Four Life-Saving Measures
The Memoirs of Field-Marshal Montgomery; 1958
An army today is a self-contained community; it contains everything its members need for war, from bullets to blood banks. I will always remember Churchill's anger when he heard of several dentist's chairs being landed over the beaches in Normandy! But we have learnt since the 1914-18 war that by caring for a man's teeth, we keep him in the battle. The good general must not only win his battles; he must win them with a minimum of casualties and loss of life. I learnt during the 1939-45 war that four things contributed to the saving of life:
1. Blood transfusion.
2. Surgical teams operating well forward in the battle area, so that a badly wounded man could be dealt with at once without having to be moved by road to a hospital.
3. Air evacuation direct to a Base hospital many hundreds of miles in rear, thus saving bumpy journeys by road or rail.
4. Nursing sisters working well forward in the battle area. When I joined the Eighth Army in 1942, nursing sisters were not allowed in the forward battle area. I cancelled the order. Their presence comforted and calmed the nerves of many seriously wounded men, who then knew they would be properly nursed. No male nursing orderly can nurse like a woman, though many think they can.
All these things, and many others like them, have to be in the mind of the modern general.