New Zealand Medical Services in Middle East and Italy
For the attack ADMS 2 NZ Division was responsible for the medical arrangements of the British brigades under the Division's command as well as for the New Zealand units. These attached brigades were 9 Armoured Brigade, 23 Armoured Brigade, 151 Brigade, and 152 Brigade. Each had a medical unit, namely, 166 page 392 Light Field Ambulance, 7 Light Field Ambulance, 149 Field Ambulance, and 175 Field Ambulance.
On the night of the attack, 1–2 November, the medical units were disposed as follows: 6 NZ ADS, for which a special site dug in by bulldozers had been made by the engineers, and 175 Field Ambulance ADSs on Double Bar track; 149 Field Ambulance and 7 Light Field Ambulance ADSs on Diamond track; two sections of 166 Light Field Ambulance formed ADSs for 9 Armoured Brigade; while 5 NZ MDS and 166 Light Field Ambulance MDS were located together on the main road east of Alamein station. The 1st NZ CCS was still at Gharbaniyat and 4 Field Ambulance continued to function as a divisional rest station.
All evacuations from the ADSs would be to 5 MDS and 155 MDS, the serious cases going to 5 MDS, where the two surgical teams were still attached. The 2nd NZ FTU was also sent up on 1 November to 5 MDS from 1 NZ CCS. It was arranged that 16 MAC would supply extra ambulance cars if required, although twenty-five cars from NZ Section MAC were attached to 5 MDS as well as twelve 3-ton trucks, which were thought to be sufficient.
Surgical policy had to be adjusted to the demand for mobility should there be a ‘break-through’, when 2 NZ Division would go forward through the gap along with 10 Corps armoured forces. It was decided to limit the work of the surgical teams at 5 MDS to the most serious cases demanding immediate surgery. As the journey to the CCS area was only of about two hours' duration along a good road, the majority of cases were to be sent there to prevent accumulations at the MDSs.