This was brought to mind by a similar question from @Chuck. In any case, I heard mine elsewhere and cannot vouch for its veracity, just thought it would be cool to share:

During WW2, the British forces realised that their a large portion of soldiers were dying from severe head injuries such as bullet wounds, blunt trauma, etc. Determined to better protect their soldiers, engineers were tasked to build better, stronger helmets.

Soon after the new helmets were rolled out, the generals in charge took another look at their casualty statistics, and saw that the number of reported head injuries had actually gone up!

Strangely enough, instead of firing the engineers involved, they were actually praised for a job well done (and maybe given extra tea rations, it was the British Army after all). Why this strange reaction?

  • 4
    $\begingroup$ If the two answers already given are correct, I'm not sure how this puzzle is significantly different from the previous puzzle. $\endgroup$
    – Ambo100
    Commented Nov 19, 2017 at 14:42
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Does this answer your question? Save our WWII planes $\endgroup$
    – Chuck
    Commented Dec 5, 2021 at 21:33
  • $\begingroup$ Very similar to the Abraham Wald story, but still a nice way of telling this puzzle. $\endgroup$
    – Chuck
    Commented Dec 5, 2021 at 21:34

3 Answers 3


Well, one would guess that

the helmets converted previously lethal hits into survivable head injuries, thus increasing the number of injuries.


If you can report that your head's injured, the injury didn't kill you.

  • $\begingroup$ Technically this answer was posted 11 seconds before the accepted one! :) $\endgroup$
    – Chuck
    Commented Jul 28, 2020 at 14:53

Praise was given to the engineers because before the Revised helmets where rolled out, there were "reportedly more cases" for SEVERE Head Injuries and Blunt Trauma, and then the "reported cases" for Head Injuries {WHICH IS NOT AS LIFE THREATENING AS SEVERE HEAD INJURIES} ------ i.e. whether the revised helmets were the factor for fewer severe head injuries cases {theoretically fewer casualties and disabled} OR NOT...the Head Injuries being higher after the revised helmets seemed to be factor in severe head injury cases being reported


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