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New Zealand Medical Services in Middle East and Italy

9. The Stabilisation of Medical Units

9. The Stabilisation of Medical Units

The necessity for the medical arm to have full appreciation of the strategical possibilities, and not to stabilise medical units unless conditions warranted it, was fully borne out in Greece.

There was an unreal atmosphere at 81 Base Sub-Area at the beginning of the campaign. Arrangements were being made for work to be done by the Area engineers, and contracts were let to Greek civilians, on a basis which visualised a stable front for a very long period. At 1 NZ General Hospital arrangements were made for permanent buildings built of stone, including a complete operating and X-ray block, and a contract was let to a Greek builder. There seemed to be a complete lack of appreciation of the possibilities that lay ahead of the British forces. Possibly the same lack of appreciation was present to some extent at the base, and maybe it was brought about by the secrecy of the Higher Command in a delicate diplomatic situation.