THE MEDICAL DEPARTMENT: MEDICAL SERVICE IN THE MEDITERRANEAN AND MINOR THEATERS. By Charles M. Wiltse. (1965,1978,1989; 664 pages, 39 tables,43 maps, 128 illustrations, 4 appendixes, bibliographical note, glossary, index, CMH Pub 10-8.)

The Medical Department. Medical Service in the Mediterranean and Minor Theaters is the first of three volumes concerning the administrative history of the Army Medical Department's overseas operations in World War II. The initial chapter covers the work of the Army Medical Department at the Atlantic outposts established in 1941 before the initiation of major deployments to the Mediterranean and European theaters. The remaining chapters describe the Army medical service in the campaigns in North Africa, Sicily, Italy, and southern France. Included in the appendixes are a survey of the organization and operations of the German medical service and a brief discussion of the hospitalization and evacuation system of French forces serving with U.S. troops in the theater.

In the Mediterranean theater, where U. S. Army troops launched their first ground offensive in the fall of 1942, the organization, equipment, and techniques of the Medical Department were tested under a wide variety of conditions from the deserts of North Africa to the mountains and marshes of Italy. The experience acquired significantly benefited later campaigns in both Europe and the Pacific. Of particular importance is the pioneering work on combat psychiatry which was begun on an experimental basis in Tunisia and Sicily.

From 1944, when the campaign in northern Europe first began siphoning veteran medical formations and their facilities from Italy, to the spring of 1945, when the Germans surrendered, untried replacements and chronic shortages of equipment and supplies handicapped the medical service in the Mediterranean theater. The work documents the ingenuity and skill required by medical officers to prevent disease and to provide evacuation, hospitalization, and care for the sick and wounded in a theater that had become a secondary effort. Finally, the study covers the activities of Army medical personnel who remained in southern Europe supporting the occupation force

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and the local governments, until the last U.S. forces left Italy in December 1947.

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