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Casualty Evacuation for the Somme

British Ambulance Train Provision and Operation 1914-16

Author : Jeremy Higgins

Casualty Evacuation for the Somme : British Ambulance Train Provision and Operation 1914-16


General - Pages : 228 | Images : 7 b/w photos, 4 maps, 22 tables, 26 graphs, 7 diags

Paperback - Date of Publication : March 2020 | Size : 234mm x 156mm | ISBN : 9781913118600 | Helion Book Code : HEL1187

The main purpose of this book is to examine the evacuation of casualties from the first days of the Battle of the Somme in July 1916. The aftermath of the opening day of this battle, on 1 July 1916, resulted in the highest number of British casualties in any single day. A situation that was to severely test the medical and evacuation services over a number of days.

This work is based upon the War Diaries of medical units, and in particular those of the medical officers of the ambulance trains. The author has analysed the activity of every hour of every ambulance train in the period of June and July 1916 in order to build a unique oversight of how the evacuation pipeline coped with the crisis.

This book charts the evolution from the frantic efforts of late 1914 to a more organised and structured process of evacuation in 1915 and 1916. It explains the principles of the medical evacuation pipeline from the point of injury to the base hospitals. The staff planning for medical evacuation from the Battle of the Somme is explained, before attention shifts to the battle itself. The book reveals how the mass of injured humanity from 1 July hit the limited number of Casualty Clearing Stations, and were packed into almost 50 trains on long journey and uncomfortable journeys to places of safety and eventual recovery.    

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