50 were commonplace

The first statement was too just vague and obscure. There were not so many Russian offensives that could be called infantry ones. The Soviet Union was not lacking tanks or guns or warplanes. And, by the by, that was definitely not the Western front. The second and third statements clearly represent a myth based on Hollywood blockbusters, such as Enemy at the gates. In point of fact, the overall casualty ratio on Eastern front of WWII was much closer to 3:4 (three killed German soldiers to four Russian soldiers), than to 1:50. --Dart evader 14:37, 8 August 2007 (UTC)

I have removed statement about 1:50 casualty ratios, as it's been unsoursed since August. Perhaps, the whole "Human wave attacks" part should be removed or heavily cut, as it tells nothing about the "cannon fodder" term, its history and its meaning. A simple link to Human wave attack article would suffice. Dart evader 18:08, 20 September 2007 (UTC)

To Digworen[edit]

I'm getting tired of reverting this silliness about human wave attacks as "primary tactics", and about "casualty rates", too. First, Digwuren, your source ([1]) does not even confirm exactly those statements you are repeatedly trying to add. Second, will you please read WP:Source so that you could know which sources are considered reliable here, and which are not. Your so called source definitely can't be regarded as reliable. So, I'll have to revert your edits again, until you manage to cite your additions more properly. Dart evader 20:30, 24 September 2007 (UTC)

MAC b&w[edit]

What of the old Mac versions? At least that is how I familiar with the term 'cannon fodder'. The one I speak of was a black and white version on a mac, later in my schooling I recall an updated version on newer macs with color. But the premise was the same adjust trajectory and power and try and get the other guy, often with hills and what have you in the way. What of this priceless gem?

Origins of the term[edit]

The word "Kanonenfutter" (Cannon fodder in German) was used (maybe for the very first time) 1801 - 13 years in advance to Chateaubriand - in the magazine "Briefe an ein Frauenzimmer über die wichtigsten Produkte der schönen Literatur" [Letters to a woman on the most important products of belles-lettres], published by Garlieb Helwig Merkel. Even Shakespeare is mentioned in the sentence. "Wenn die literarische Werbetrommel zu einer Unternehmung dieser Art gerührt wird, stellen sich, falls der Werbende Zutrauen zu erlangen weiß, wohl einzelne wackere Männer ein, aber das "Kanonen-Futter," wie Shakespear sich ausdrückt, wimmelt in hellen Haufen herbei." ( The word "Kanonenfutter" was mentioned again in 1808 in "Ueber und wider die vertrauten Briefe und Neuen Feuerbrände des preussischen Kriegsrathes in Cölln", page 72. ( Here even the name Falstaff is mentioned. "Falstaffs berühmte Compagnie war ihrem Chef ähnlich, Kanonenfutter." (Falstaff's famous company was similar to its head, cannon fodder.) Maybe someone can add these informations in the article. Thanks in advance.