LEPKOVA E.A. Medical Aid for Russian Soldiers During the First World War (on the Materials of Tsaritsyn)

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15688/jvolsu4.2014.5.11

Lepkova Elena Aleksandrovna

Postgraduate Student, Department of History and Cultural Studies,

Volgograd State Medical University;

Senior Researcher of Stalingrad Battle State Historical and Memorial Museum

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Gogolya St., 10, 400131 Volgograd, Russian Federation

Abstract. The article discusses the activity of medical institutions in Tsaritsyn, Saratov province, on assisting the wounded during the First World War. The author emphasizes that the problem of evacuating the wounded on the territory of the Saratov province were primarily associated with the irrational distribution of medical beds between the rear and front hospitals. The additional complications arose due to the lack of transport for evacuation and insufficient length of railways. The considerable distance from the front contributed to quite successful organization of medical aid to the wounded, despite the lack of qualified medical staff and the necessary medical equipment. The article contains the data on the number of medical institutions in the city and on the organization of hospitals and infirmaries functioning in Tsaritsyn during the war. The care quality in Tsaritsyn infirmaries was at a high level, as evidenced by a significant percentage of recovery of the wounded and sick. Emerging issues were often dealt with by means of different charitable organizations, primarily the Tsaritsyn Red Cross Society. Its initial task was to provide medical equipment for the hospitals. However, the activity of the Tsaritsyn Red Cross Society is not limited thereto, and the city was provided with modern medical equipment, including X-ray room. In the future, it gave a great impetus to the development of the health system in Tsaritsyn. The author emphasizes the special role of the big industrialists, merchants and patrons of Tsaritsyn, who made large donations to the Ladies’ Committee and the Committee of the Red Cross, thus contributing to the support of charitable organizations of the city during the war.

The author concludes that in the provincial cities, including Tsaritsyn, the conditions for the rehabilitation of a large number of wounded and sick soldiers were created in a short time period. The charitable organizations and individuals established hospitals, financed “personal beds” in infirmaries, carried out charitable evenings and “passing the hat”. The article is written on the basis of archival materials which described the Tsaritsyn hospitals, the wounded and captives of the First World War.

Key words: First World War, infirmaries, hospitals, the wounded, the city of Tsaritsyn, Russian Red Cross Society, medical staff.

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Medical Aid for Russian Soldiers During the First World War (on the Materials of Tsaritsyn) by Lepkova E.A. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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