Book Review
Battlefield Angels
Osprey Publishing LTD Battlefield Angels – Saving Lives Under Enemy Fire From Valley Forge To Afghanistan
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by: Randy L Harvey [ HARV ]


Throughout history from ancient times to current military involvements there has been a need for battlefield medicine and medical personnel. Battlefield medicine has dramatically changed throughout history from individuals originally being left on the field of battle to die from their wounds, to amputations being used as the main form of battlefield medicine to the lifesaving procedures being practiced today. As with any other field in the military, the area of battlefield medicine and the medical staff has dramatically changed and improved throughout history. During all military conflicts there have been heroes, men and women, not only behind the weaponry, but also those that have cared for the wounded, both friendly and foe.

Osprey Publications Ltd book Battlefield Angels – Saving Lives Under Enemy Fire From Valley Forge To Afghanistan is a hardback book with a paper dust jacket and consists of 272 pages. Included with the text are color and black and white photographs and images with detailed captions. It has a 2011 copyright and the ISBN is 978-1-84908-515-1. The book examines and discusses military medics from the revolutionary war to the current conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan and also profiles specific individuals and their deeds.

The contents

Foreword by Vice Admiral Harold M. Koenig, M.D.
1.Perils of Independence – Revolutionary War
2.Battlefield Evacuation – Civil War
3.Mechanized War – World War I
4.Fighting Infection – World War II: The Pacific
5.Defeating Disease – World War II: Tarawa
6.Mobile Combat Care – World War II: Europe
7.Overcoming Shock – World War II: Peleliu
8.Battle Burns – World War II: Iwo Jima
9.Medical Care Behind Bars – World War II: Philippines
10.Medicine on the Fly – Korean War
11.Helos and Hospitals – Vietnam War
12.Mass Casualties – Vietnam War
13.Battlefield ER – Iraq
14.Invisible Scars – Afghanistan and Iraq
Select Bibliography

The text

The text in the book is well written and extremely detailed. I didn’t notice and spelling or grammar errors as I read through the book. McGaugh provides a series of personal profiles that provide stories of heroism displayed by different medics and corpsmen during the last three centuries. It is obvious that McGaugh has gone to great lengths to research all aspects of military medics and their practices as well as the personal stories of the profiled individuals. Anyone interested in military medics and practices and the changes that took place in this field during the last three centuries will find this book very informative and interesting.

The photographs

There are a total of 39 black and white photographs and illustrations and 4 color photographs included in the book (not counting the color photograph of the author). Most of the photographs are nice and clear, however there are some that have an out of focus look to them and some appear to be too dark. I have seen several military photographs that have this look to them so maybe that is just typical. I do know that several military photographs are actually stills taken from video so that could be one reason. The fact that some of the photographs are over 100 years old needs to be taken into account as well. With that said the quality of the photographs is of no fault of the author and do not take anything away from the book.

The captions

The captions are well written and are very detailed and explain the accompanying photographs well. I didn’t notice any spelling or grammar errors.


All in all I am very impressed with the book. It discusses military medics very well. I would have no hesitation to add other Osprey titles to my personal library nor would I hesitate to recommend this book to others. This book was provided to me by Osprey Publishing Ltd. Please be sure to mention that you saw the book reviewed here when you make your purchase.


Civil War Medicine

The History of Medicine

The Medical Front WWI

Medical department, United States Army Personnel in World War II

Battlefield surgery 101: from the Civil war to Vietnam exhibit

ARMY 68W (68 Whiskey) Army Combat Medic

Highs: Well researched, written, and detailed text. Detailed captions. Nice photographs and artwork.
Lows: Some of the photographs have a blurry look to them, while some appear to be too dark.
Verdict: This well researched and written book contains interesting photographs with detailed captions and stories of military medical personnel. A nice addition to a personal library and a benefit to anyone interested in combat medics and their practices.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:1
  Mfg. ID: ISBN 978-1-84908-515-1
  Suggested Retail: $24.95 US/£18.99 UK/$27.9
  PUBLISHED: Jul 20, 2011
  NATIONALITY: United States

Our Thanks to Osprey Publishing!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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About Randy L Harvey (HARV)

I have been in the modeling hobby off and on since my youth. I build mostly 1/35 scale. However I work in other scales for aircraft, ships and the occasional civilian car kit. I also kit bash and scratch-build when the mood strikes. I mainly model WWI and WWII figures, armor, vehic...

Copyright ©2021 text by Randy L Harvey [ HARV ]. All rights reserved.


Thanks for the review. It sounds like it'll be a very interesting read.
JUL 20, 2011 - 09:15 AM
You're welcome and thank you Cary. I really enjoy doing the reviews and I appreciate any and all feedback. Randy
JUL 23, 2011 - 05:37 AM

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