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Remembered Today:

Medical and Surgical Work as a Prisoner of War

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By Alexander T.I. MacDonald, MD, DPH, Temporary Captain RAMC. 



Came across this when I was looking for something different; and interested to see that the next article is by Surgeon Commander G.M. Levick, RN, the surgeon with the Eastern Party in Scott's TERRA NOVA Expedition.



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Fascinating.  Thank you seaJane. 



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Thanks for the article , seaJane! I found it most interesting as I am very interested in the German medical organisation. It's interesting to read the opinion of a professional from the "other side" about it. Of course, he only experienced it as a POW and in the last months of the war, when due to all kinds of reasons, it was decreasing in quality. Some of the remarks I know of course. It is obvious that mechanisation of the transport was a huge problem for the German army (and still was in WW2, I remember my grandfather always commenting about the extensive use of horses even in 1940/44).

There is an interesting remark about stretcher-bearing. The author is not very enthusiastic about the German system of using "a ground sheet, slung on a pole, borne on the shoulders of two bearers". This system was widely used already in 1917 (I don't know when it came into use) in Flanders. I personally thought it was a very smart way of transporting wounded over the quagmire (comparing it to how goods are carried in a jungle). When one compares it with the testimonies of the British trying to evacuate wounded with stretcher bearers, needing an endless amount of time, a large amount of bearers (at least four) and a high chance of the stretcher being dropped or tipping over when one of the bearers slipped, fell or dived, I thought the German system was quicker and safer. I would love to find out whether any reports were written about these different systems.




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Hi Jan,


I'm glad you found it interesting. Yes, I wonder whether, once the hostilities were over, medics from both sides got together and compared notes.

I suspect that everyone favours the system they're most accustomed to.




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