Every time the US has deployed military force in the last two and a half decades it was, to see the protesters in their black body suits with white shoe-polish skeletons, about to be a veritable armageddon. The corpses of our boys and the poor enemy's alike would be piled in windrows, and the only winner would be the corpse-eating rats. Every commanding officer down to the lowliest second lieutenant knew that any casualty suffered by his unit might be the one that ticked over the news media's ghastly odometer and turned him into the digital age's George Armstrong Custer.
On this date in 1942 Marshal Timoshenko launched the almost 650,000 men under his command into a general offensive along the Donets, striking towards Karkhov and Dnepropetrovsk. Opposing him was von Bock's Army Group South, with a TO&E strength of almost a third of a million troops. By the time the dust had settled over the Second Battle of Karkhov some two weeks later, the Russian morning roll call list would be lighter by almost 200,000 names, while the Germans had lost "only" 40-60,000 KIA, wounded, and missing. And Second Karkhov was by no means the largest or fiercest action on the Eastern Front.
It's all a matter of scale, I guess.