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This comprehensive account of the British contribution to the medical services in republican Spain from 1936 to 1939 will surely take its place as the key work of reference on the British Medical Unit during the Spanish civil war.
It tells the story of the Spanish Medical Aid Committee (SMAC), the first foreign aid committee to send medical volunteers to Spain, how the first British hospital was set up at Granen and how the British Medical Unit was integrated into the International Brigades.
Throughout the war, from Jarama to the Ebro, the unit's staff worked in appalling conditions - lack of sleep, extremes of heat or cold, insanitary conditions, lack of supplies and the need to operate in darkness among them.
In violation of international agreements, hospitals, ambulances and medical units were under constant attack, violating international agreements.
During the Ebro offensive, hospitals were set up in railway tunnels and even caves.
Yet ambulances remained a target and several stretcher-bearers and drivers lost their lives.
Against all these odds, the achievements were enormous. Medical science was advanced in the organisation of strategic medical support, wound and injury treatment, infectious disease control and blood banks.
Despite the extremely harsh conditions and the scarcity of medical materials of all kinds, "there were surprisingly low mortality rates in comparison with previous wars," Palfreeman coments.
On their return, many medical volunteers passed on their expertise by writing articles, giving lectures, and medical practice in World War II.
But they will mainly be remembered for the "selfless and incalculable contribution" the International Brigades' medical units made throughout the Spanish civil war, Palfreeman stresses.