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Defense of medical installations

Sun Dec 26, 2010 00:35

Does anyone know what the "standard" procedure for ensuring security of forward medical installations was during WWII?

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Real Name: Ben Major
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Re: Defense of medical installations

Sun Dec 26, 2010 11:08


As I'm sure you're aware, there was no allocation of weapons or 'defensive' equipment in the Aid Station's Table of Equipment or indeed allotted equipment. However, defense would usually be provided by either surrounding infantry units or simply careful selection of location. For example, the following is taken from our WW2 Aid Station: wrote:Camouflage of Medical Installation:

In a Theater of Operations, the camouflage of Medical installations was a command decision. However, the tactical disposition of friendly troops could be disclosed by conspicuous medical installations, so it was usually   advisable to camouflage them. Since advanced medical installations were usually only temporary in character and location, the problem of camouflage was greatly simplified through employment of the following means:

  • Careful choice of position under natural cover or in buildings
  • Hasty camouflage measures to supplement inadequate natural concealment
  • Selection of inconspicuous or concealed access routes before occupying a position
  • Camouflage discipline to avoid making careless tracks and to prevent unnecessary exposure of vehicles, equipment, or personnel to enemy observation in daytime
  • Complete blackout at night
Further instructions, part of the check list for bivouacs, also applied to medical installations:

  • Avoid sites near landmarks
  • Construct any required camouflage quickly to avoid delay in use of the installation
  • Litter Bearers must use concealed routes whenever possible
  • Preliminary examination rooms should be light-tight
  • Tone down metal chests, pails, and shiny objects with dull paint
  • Ambulances must stop under cover
  • Park vehicles in concealed areas to rear of installation
  • Bury empty bottles and other empty and shiny containers
Instructions applying to Collecting Stations:

  • Must have a sheltered place for vehicles to load, unload, and turn
  • Turn-off roads from main roads to Stations must be concealed or carried past the Station
Instructions applying to Clearing Stations:

  • Locate in large civilian buildings when possible. Permanent cover is always preferable to tents
  • When tentage is required, erect the minimum number needed, and only under overhead concealment
  • Color tents to match surroundings
Instructions applying to Medical Vehicles:

  • Keep vehicles always dispersed
  • Cover vehicles with drapes when parked
  • When Red Cross (Geneva Convention) insignia are ordered covered, do not paint them out, cover them with tarpaulin or other olive drab-colored materiel
The Medical Detachment was usually equipped with the necessary camouflage nets, issued as authorized by the Theater of Operations Commander. Their official designation was Net, Camouflage, Cotton, Shrimp, 22 feet x 22 feet (1/4-Ton Truck), and 36 feet by 44 feet (1 ½-Ton and 2 ½-Ton). These Nets could then be garnished with burlap, osnaburg, salvaged fabrics, captured fabrics, locally manufactured fabrics, or natural materials depending of their availability, adaptability, and camouflage properties.

Hope this helps,
Ben :)
Ben Major
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Staff Sergeant
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Re: Defense of medical installations

Sun Dec 26, 2010 13:15

Whatever the procedure It did not work for the the 326th at Bastogne.

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