The Military Surgeon, Vol. 46

The Military Surgeon, Vol. 46 : May, 1920 (Classic Reprint)

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Excerpt from The Military Surgeon, Vol. 46: May, 1920
When junior members of the special divisions began to arrive and were assigned to combatant divisions, the complications increased. They were not recognized in the Tables of Organization, and the details of arranging for billets, messes and transportation were therefore difficult. The towns in which headquarters of divisions were located were usually small and crowded. The general, his personal aides, and the general staff sections were billeted together and had one mess. The heads of the departments, including the division surgeon and sometimes the sanitary inspector, had another mess; there were one or more junior messes. Usually there were not enough medical officers to form a mess, nor was it considered good policy to separate the division surgeon from his col leagues in the other departments. So it came about that the specialists found themselves either assigned for billet and mess to hospitals over which the division surgeon had control, or at division headquarters in a mess consisting of transients and officers of junior rank. Assignment to hospitals separated them from the division surgeon, because medical organizations were not usually in the same town as headquarters, and it placed the consultants in an isolated position where they could not best perform their functions, which were divisional in their application. These complications now seem trifling, but they led to the disturbed feelings which impaired the usefulness of the junior consultants.
Division surgeons were usually of the Regular Army and trained along the lines of military administrative control. The specialist presented a new problem, and one of which the division surgeon had not been sufficiently informed. One can readily understand his problem by considering the arrival of two officers, one reporting as a medical officer and the other with orders for assignment as division urologist or orthopedist or psychiatrist. The first was assigned to a battalion or a field hospital by the usual orders. His place was fixed by the Tables of Organization and was understood by all. He expected no special transportation and joined his organization for any duty assigned him and found his recognized place in billet and mess. The other probably arrived in an automobile loaned him by the Red Cross or by his special division. Perhaps he had a letter of introduction to the division surgeon. At least he bore papers showing that he represented a special service and was to be a part of the office of the division surgeon. The division surgeon, being loyal, greatly desired to carry out the policy implied in this officer's arrival. He had the choice between taking him into his own overcrowded office, forcing him into a mess where he was not wanted because of inadequate facilities, and because he did not hold one of the positions which entitled him to membership, urging a harassed billeting officer to make room for him in a jammed headquarters town.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 168 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 9mm | 231g
  • Forgotten Books
  • English
  • 97 Illustrations; Illustrations, black and white
  • 0243318774
  • 9780243318773