Chapter

Introduction

Mark Harrison

in The Medical War

Published in print October 2010 | ISBN: 9780199575824
Published online January 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191595158 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199575824.003.0001
Introduction

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This introductory chapter places the First World War in the context of previous conflicts and sets the scene for the following chapters, with an overview of developments in British military medicine from around 1850 through to 1914. It also provides a historiographical orientation, showing how the aims and content of this book differ from existing scholarship on war and medicine. The book's main themes are set out and the importance of manpower and morale (both of soldiers and their families) is emphasized. It is argued that the growing prominence of medicine in war can only be understood in relation to public expectations; not just scientific advances or operational efficiency.

Keywords: casualty disposal; historiography; manpower; militarism; morale; officer corps; philanthropy; preventive medicine; professionalization; propaganda

Chapter.  7554 words. 

Subjects: Military History

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