The 'bionic men' of World War I

This article first appeared in a series on the legacies of World War I, published in August, 2014 for the 100-year anniversary of the war's outbreak. Thomas Schlich is Professor in History of Medicine at the Department of Social Studies of Medicine at McGill University. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author. View more opinion articles on CNN.

(CNN)World War I slaughtered and mutilated soldiers on a scale the world had never seen. It's little wonder that its vast numbers of returning crippled veterans led to major gains in the technology of prosthetic limbs.

Thomas Schlich
Virtually every device produced today to replace lost body function of soldiers returning from our modern w