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TrixieLox
10-26-2010, 06:33 PM
Hello,

Current WIP covers WW2 stuff in small doses. Have managed to gather a bunch of info but these areas are alluding me. On the off-chance any of you happen to know the answers to these, would appreciate advice. Will naturally dig deeper (library etc) but for now, maybe you can help?


1) How long would it have taken soldiers to travel from UK to France during WW2? Would it be same as today by ferry seeing as they used boats? And then how long to travel across to the Belgian border? (God, this question sounds so brainless when written down!)

2) How injured would a WW2 soldier have had to have been to be sent back home? Or generally, if a soldier had, say, a broken arm, would he just go to a military hospital until healed then return to battle and not go home at all? What other reason could a soldier be returned home very quickly other then injury? (sorry to be vague, just need a character to be sent home quite quickly).

3) When soldiers died in France (in this instance, in the spring of 1940, one of the few incidents during the ‘phoney war’), were their bodies returned home (in this instance, to the UK) or were they always buried in the country they died? In what circumstances might they be returned and if so, how soon after their death? ? Would a rich relative have enough influence to ensure their swift return to be buried at home?


Sorry this is all a bit random... this is for the first draft and more intense research will be done when revising. Many thanks! Trix

Birol
10-26-2010, 06:40 PM
I'm going to move this to the Ask the Expert forum.

Hallen
10-26-2010, 07:31 PM
Hello,


2) How injured would a WW2 soldier have had to have been to be sent back home? Or generally, if a soldier had, say, a broken arm, would he just go to a military hospital until healed then return to battle and not go home at all? What other reason could a soldier be returned home very quickly other then injury? (sorry to be vague, just need a character to be sent home quite quickly).



Depends on what stage of the war we're talking about and how established the military hospitals were at that time. It's all about logistics.

Later in the war, he'd just be sent to a military hospital to convalesce and then be sent back to his unit. He might be allowed home on leave during that time if his injury wasn't too bad or if he'd been in combat long enough already. Often, the convalescence facilities were located out of theater, in England. Again, it depends on logistics and what infrastructure exists at the time.

It also depends on his job. If he's a front line soldier, see the above. If he's a REMF, a support person way away from the fighting, he might get sent right back to his unit if it's only a simple broken arm.

If it was early in the war and medical facilities in France were limited or non-existent, then he'd be sent back to England.

If you want to see a genuine, and amazing, depiction of life for soldiers in World War II watch Band of Brothers. It is both heart breaking and uplifting. They were amazing people.

TrixieLox
10-26-2010, 08:12 PM
Thanks, this is really useful. :-) It was early in the war - during the phoney war.

PeterL
10-26-2010, 09:38 PM
1) How long would it have taken soldiers to travel from UK to France during WW2? Would it be same as today by ferry seeing as they used boats? And then how long to travel across to the Belgian border? (God, this question sounds so brainless when written down!)

Roughly the same as now on a ferry. The ferry might have landed in either France or in Belgium. There are many places where someone could have landed: Dieppe, Cherbourg, etc., so time from a landing in France to Belgium would be variable.



2) How injured would a WW2 soldier have had to have been to be sent back home? Or generally, if a soldier had, say, a broken arm, would he just go to a military hospital until healed then return to battle and not go home at all? What other reason could a soldier be returned home very quickly other then injury? (sorry to be vague, just need a character to be sent home quite quickly).

Anyone who was thought to be able to recover well enough to return to battle would have stayed on that side of the Atlantic. That would include some people who probably would only have mom-combat roles after recovery.
People were sent to the U.S. if they were section 8 or for more training. Flyers sometimes were sent back to ferry planes over.


[QUOTE]3) When soldiers died in France (in this instance, in the spring of 1940, one of the few incidents during the ‘phoney war’), were their bodies returned home (in this instance, to the UK) or were they always buried in the country they died? In what circumstances might they be returned and if so, how soon after their death? ? Would a rich relative have enough influence to ensure their swift return to be buried at home?


The Brits have a custom of burying people where they fell. The U.S.A. has the custom of bringing the bodies back. One of my uncles was forced down over the France - Belgium border in 1944 and was buried locally. He was later disinterred and buried in his home city in the U.S.A.



Sorry this is all a bit random... this is for the first draft and more intense research will be done when revising. Many thanks! Trix


I was unable to tell whether the story was about a Brit or an American. The answers vary depending on that. The 1940 thing says it must be about a Brit, since the U.S. didn't sned troops until 1942.

Drachen Jager
10-26-2010, 10:22 PM
Seems like your questions are mostly answered.

But I'd like to add, the word you wanted was 'eluding', 'alluding' is something entirely different.

Eluding is avoiding.

Alluding is an oblique or incidental reference. (If I were to say, "Hark, what light through yonder window breaks!" I'd be alluding to Romeo and Juliet for instance)

whacko
10-26-2010, 11:35 PM
Hi Trixie,

It may be an idea to Google Battle of Dunkirk. Basically this was the Brits retreating from mainland Europe in May 1940, I think, and not going back until June the 6th 1944. Up until this time, the war was, as you say, "phoney", i.e. very little fighting in France, especially for British troops.

Regards

waylander
10-26-2010, 11:53 PM
Might be something here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/ww2peopleswar/categories/

Puma
10-27-2010, 12:47 AM
I just finished a factual book-let on the role of soldiers from my community in WWII.

