New Zealand Medical Services in Middle East and Italy
The Greek campaign was the first active campaign in which the 2 NZEF took part. Fortunately, all three echelons had had fairly long periods of training overseas, and the medical units had sufficient experience to enable them to face the campaign with confidence in themselves and their Division. The Second Echelon had not only arrived in Egypt in time, but it had had rigorous training in England at the time when invasion was thought probable. The medical units were keen to do their best and proved very capable in adapting themselves to the difficult conditions, both of the terrain and the harassed retreat.
The observations made by senior officers stressed the difficulties of the campaign and the capacity of the New Zealand medical units to improvise and deal with unprecedented conditions, as well as their capacity to learn from their experience. Naturally, the main recommendations dealt with the necessity of being fully mobile, and, to ensure this, the provision of adequate transport for all field medical units; but there were other very important lessons learned by the Medical Corps from the campaign. They are dealt with separately.