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thus trapped on the beach, unable to penetrate inland
or take cover, were slaughtered indiscriminately. The Germans used a particularly effective strategy of “criss- cross,” shooting at targets on an angle rather than straight ahead, so that if the initial target was missed, the projectile would have a better chance of hitting someone else.
amounts, were available, as were penicillin and sulfa for antibiotics. Ether and pentothal were the agents used for anesthesia. Muscle relaxation was not possible. There were
no ventilators. Monitoring was done by palpation of pulses
hat it

My father’s record of the operative procedures he did in the first two weeks after D-Day, is informative of the primitive state, by today’s standards,
of battlefield surgical care.
The procedures he did are delineated in Table 1. These procedures were done under the most adverse of conditions, in hastily erected tents, called “clearing stations”, rather
than in more established
“field hospitals, which would come later, shown in the accompanying photo. Bowel injuries predominated. The repair of vascular injuries
had not yet been invented. Blood and plasma, in small

Even with these mementoes, it is hard to imagine w• must have been like to have been there 75 years ago.
and sphygmomanometer.













 • A version of this story appeared in the March 2020 edition of the Journal of the American College of Surgeons.•
   Volume 72 • Number 1
Washtenaw County Medical Society BULLETIN 11

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