One of the men was an "aid man", a person who was supposed to quickly assess and bandage wounds at the front line after D-Day. He was hit in the head (mostly shrapnel) in June, 1944 and sent to a hospital in England. As soon as he was able, he was sent back to the front line. In October, 1944 he was hit in the face by an exploding rifle grenade which also broke his jaw and subsequently sent back to the states.

One other thing I found that got a soldier home quickly (but he was still in the states) was the death of one of his parents.

You might also want to look at some the D-Day websites and follow some of the links. There's a lot of good WWII information available on line. Puma

TrixieLox
10-27-2010, 01:15 PM
Thanks, this is great and thanks for the grammatical lesson Drachen ;-) I actually use that word in the novel (yikes) so just as well you pointed that out else my agent would be telling me off ;-)

Hallen
10-27-2010, 07:58 PM
For years, the military has used a multi-stage system for evacuating casualties.

Front line medic/corpsman/aidman. A trained medic with basic trauma training. They can apply bandages, treat for shock, apply tourniquets, etc. Their supplies are very limited and they aren't trained as well as a modern paramedic.

Battalion Aid Station
Any casualty deemed hurt bad enough will be sent back to the Bn Aid Station for further evaluation and care. This station is usually within a mile or two of the front lines. This is the point where initial triage is done.

MASH
Yes, they actually exist. Casualties that need major and immediate care will be sent to a field surgical hospital that is within a short distance from the front lines. If necessary, life saving surgery will be done at this point, but if the soldier can wait, the are immediately transported back.

Theater level care
Usually permanent hospitals that may have been civilian establishments before the conflict. These are many miles behind the lines and usually situated in a place where replacements come though and where soldiers will go for in-theater leave (R&R) (Think Paris near the end of WWII).

An evaluation is done at every stage to determine the best place to send that casualty and the capacity of the overall system to handle all the casualties. It's a very complex, but very regimented process. It's something the US Army has gotten very, very good at.

Anyway, probably more than you need to know.

I also found this that does a good job of explaining the levels of care:

Echelons of Care

To meet these wartime needs, health service support in the theater of operations is organized into echelons of care. These echelons extend rearward throughout the theater and depend on a reliable evacuation system.

Echelon I. Echelon I--the first medical care a soldier receives--is unit-level health care that includes treatment and evacuation from the point of injury or illness to the unit's aid station. This echelon includes immediate lifesaving measures, DNBI prevention, combat stress support,[5] (http://www.rand.org/pubs/monograph_reports/MR773/MR773.chap2.html#fn4) casualty collection, and evacuation to supporting medical treatment. At this echelon, medical care encompasses self-aid, buddy aid, combat lifesaver, combat medics, and a treatment squad (battalion aid station).[6] (http://www.rand.org/pubs/monograph_reports/MR773/MR773.chap2.html#fn5)

(http://www.rand.org/pubs/monograph_reports/MR773/MR773.chap2.html#fn5)
Echelon II. Echelon II is division-level health service support, which includes evacuating patients from the unit-level aid stations and providing initial resuscitative treatment in division-level medical facilities. This echelon includes medical companies, support battalions, medical battalions, and forward surgical teams, as well as intratheater patient evacuation assets. At Echelon II, emergency care, including beginning resuscitation procedures, is continued. Soldiers who can be returned to duty within 24 to 72 hours are held at this echelon for treatment.


Echelon III. Echelon III is corps-level health service support, which includes evacuating patients from supported divisional and nondivisional units and providing resuscitative and hospital care. In addition, Echelon III includes providing area health service support within the corps' area to units without organic medical units. Echelon III care is provided by units such as mobile army surgical hospitals (MASH), combat support hospitals (CSH), evacuation hospitals (EVAC), and field hospitals (FH). Patients unable to survive movement over long distances receive surgical care in an Echelon III hospital. In these theater hospitals, patients receive care that will either allow them to be returned to duty or stabilized for evacuation out of the corps or out of the theater altogether.


Echelon IV. Echelon IV is communications zone-level health service support, which includes the receipt of patients evacuated from the corps. This echelon involves treating the casualty in a general hospital and other communications zone (COMMZ)-level facilities. Here, patients receive further treatment to stabilize them for their evacuation to CONUS.


Echelon V. Echelon V is the most definitive care provided to all categories of patients in CONUS and OCONUS Army hospitals. Echelon V is the CONUS-sustaining base and is where the ultimate treatment capability for patients from the theater resides, including full rehabilitative care and tertiary-level care.
Given these different echelons of care, health service support in the theater of operations is made up of a number of different elements, including hospitalization, command elements, laboratory services, medical logistics and blood management assets, evacuation assets, combat stress support, preventive medicine support, dental services, and veterinary services. All of these are components of Echelons I through V that have to be integrated to form the theater medical system. In this report we focus on the hospital units (Echelon III), but we address, where appropriate, issues specific to other types of units and other echelons of care as they affect the overall performance of the theater medical system.

Canotila
10-31-2010, 09:00 AM
How injured would a WW2 soldier have had to have been to be sent back home? Or generally, if a soldier had, say, a broken arm, would he just go to a military hospital until healed then return to battle and not go home at all? What other reason could a soldier be returned home very quickly other then injury? (sorry to be vague, just need a character to be sent home quite quickly).

It depends. My great uncle (American soldier) was injured in France when a bomb exploded on the train they were riding. He ended up with severe head injuries and amnesia. They put him in a military hospital for a while, and then he spent the rest of the war in England doing relief work for the military.