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Combat Surgeons by John Laffin

Combat Surgeons - John Laffin

An informative history of combat medicine. I picked it up for the first few chapters on earlier historical time periods, but wound up reading the whole thing (admittedly, skimming some of the later chapters) because it’s pretty interesting. There’s something a little slapdash about it, such that I felt recognition rather than surprise on seeing that the author wrote 130 books and so presumably dashed this one off in a couple of months, but there’s still a lot of interesting detail and data. Laffin fought in WWII himself and displays a critical view of war and the way leaders and the public tend to ignore its human cost. But he’s also pretty old-school British Empire in that he doesn’t seem to see much problem with colonialism, and seems to view the British (and to a lesser extent, the French and Americans) as the only ones who mattered even when other countries’ combat medicine was ahead. Still, fairly useful reading if a bit gruesome in places.