Post 6 “Shell-Shock”, McCullin

For this week I based my research and analysis off of two different source documents from The Times from London. The first, just a clipping from The Times in June of 1970 was an article on the photographer McCullin and his healing from his wounds received from an ambush by the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia. I hadn’t known McCullin was wounded but cannot say this, given his amount of dedication and self-sacrifice he has shown in previous conflicts, surprised me. I also find this interesting because most people who find themselves in the environment of war who are non-combatants, after receiving a wound find the first ticket out of the zone and their war days are finished, having narrowly escaped death. McCullin had repeatedly dodged injury and death, and upon receiving his red badge of courage continued to cover conflicts around the world. It is in this fact that we verify his own admission to being hooked on the drug that is war, and evidence of his own version of shell shock, which is a large part of the focus to my research.

The field reporter, in my opinion hastily put the second article, together with little research and the statements McCullin offered to the paper were perhaps misinterpreted. It covers his return to Vietnam and Cambodia years later to the exact locations where he took the photos during the Tet Offensive and of the Khmer Rouge, later in Cambodia. The Headline reading, “had to eat dirt to survive,”(The Times) was in my opinion, told to the paper by McCullin as a reference commonly used by Marines on the battlefield to express the act of laying down on the ground fast and hard to avoid being hit by bullets, shrapnel or any other gifts from the opposing side of the war. And not as it was taken in it’s most literal form of actually eating dirt. Another statement put in the paper (on a different clipping I assumed) as said from McCullin was that Marines used the AK-47 because of it was the best weapon in the communist arsenal, this may have been true but a little research and specification by the paper would have shown that the M-16, used by American Marines, was/is far more accurate and superior of a weapon. The reasoning behind Marines use of the 47 was because of its higher rate of fire, which allows you to fire more rounds to keep the enemy’s head down. And to the Marine on the battlefront this above most all else is the key to controlling the tempo of a fight, which allows you more mobility and control. 



*Return to the Nightmare. Don McCullin,The Sunday Times(London, England),Sunday, March 12, 2006; Issue 9471.

*The Sunday Times(London, England)

One thought on “Post 6 “Shell-Shock”, McCullin

  1. Tyler,
    This is a great post; I learned a lot from your analysis. Let’s talk about the contours of your paper going forward. I know I owe you an email. I think that’s the one thing missing from your post here – a sense of engagement with your larger project.

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