Volume II – The Western Front (1st edition, 1940)

< Previous  |  Next >              Digitised records  >  First World War Official Histories  |  Second World War Official Histories

Author: Butler, Arthur Graham

This volume takes up the narrative of events at the moment when, early in 1916, the infantry of the AIF was being transferred to the Western Front, leaving the light horse in Egypt preparing for its part in the campaigns in Sinai and Palestine. The experiences of the Australian Medical Service in the Gallipoli and Eastern theatres of war were followed through to their end in Volume I. Its activities with the infantry in the Western theatre during 1916, 1917 and 1918 are covered in the present work.

The volume is divided into three sections, of which the first and third are concerned with narrative respectively before and after the Battle of Cambrai in November 1917. The second section is interposed because, from the point of view of technical history, the narrative of the medical events of the was has outrun the description of the medical machinery of the warfare. The chapters of this section contain a complete and detailed study of the fundamental duties of the Medical Service, namely, the evacuation and treatment of wounded and the prevention of disease. Special attention is devoted to the problems of “wastage” and the maintenance of a high standard of physical fitness in the AIF.