Medical Military History

Surely this combination of military and medical must be one of the rarest you’ll find in historiography, but here’s yet another article on the subject.

Neufeld, Matthew. “The Framework of Casualty Care during the Anglo-Dutch Wars.” War in History 19, no. 4 (2012): 427-444.


The framework of casualty care during the Anglo-Dutch Wars has been found severely wanting by historians of naval medicine. This judgement is grounded on the fact that naval hospitals were constructed eventually in the 1750s, and because the hospitalization of sick and hurt mariners conforms better to a Weberian model of state and military modernization. This article argues that the measures for casualty care erected during the Dutch wars adhered to an early modern model of state formation. The framework of care extended the scope and social depth of politically involved people. It failed because the carers were consistently underfunded, not because locally based care was inherently unworkable or insufficiently bureaucratic and centralized.

Take that, historiography!


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One response to “Medical Military History”

  1. Björn Thegeby says :

    Oh, I can do better than that: EM Kerkhoff,”Over die geneeskundige verzorging in het staatse leger”, a whole PhD thesis from 1976.

    Joking aside, I think the medical services during this period are quite interesting. From about 1730 there seems to have emerged an understanding that losing surgeons were left to do their work after a battle and then given free passage through the lines, but that does not seem to be the case during WSS (happy to be corrected).

    It is interesting to note that cavalry usually form the major part of the remaining fighting strength once a battle is lost, then organised infantry, artillery gunners without guns, then unorganised infantry, but few logistics personnel and practically no surgeons. All in propostion to how easy it is to run away, once it becomes necessary.

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