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Each Nations Medic (Corpsman) situation

Discussion in 'Military Training, Doctrine, and Planning' started by JJWilson, Dec 3, 2017.

  1. JJWilson

    JJWilson Well-Known Member

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    Hello everyone, I have some questions regarding these nations Medic situation. What do I mean by medic situation? I read recently in Thomas R. Flagel's The History Buffs Guide To World War II, that for every U.S company there were 3 medics, and for every Japanese company there was 1. My First question is, How many medics did the Germans, Italians, Soviets, U.K, France, and China have in a company? My Second question is this, what were these countries training for being a medic like, and what equipment did they carry on an average day to day basis in the frontlines? I know those are a lot of questions, but I have always been curious as to how some of these other countries were when it came to battlefield medics.
    Thank for any and all answers or responses!
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  2. ColHessler

    ColHessler Member

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    I knew saving the instructions from my models would help. If you look at the diagram, just behind the platoon leader is the "sanitary soldier." That would be Sanitater or Sani. So this is for a platoon, I think it was four platoons for a company.

    Hope that helps. Scan_0001.jpg
     
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  3. ColHessler

    ColHessler Member

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  4. JJWilson

    JJWilson Well-Known Member

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    Thanks ColHessler! That answers the Germans side of that question.
     
  5. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WWII Veteran

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    Couldn't remember much about the medical situation in my mob (4th Queen's Own Hussars) but a quick look at my Diary turned up the following:

    Saturday 21st. April 1945
    In the column again. M.O's Kangaroo
    operator caught it right next to me. As night came
    on we were left with no flank troops & didn't feel to
    hot. In bed by 4 am.

    What this meant was that the the Regimental Medical Officer had his own Kangaroo (Converted tank that was turret-less) and that his wireless operator had been wounded in the head by a nearby shell burst.

    Ron
     
  6. JJWilson

    JJWilson Well-Known Member

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    I have some more info I found digging through books and the internet regarding some of the nations not yet touched on. The U.K from 1939-1942 had 2 medics assigned to a company, and 3 through 1943 to the end of the war. France before their fall had 3 medics per company, Free French companies from 1941 and on had 4 medics (2 of them being stretcher bearers, but they could perform same tasks as regular medics if called upon). China, as much as I researched the issue came up pretty inconclusive. The only things mentioned were the Communist forces under Mao didn't really have trained medics, but instead had women nurses, while the Nationalists had a "sanitation officer" per company that really wasn't a medic. The Soviets from 1939-1942 had only 1 medic for a company, from 43 on they had 2. Italy had 2 medics per company throughout the whole war. As to how well equipped each of these nations medics were, I have no details or facts. However, from what I have read and deducted I can make a list of best equipped to worst equipped medics in the war.
    1. U.S
    2. U.K
    3.France
    4.Germany
    5.Italy
    6.USSR
    7.Japan
    8.China
     
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  7. Owen

    Owen O

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    Quote from the TRUX section on ww2talk regarding medical staff in a British Infantry battalion from 1943 onwards.
    Infantry Battalion

    Medical personnel were listed as part of Regimental Headquarters. A Regimental Aid Post was set up to the rear and its position made known to all personnel. Here would be a Medical Officer from the Royal Army Medical Corp. He would be a fully qualified doctor a held the rank of captain. The Medical Officer was assisted by a medical serjeant who was trained in emergency treatment and carried a medical hamper with dressings and drugs. There was also a Medical Officers orderly who was provided by the battalion and acted as driver and general non medical assistant. Working to the Aid Post were the stretcher bearers who were trained in first aid. They were allocated to companies as required. All stretcher bearers could be armed with a Sten gun for self defence. In peace time the battalion band doubled as stretcher bearers.
    Medical Officer
    medical officers orderly/driver
    medical serjeant
    corporal stretcher bearer
    19 X stretcher bearers.

    In action the battalion chaplain would usually be at the Aid Post where he would assist with record keeping as well as giving comfort. The chaplain had a batman driver.
     
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  8. JJWilson

    JJWilson Well-Known Member

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    Thank you Owen....
     
