Gallows humor is part of what allows men to function in horrific situations. These are jokes that are absolutely politically incorrect and many times would get people in trouble if people outside of the cadre were to overhear.
A surgeon told me this joke:
What do you call a diabetic with both legs? Pre-op.
What do you call a diabetic who has lost a leg? Pre-op.
No doctor is going to look at a patent with diabetes and tell them flat out that they expect to amputate one or more legs in the future. It just isn’t done. At the same time it allows the doctor to provide a little bit of distance between the horror of having to cut a person’s leg off because there is no other option.
Every profession has it’s gallows humor. Even us computer nerds. Recently we were at the 30 hour mark of a business down event. I’m on chat with the client. The owner has chewed his fingers to the elbows while his tech and I work the problem. I say to the tech “I’m going to wait just a few more minutes, we are just about there and then say “Uh… Opps” in the group chat. We can watch Boss have a heart attack.
Tech and I laughed but we didn’t do it. At our AAR I told boss dude about the joke and he said “Tech saved my life.”
It is humor, just dark.
Here is a song from WWII time frame expressing the dark humor of the paratroopers. It is a good recording but I found myself watching the video instead so I’ve included a second version with they lyrics.
Blood on the Risers