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July 28, 1917


JAMA. 1917;LXIX(4):287-288. doi:10.1001/jama.1917.02590310039014

Blunders due to incompetence and inefficiency among men of high rank seem to be unavoidable accompaniments of all wars. The interest of students of our Civil War has largely centered around such controversies. Even in the Spanish-American War, short as it was, there was abundant time for incompetence in high places and mismanagement on the part of those responsible to manifest itself. England is today in the midst of a discussion of the Mesopotamia campaign and its consequent horrors. A tendency has manifested itself in some quarters, as Sir Victor Horsley, just before he died, predicted would be the case, to make a scapegoat of the medical service. Making all allowance for difficult conditions, it must be admitted that the superior medical officers responsible for conditions in this campaign do not make out a brilliant case for themselves. While regarded as a "small sideshow" by the British War Office, the