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A Medical Emergency

Major-General ‘Ginger’ Burston and theArmy Medical Service in World War II

Authors: Ian Howie-Willis
WW2, Medical Services, Pacific

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Australian soldiers and their American Allies won the land war against Japan in the Pacific slands because they were healthier than their enemies. The troops’ fighting spirit, their armaments, their naval and air support and their generals were certainly key ingredients in the Allied victory. Without good health, however, these other factors would have been nullified. In World War II the Allies eventually beat the Japanese — a victory based, to a large part, on the success of the Australian Army Medical Service in defeating malaria.

Their Japanese counterpart never won this battle. Major-General ‘Ginger’ Burston led the Army Medical Service throughout the Pacific campaigns. This pivotal book explains how Burston and his medical team kept Allied troops healthy in primitive and hostile conditions and during the greatest medical emergency of World War II — the struggle against malaria. A Medical Emergency tells this remarkable story for the first time.

Ian Howie-Willis

Ian Howie-Willis

Dr Ian Howie-Willis is an independent professional historian. The author of 20 books, he is the Historical Adviser to St John Ambulance Australia. His previous book was An Unending War: The Australian Army’s struggle against malaria, 1885–2015 (Big Sky Publishing, Sydney, 2016). He grew up in Melbourne and lived for ten years in Papua New […]

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