Other formats

    TEI XML file   ePub eBook file  


    mail icontwitter iconBlogspot iconrss icon

New Zealand Medical Services in Middle East and Italy

Medical Preparations for ‘Left Hook‘

Medical Preparations for ‘Left Hook‘

At El Haseiat final preparations were made for the long 300-mile sweep into the desert as a self-contained force without roads or supply lines. Petrol for 400 miles and food and water for ten days were loaded up, and among medical units such arrangements were made that the standard of medical service available and the equipment provided were in no way impaired by the unusual nature of the manoeuvre. In a move of 300 miles or more with no established lines of communication, the evacuation of patients was not practicable. It was therefore decided to provide enough medical personnel and ambulance cars to open dressing stations and operate wherever necessary and to hold patients or carry them with the Division as conditions demanded. It was arranged that 5 and 6 Field Ambulances and 14 Light Field Ambulance (the medical unit of 4 Light Armoured Brigade again under command) should move with the Division. Also to move with the field ambulances were two complete surgical teams equipped with hospital beds and additional equipment for brain, chest, and abdominal surgery, and 2 FTU carrying full stocks of plasma and serum and 104 pints of fresh blood, adequately preserved in special refrigerators. Remaining in reserve at Agedabia ready to be called up at short notice were 4 Field Ambulance, 4 Field Hygiene Section, and 1 Mobile Dental Unit. All medical units were equipped with wireless, ready to be summoned or moved quickly as the need arose. Large quantities of extra dressings, blankets and stretchers, and Red Cross supplies were also carried.

Twenty-five extra AFS cars were attached to 2 NZ Division and ten extra to 14 Light Field Ambulance to build the total of ambulance cars up to seventy-five so that mobility could be maintained in case of heavy casualties. In the event of complete isolation the medical organisation, by using available empty ASC trucks for the carriage of light cases, would have enabled many hundreds of patients to be treated and held or carried with the Division.

The 1st NZ CCS was moved from Tobruk, the Light Section having rejoined the unit at the end of November, to Agedabia, where it set up on 11 December along with 8 SA CCS.

page 408