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Preface

Contents

Preface

The purpose of this volume is to bring together the many aspects of public health as an adjunct of Civil Affairs in Military Government in conquered and occupied areas, as experienced by the Army Medical Department in World War II. With each conquest, the conquering force became the Military Government that was the supreme authority over land, property, and inhabitants of the enemy territory and, by force or agreement, substituted its authority for that of the sovereign or previous government. Whether a country was conquered or liberated, the Civil Affairs element of Military Government concerned itself with the language, history, governmental structure, and customs of the occupied country; and public health was an integral and essential function of this governing authority.

The administration of Civil Affairs by the Army in connection with Military Government had been quite limited in the previous one-enemy, one-nation, one-war conflicts. Thus, the magnitude of the operations in World War II was only vaguely perceived in early planning, and the worldwide scope of this war challenged the ingenuity, determination, and fortitude of members in the United States Army at every level. Compounding the scope of the early efforts was the invasion of Africa, which demonstrated that the military organization rather than the State Department was by far the primary agency to deal with these matters.

In 1942, The Provost Marshal General was assigned the responsibility of training Civil Affairs officers as specialists in language, history, governmental structure, and customs of the country to be occupied. That same year, The Provost Marshal General established a school at Charlottesville, Va., to train officers for Civil Affairs and Military Government positions. Within a few months, it became apparent that public health was an essential function of Civil Affairs and Military Government, and The Provost Marshal General asked The Surgeon General for a liaison officer to assist with the few hours allotted to instruction pertaining to the public health aspects of Civil Affairs and Military Government. While this course did provide personnel to implement Military Government and administer Civil Affairs, it was neither intended nor designed to train and qualify public health officers.

Civilian public health personnel were scarce in the United States. Thus, with no source of trained public health specialists to draw from in the civilian community and with too few available in the Army, The Surgeon General had to negotiate with several universities to train public health officers who would serve in countries worldwide; that is, in the Americas; in the Mediterranean area, Europe, and the Middle East; and in China, Burma, India, Japan, Korea, and the entire Southwest Pacific. The problem of training public health officers for their varied and complex roles in Civil Affairs and Military Government was expanded by the factor of training them to cope with restoring health care delivery systems and implementing disease prevention programs in Allied Nations, in friendly occupied nations, and in belligerent conquered nations. What differed mostly between the wartime aspects relating to public health activities in Civil Affairs and Military Government and the public health activities in the local hometown communities during peacetime were the problems of logistics, supply, transportation, and medical practice-all of which were taken for granted in a home community, but which had to be coped with by the governing agency in the occupied territories. And to the Army Medical Department, often in coordination with the U.S. Navy or the Allies, fell the responsibility for directing and executing public health measures to prevent disease and to restore health care to preoccupation standards for the inhabitants of the occupied territories.

To provide a composite and factual accounting of this worldwide endeavor, the few public health specialists who were directly involved were requested to write of their roles, experiences, problems, and solutions in this vast and complex operation. Their combined efforts depict this milestone of Army Medical history. It is fitting to give thanks to the foresight and determination of the few regular officers in the Army Medical Department who laid the groundwork for this major undertaking and who effectively achieved the optimum under the existing conditions. In their behalf, this text will have fulfilled its purpose if it helps a future generation engaged in another conflict to meet these problems.

Many people, in addition to the several coauthors, contributed to the preparation of this volume. Particular appreciation is expressed to personnel of the U.S. Army Medical Department Historical Unit, who took the basic contributed material, molded it into a cohesive whole, and persevered in the complex and time-consuming process of prepublication preparation to a most successful conclusion: Mr. Roderick M. Engert, assisted by Mrs. Esther E. Rohlader, reorganized and condensed the manuscript while maintaining the integrity of the substantive material; Mrs. Martha R. Stephens edited the manuscript and prepared the comprehensive index; Miss Jean A. Saffran, the Unit cartographer, prepared or adapted all of the maps; Mrs. Mary D. Nelson prepared the artwork; and Colonels William S. Mullins, MSC, Leland B. Carter, VC, and John Lada, MSC, successive Directors of The Historical Unit, guided this project through its final stages.

THOMAS B. TURNER, M.D.

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