Severely wounded extremities following battlefield injuries present a surgical dilemma to military surgeons of whether to attempt salvage or amputate the limb. There are many considerations to be made, including local and systemic patient factors, other wounded personnel and logistical constraints. Attempts have been made previously to form objective scoring criteria so as to remove possible subjectivity in this decision-making process. Furthermore, paediatric patients present their own particular dilemmas. This paper examines these various matters and, with contemporaneous evidence, presents recommendations for management.