The TV series M*A*S*H introduced us to the Mobile Army Surgical Hospital, an innovation of the Korean War. Studies from World War II led authorities to determine that wounded soldiers who received immediate care near the front lines were much more likely to survive, so medical teams were mobilized to be there. You can’t argue with the results: a 30% drop in fatalities among wounded front line soldiers. The difference between the MASH units and the M*A*S*H TV show was that in the real world, there wasn’t much comedy, and that almost all the round-the-clock work was done by nurses. And they were all women, as men could not serve in the military as nurses until 1956!
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In the three years of the Korean War, around 1500 women were put on the front lines to care for wounded soldiers, often stepping up to act in capacities beyond their training. Mike Weedall, the author of the new novel War Angel: Korea 1950, gives us an overview of the life of an army nurse of the real MASH units in Korea at Military History Now. -via Strange Company
(Image credit: Stewart/U.S. Army)