Jump to content
Gentleman's Military Interest Club
Bernhard H.Holst

German military use of x-rays beginning with WW I.

Recommended Posts

Hello Kenneth : Barbusse is translated , the last edition by Penguin books 2003 title Under fire . Duhamel is translated too under the name The new book of the martyrs , Aeterna eds 2011 , Duhamel Florence Simmons . about Thoumin and Vignes Rougues i am not sure but if they are translated you could probably find them in a military library .  please comment me later what you find .

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Soldiers and sex?  Perish the thought! ;)  The Canadian Army Medical Corps in WWI in what I strongly suspect was an attempt to make their nursing sisters less 'accessible' to the ordinary soldiers, made them all officers.  Over, it need hardly be said, the strong protests of much of the officer corps.

It would be naive in the extreme to think that young women in the kinds of situations these found themselves in would not have formed both romantic and sexual liasons at times.  Their very presence at and near the front already broke many social taboos and sex outside of marriage, contrary to what today's young people seem to think, is NOT a new phenomenon!  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Peter

The other ranks still had the ordinary nurses and their assistants, just meant that sisters and above were only fair game for officers, mind you several of the sisters and above were formidable old battle axes who could make a mans blood freeze from 100 yards.

Paul

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, the topic has been breeched, a bit. I have at least two stories about sex and military hospitals that are worth repeating. First the milder, perhaps.

My father spent much of 1917 in and out of military hospitals, which probably saved his life. He had a severe arm wound suffered on Dead Man's Hill (Morte Homme) at Verdun in December 1916, which was infected for a great while and which spit bone for over 10 years.

He was in a variety of hospitals with different types of nurses, sometimes nuns. One was staffed by "society lady" volunteers, women of the local upper class. After the war my father visited this town and met a couple of these women that he had gotten to know. Over coffee and cake, they chatted. Finally one of the women said: "Georg, you must tell us something. A very unusual thing happened, and we have never been able to figure it out. Late one night the watchman was making his rounds, and he found patient Xxxxxx lying on a pool table, far from his bed. The problem was that Xxxxxx had lost his legs, we have never figured out how he got there, or why. We asked him many times, but he refused to say."

My father uttered the simple explanation, and one of the women laughed so forcefully that she spit coffee and cake all over my father, and she was mortified at this great breech of manners.

The soldier's girlfriend was in town, and a plot was hatched. The ambulatory patients let the girl into the hospital late at night, and others picked up and carried the legless patient down into a remote part of the building, for the two of them to have some intimacy. But at the worst possible moment the night watchman approached on his rounds, and the men waiting nearby wisked the girl away, but could not have managed to get the fellow himself away without being discovered with their burden. So they left him on a pool table and fled.

I once spent the night sleeping on a proper slate pool table, and I hope that they had not planned sexual gymnastics on the pool table itself, the damned things are awfully uncomfortable, literally "rock hard".

Well, there is one of the stories I have in the area of "sex and military medicine". As a child I was treated as a little person, not some special child object, and I was told things and had access to materials that were quite adult, so to speak, in a very matter-of-fact Northern European fashion. Unlike the sterotypical combat veteran who never mentioned his war, my father endlessly told me about his experiences, also stating that it was the best time of his life, and after writing them down I have studied them and the Great War in parallel for 16 years, and of the things that can be checked, and I also have a lot of materials to use, including many family wartime letters, almost everything on 40 pages of oral history jibe perfectly, to my great surprise.

 

 

   

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Peter

One way of getting nurses in wartime to behave with decorum is to overwork them.  An an example, the nurses at the neutral camp hospital during the Boer War's Siege of Ladysmith were so overwhelmed with patients, mainly suffering from typhoid and dysentery, that they barely had time to eat and sleep, so other diversions would have been impossible.  Of course, one cannot know what happened after the Siege was lifted and the pressures of work eased ..............

Regards

Brett 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I await, with bated breath, any feedback stating if I have breached any standards of propriety, or if such standards exist. Other tales come to mind. I don't know how many of the forum's participants are sons or daughters of Great War combat veterans, and can pass along direct "hand me down" anecdotes of life in the Great War. Most of my father's candid anecdotes about social life in his youth (at war) were at his own expense, the perplexities and even terror of interactions with much more experienced women. And after the war, with so many men dead or seriously disabled, sometimes the social scene was bizarre. I really have to finally write my father's military biography. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/28/2016 at 09:01, paul wood said:

The other ranks still had the ordinary nurses and their assistants, just meant that sisters and above were only fair game for officers,

 

Not sure what you mean by 'ordinary nurses' but, yes, by WWII when I think all Allied nurses were officers rank it was a source of cinsiderable rancour that 'only those so**inf officers' got a crack at them.  And our Matron, while no balltleax is a fromidable woman.  She has been known to hand packages of period correct propholactics to erring Tommies and Doughboys before handing them over to our chaplian for the obligatory lecture!

Love the 'legless' story, BTW.  "Twue wove..." ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One of the hospitals my father was in in 1917 was in a beer-brewing town in Bavaria, a town with 16 export breweries. In each ward there sat a tapped keg of beer. The head nurse in my father's ward was a big nun, and, having nothing better to do, pop kept track of how much beer she drank in a day's shift. 16 liters, or four gallons and one quart. And the sisters had lunch in a separate dining hall, and it would be hard to believe that she took her lunch dry. One mug at lunch, and we are topping four gallons, two quarts. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/29/2016 at 04:03, bob lembke said:

I await, with bated breath, any feedback stating if I have breached any standards of propriety, or if such standards exist. Other tales come to mind. I don't know how many of the forum's participants are sons or daughters of Great War combat veterans, and can pass along direct "hand me down" anecdotes of life in the Great War. Most of my father's candid anecdotes about social life in his youth (at war) were at his own expense, the perplexities and even terror of interactions with much more experienced women. And after the war, with so many men dead or seriously disabled, sometimes the social scene was bizarre. I really have to finally write my father's military biography. 

Thanks for all of your posts. Very interesting and well written.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, bob lembke said:

One of the hospitals my father was in in 1917 was in a beer-brewing town in Bavaria, a town with 16 export breweries. In each ward there sat a tapped keg of beer. The head nurse in my father's ward was a big nun, and, having nothing better to do, pop kept track of how much beer she drank in a day's shift. 16 liters, or four gallons and one quart. And the sisters had lunch in a separate dining hall, and it would be hard to believe that she took her lunch dry. One mug at lunch, and we are topping four gallons, two quarts. 

She would have fitted in well with the South London drinking culture.

Paul

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And are you saying that's a bad thing, Paul? ;)  If I worked in a hospital I'd be putting away all the alcohol I could lay hands on!  But, yeah,. that's a lot of beer.  I worked in the bush with a camp cook one summer who drank a 'two four' - 24 half pint bottles - every working day, starting at 6:00 a.m. and working till 6:00 p.m.  Never visibly drunk but never without an open bottle on one corner of his stove.  Been doing it for years and this may just have been his maintenance doseage, with 'real drinking' saved for his days off .

More seriosuly, should we consider re-naming this thread?  It appears to have strayed somewhat from 'German Army X-rays' since its inception.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes it has turned into a bit of 'Tristam Shandy' thread but still without diversions life would be so boring.

Paul

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×