Wehrmacht rehabilitation facility 49 NEVER SEEN BEFORE GERMAN PHOTOS OF WORLD WAR II PART 52

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WW2 Military Hospitals

The European Theater of Operations which was to conduct the US Army’s largest and most complex land campaign of WW2 and complete the destruction of Nazi Germany, had rather modest beginnings! In agreement with its Allies, the United States Government decided to deal with ‘Germany first’ …
The initial objective was to establish Army Forces in the British Isles in order to protect them from a possible enemy invasion; another objective was to relieve a number of British troops for operations in the Mediterranean, and to reinforce the Royal Air Force with aircraft and personnel.

US Military Observers were sent to Great Britain to keep abreast of British wartime technical developments and to study the overall British war effort (the United States was not yet at war). Late 1940, the Medical Department dispatched an official Observer (Col. Raymond W. Bliss) to report on Hospitalization and Evacuation methods. American medical help had already been sent in the form of a “Contagious Disease Treatment and Control Unit”, officially designated the American Red Cross – Harvard Field Hospital Unit including a laboratory, a 125-bed Hospital, and a number of mobile investigating teams. Their task was to assist the British Ministry of Health in combating outbreaks of paratyphoid, scabies, and other diseases which were a constant threat in the crowded and bomb damaged cities.

The first US Army Military Mission to England set up its Headquarters in London, on May 19, 1941. In charge was Maj. Gen. James E. Chaney (US Air Corps) who headed the delegation formerly designated “Special Observers Group” (SPOBS). Anything that was deemed – nice to know, or necessary to know – was investigated, collected, and requested. Medical and sanitary conditions, hospital distribution, medical organization, evacuation of wounded, preventive medicine, number of beds, medical emergencies, all this information was of utmost importance to the USWD in preparation of medical planning. In mid-September 1941, Col. Paul R. Hawley (MC) was transferred to the United Kingdom to draft and prepare full plans for an American medical build-up and support in Northern Ireland and the British Isles. After the attack against Pearl Harbor, the War Department activated the Headquarters, United States Army Forces in the British Isles (USAFBI), the date was January 8, 1942, Chief Surgeon was Col. Paul R. Hawley. The same month, i.e. on January 24, 1942, another organization was created, the United States Army Northern Ireland Force (USANIF).
The first US Army medical contingents were now about to enter the “European Theater of Operations”…



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