If for Americans, at least, the Great War could sometimes be imagined as a brief, quasi-athletic lark, the Second War permitted no such melioration by the spirit of adolescent optimism. In North Africa alone, the 1st Infantry Division spent more time in mortal contact with the enemy than all the time it spent—forming up, marching, drawing equipment, lining up at the mess hall, training, bitching—in all of the First World War. And on December 7, 1941, the American navy lost in one day more men killed—2008, to be exact—than in all the days of the earlier war. The Second World War, total and global as it was, killed worldwide, more civilian men, women, and children than soldiers, sailors, and airmen. And compared with the idiocies of Verdun, Gallipoli, or Tannenberg, it was indescribably cruel and insane. It was not until the Second World War had enacted all its madness that one could realize how near Victorian social and ethical norms the First World War really was.