War & Veterans - Hektoen International

Comments on Dr. James Franklin’s article on George Orwell and the Spanish Civil War

Stuart Poticha Chicago, Illinois, United States   In 1966 as a young surgeon who had just completed his residency, I was drafted into the United States Army. Following basic training at Fort Sam Houston, I was sent to Vietnam, where I became the Chief of Surgery of the 12th Evacuation Hospital in Cu Chi. The […]

They don’t teach us that

Evelyn M. Potochny Hershey, Pennsylvania, United States   Soldiers in line to get in a plane. Photo by Pixabay. You called in your own medevac. You’d even tourniqueted both legs, or what was left of them. And when the Chinook kicked up all that dust and finally landed, you looked so—calm. Someone read each name […]

Atrocities in Asia: Japan’s infamous Unit 731

Howard Fischer Uppsala, Sweden   Bayonet practice, wherein Japanese soldiers used dead Chinese for targets. photographed by an Associated Press photographer near Tientsin. Date, 5 September 1937. Source, LIFE, Oct 11, 1937. page 30. Via Wikimedia In 1931 the Japanese army occupied the province of Manchuria in north-east China and continued to invade and occupy […]

Prisoners on leave: Vietnam veterans and the Golden Age Western

Edward Harvey  Missoula, Montana, United States   Vietnam War – Hue, 17 Feb 1968 – US Marines Approaching Movie Theater Displays – Photo by Nik Wheeler. Image by © Bettmann/CORBIS. Via Flickr. “I think we all died a little in that damn war.” – The Outlaw Josey Wales   “So…what have you been up to?” When […]

George Orwell and the Spanish Civil War: A brush with death

James Franklin Chicago, Illinois, United States   Picture of George Orwell, which appears in an old accreditation for the BNUJ. Internet Archive. Via Wikimedia. Robert Capa’s “The Fallen Soldier” is the iconic photograph of the Spanish Civil War (1936–1939). The original title was “Loyalist Militiaman at the Moment of Death, Carro Muriano, September 5, 1936.” […]

African American contract doctors in the military

Edward McSweegan Kingston, Rhode Island, United States   African American Soldiers in Cuba, 1898, Wikipedia In the spring of 1898, the United States rushed into a war with Spain but lacked adequate troops, training, weapons, transport, supplies, food, landing craft, and medical personnel. One deficit that could be corrected before the shooting started was the […]

Battle of Gettysburg

Reed Brockway Bontecou (1824-1907) was an American surgeon from Troy, New York, who in 1846 made a trip up the Amazon river to collect flora and fauna for the local natural history museum, and whose surgical feats include the first successful ligation of a traumatic aneurysm of the axillary artery in America (1857) and the […]

William Bell: photographed injured veterans

William Bell was a veteran of the American Civil War who fought at Antietam and Gettysburg, and became chief photographer of the Army Medical Museum in Washington. He took photographs of injured soldiers as part of a project to document the range of injuries among veterans. On the left, the solider is cleverly posed in […]

The psychological impact of facial injury in the First World War: outcomes from the Queen’s Hospital, Sidcup

Andrew Bamji Rye, East Sussex, UK   Figure 1. Aerial view of the Queen’s Hospital, c.1920. The operating theatres are in the horseshoe to the left centre of the photograph. Figure 2. The Plastic Theatre.   Modern warfare, and in particular the use of artillery employed against entrenched troops in the First World War, resulted […]

Medical innovations made by doctors during the Napoleonic Wars

Craig Stout Aberdeen, Scotland   The Battle of Waterloo (1815), oil painting by William Sadler. Pyms Gallery, London. The Napoleonic Wars (1799 to 1815) brought great upheaval and turmoil to Europe, with as many as 2.5 million soldiers and 1 million civilians losing their lives. French military physicians, principally Dominique Jean-Larrey, made significant contributions to […]