American and German Medical Care in WW2: Two posts in the Battle of the Bulge series. The post on American medical care has some Bulge related content and links but is mostly a general overview of American medicine in the European Theater of Operations. I couldn’t find much information online concerning German medicine during the Ardennes Offensive but found some interesting information in The German Infantry Handbook.
German Infantry Handbook 1939-1945: The book focuses on the German infantry division’s organization, uniforms, weapons and equipment during WW2. Despite being a mostly high level overview (e.g. you’ll find more detail on uniforms in any Osprey book and there are multiple books and resources online with detailed weapon information) this book still provides enough interesting information to be useful to wargamers.
This book was the best resource I could find for German medical care during WW2 and will probably lead me down a rabbit hole in trying to learn more about the medical service’s “dog echelons” assigned to units in the Polish and western campaigns of 1939 and 1940. The dogs were trained for medical work at the Military Medical Dog School in Berlin. I tried to get more information from a German language forum on the Wehrmacht but after translating two message threads on “dogs in the Wehrmacht” and field dogs, all I could find was that some dogs were trained to find wounded and that dog owners were required to register their dogs for national service and a significant portion of the German dog population was “drafted”.
If you are interested in the book there are links to cheaper prices than the link above available here.
Unknown Soldier: Link is to my review of a Finnish film set during the Continuation War. I ask a couple of questions at the end for anyone with knowledge of Finn military history. I am not so naive to think that every Finn soldier during the Winter War was extremely brave and was “equal to 10 Russians”; though the Finns can be extremely proud of keeping their independence at the end but I’m wondering if the movie accurately portrays morale issues during the Continuation War or if the film is trying to make a point that an attempt to carve out a “Greater Finland” was wrong.
Either way this three hour film definitely should be on your list. Action scenes take up the majority of the movie but doesn’t become repetitive or seem improbable. There are scenes depicting green troops frozen under fire, close combat in the forests, stalemate warfare and dangerous sentry duty in trenches, and a machine gun platoon without anti-tank gun support facing M-1941 T-34s.
The Wind That Shakes the Barley: Good film but emotionally draining as the film depicts the continuous violence of the Irish Rebellion then goes straight into the civil war, which is depicted by two brothers, one supporting the Irish Free State and serving in the National Army while his brother fights with the Anti-Treaty IRA. If you haven’t had enough then travel north to Belfast and watch Nothing Personal, showing sectarian strife from the vantage point of a minor Shankill Road leader. Get a sense of the violence with victims whose only crimes are drinking in the wrong place at the wrong time or walking home drunk. Someone that lived through that time told me that most deaths were mostly because of being in the wrong place at the wrong time; a smaller percentage due to active “operations” or because of “someone’s agenda. Nothing Personal’s action is mostly of the wrong place and agenda types.
The Troubles Reading List. You can do worse than the following: