Medical Heroes

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The one group that often gets overseen in WWII stories are the medics. There are some books and movies about them, but if you put in the bigger scheme of WWII things it is a small percentage.

Yet they are the ones who would run into the battlefield, sometimes unarmed, to pick up the wounded.

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They were also the ones who, after the dust cleared, had to deal with the aftermath of battle. It is one thing seeing your brother in arms being blown to smithereens, but due to the adrenaline and the instinct to survive, it keeps the other emotions at check. You just get on with it, but afterwards when things have settled the emotions start flowing. The medical teams had to deal with these emotions and at the same time try to save lives.

Like here where surgeons work on the leg amputation of an injured solider at 46th Portable Surgical Hospital in Tinkhawk Sakan, Burma during World War II. 1944.

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Sometimes in makeshift field hospitals  Like in the picture below where an American Army doctor operates in an underground bunker surgery room behind the front lines in Bougainville, Papua New Guinea during World War II. The injured soldier had been wounded by a Japanese sniper. 1943.

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It wasn’t only men ,Navy Flight Nurse Jane Kendiegh feeds an injured solider on a return trip from the battle of Iwo Jima.

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An American medic works with two Army nurses to administer blood plasma to a patient who was critically wounded by shell fragments at the Battle of Anzio in Italy

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American Captain Clarence Brott applies a cast to the leg of a soldier with a deep wound in his thigh inflicted by a shell fragment.

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Picture source: National Library of Medicine and National Archives

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Medical Troops in WWII

We often hear the stories of the special forces during WWII and without a shadow of a doubt they were all heroes.

However the heroes that are often forgotten are those of the Medical Corps, while being shot at they ran into the battlefield to attend the wounded. The red cross often functioned as a target for snipers. More then anyone else they put their lives at risk.

Even those who didn’t see action on the battlefields they still had to deal with the aftermath of the battles and the horrors they witnessed would often haunt them for the rest of their lives.

The pictures below are a tribute to the male and female Heroes of the Medical Corps, I salute you.

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The Nurses

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Helping the enemy

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The recruitment posters

The German Military corps

The Hospitals

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The impossible made possible

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