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New Zealand Medical Services in Middle East and Italy

Evacuation of Wounded

Evacuation of Wounded

Events made it quite clear that, if the evacuation of wounded was to be carried out satisfactorily, either the complete lines of communication should be secure or else ambulance cars should be despatched with an adequate escort of armoured forces to protect them. Moreover, if wounded could not be safely evacuated but were held at main dressing stations, the field ambulance necessarily became more and more immobilised and more vulnerable to attack.

Further, in warfare in the open desert it was considered that evacuation should be carried out in daylight only. If evacuation by night was attempted the wounded suffered unnecessarily from the rough going, and there was a greater likelihood of the motor ambulance convoys being shot up by enemy columns operating in the rear.

The possibility of evacuating casualties from forward areas by Bren-gun carriers was thought worthy of further investigation as, when under fire, some RMOs found this the method of choice.