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The Evolution of casualty evacuation in the British Army in the 20th Century (Part 2) –1918 to 1945
  1. Lt Col MCM Bricknell, DM MMedSci MRCGP MFOM MFPHM DMCC DRCOG RAMC, Chief Instructor1
  1. 1Defence Medical Services Training Centre, Keogh Barracks, Ash Vale, Aldershot, Hants, GU12 5RQ. mcm.bricknell{at}


This is the second in a series of papers that examine the evolution of the military casualty evacuation chain during the 20th century. The Spanish Civil War demonstrated to the world the revolutionary tactic of ‘Blitzkrieg’ developed by the Germans. This and the experience of the British Expeditionary Force in 1940 emphasised the need for mobility in forward medical units. The campaign in the Western Desert led to the creation of a number of new units such as the Field Surgical Unit and the Field Transfusion Unit which were introduced across the British Army as a result of the findings of the Hartgill Committee. The aeroplane transformed the evacuation chain from CCSs to base hospitals and beyond.

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