by Albert E. Cowdrey, 381 pp, paper $29.95, ISBN 0-02-906835-5, New York, NY, Free Press, 1994.
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Military medicine is privileged that Professor Albert Cowdrey, renowned nonphysician war historian, chose World War II medicine as the subject of his latest book. He skillfully combines authoritative documentation of the development and progress of medical care on all fronts and among the three services, with many intense eyewitness accounts of battlefield care of the soldier wounded at Normandy or fighting malaria in the jungles of the South Pacific. The author's expertise in line fighting provides him the unique capability of reporting the major campaigns of the war from the critical perspective of the effects of disease and combat casualties. His sources and extraordinary bibliography are not unexpected from an author who chairs a Department of Conventional War Studies.
The early chapters are devoted to the Japanese invasion of the Philippines a few days after Pearl Harbor and the naval and marine battles of the South Pacific. The tragedies of
Cotlar AM. Fighting for Life: American Military Medicine in World War II. JAMA. 1994;272(17):1384-1385. doi:10.1001/jama.1994.03520170096045