  9. gtblackwell

    gtblackwell Well-Known Member Patron  

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    JJ, I thought this a great topic and glad to see the responses. Good research on your part too. Ron Goldman is being his humble self ! He was a loader-radio operator
    in a Sherman. He was wounded in combat in central Italy and recovered in a hospital in Naples ! Probably recovered by chasing nurses !! Ron , no doubt, appreciates medics more than most.
     
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  10. JJWilson

    JJWilson Well-Known Member

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    Thank you Gaines! I have long been curious about other nations Medics. I always saw movies on the American and occasionally British side, but I wanted to see some of the other not as popular allied or Axis nations Medical situations. What I have read and found out is quite striking, The U.S was definitely the luckiest when it came to having the supplies available to have effective medics just because of the nations industrial output. Japan's medics on the other hand were essentially empty handed by the summer of 1942, and Japanese medics were really nothing more than comfort troops to their dying comrades from that point forward having no supplies to heal even the simplest of wounds. The Soviet Union had similar supply issues in the wars beginning years, especially during Operation Barbarossa. It wouldn't be until 1943 that the Soviets had well trained and well equipped Medics, yet even then they were lacking many essential elements of aid. Germany and Italy both initially were pretty well off in the wars early years, but as time went on supplies and experienced medics began to run out. For me the most interesting part of this little research process was China. The articles and chapters in books I read were really quite vague, and simply stated neither the communist or Nationalist armies were all that capable of having sufficient supplies or medics (60% of China was illiterate during the war). So instead the communists relied on nurses to follow the troops around, and even assist them in the heat of battle (The Soviets did this in 1941 and 42 out of desperation). Really fun thread for me, learning new things everyday.
     
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  11. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Staff Member Patron  

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    Came across this about Japanese Medics in the war.
    The Japanese military did have an established medical corps with echelons of care (platoon level enlisted medic->Battalion Aid station with doctors->regimental hospital->Evacuation from theater).


    There's two reasons you do not hear much about them:


    1. The Japanese military in active combat against the Pacific suffered appalling losses, often fighting to the point of total destruction. Correspondingly outside of very rare diaries, or the few POWs, many battles are only known extensively through the Allied accounts, or the high-tier Japanese logs.
    2. The capabilities of Japanese medical attention was very poor compared to their allied foes. The US medical establishment especially was at the end of a massive logistical effort, with an extensive system of out of theater evacuation for the severely wounded.

    The Japanese generally had to make due with much less, and usually were fighting isolated from their supply lines due to successful sea interdiction.


    For reference:


    The Rising Sun by John Toland includes an extensive portion with an account by a Japanese civilian pressed into augmenting a military field hospital staff.


    This article also proved to be interesting. While I can't vouch for the author, the sources look solid:
    The Paradox of the Imperial Japanese Army Medical Department

    In WW2, did Japan use medics? • r/AskHistorians
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2017
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  12. gtblackwell

    gtblackwell Well-Known Member Patron  

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    Good stuff, Lou..
     
  13. JJWilson

    JJWilson Well-Known Member

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    That is an excellent point Lou, Besides battles in the Philippines and CBI theater any Japanese medics probably would have died just as soon and quickly as the Japanese regulars, and being on islands i would assume they would run out of the already sparse supplies they had within a handful of days.
     
  14. green slime

    green slime Member

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    Awesome thread JJ! Great posts!
     
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  15. Owen

    Owen O

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    You are confusing Ron with the late-Tom Canning who was wounded . ( He was serving in Churchills)
    I don't recall Ron ever mentioning being wounded.
     
  16. gtblackwell

    gtblackwell Well-Known Member Patron  

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    Thanks, Owen, memory getting old !! Wonder why !
     
  17. JJWilson

    JJWilson Well-Known Member

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    W
    What variant of the Churchill did he serve in?
     
  18. Owen

    Owen O

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    I can't remember off top of my head.
    I did have a quick search on ww2T but couldnt find mention of what mark.
    He may have mentioned it in his BBC People's War posts.
    BBC - WW2 People's War - Autobiog:
     
  19. JJWilson

    JJWilson Well-Known Member

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    Okay, I was just curious, he would be the first and only British armor veteran I've ever met!
     
  20. Owen

    Owen O

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    Just found one of his old posts on ww2T.
    ''all we had in Italy were the Mark IV's with the 6 pounder until around July of '44 when we got three MkV's with the 95.mm. ''

    Tom died back in 2016.
     

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