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Battlefield Angels: Saving Lives Under Enemy Fire From Valley Forge to Afghanistan (General Military )

3.77  ·  Rating details ·  78 Ratings  ·  16 Reviews
In Battlefield Angels historian Scott McGaugh pays homage to the thousands of medics, hospital corpsmen, and battlefield nurses, doctors, surgeons who have provided succor and healing to the more than 40 million warriors who have served in America’s armed forces since the nation’s founding.

McGaugh tells the story of Jonathan Letterman, a Union surgeon during the Civil War
ebook, 304 pages
Published July 19th 2011 by Osprey Publishing (first published September 1st 2009)
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A.L. Sowards
Parts of this book were better than others. Many of the early chapters were summaries that didn’t offer enough details to be very interesting. The chapters on WWII and Vietnam were more interesting (at least for me) because they focused on a few men and their stories, rather than trying to cover an entire war in one chapter (or in a few paragraphs, which is all the War of 1812 and the Mexican-American war received).

This is probably a good starter book for a high school or junior high students.
Scott McGaugh wrote a decent book about the military medicine corps and how they changed the battlefield throughout America's history. McGaugh is not a historian, which is clear from his choices to profile and how he structured the book; he is a communications director for a museum and so his writing reflects a public relations-type of delivering information.

The Revolutionary War, the Civil War, and World War I each get one chapter that was very much an overview of the wars and where military m
Apr 20, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, 2012
The subject is so interesting that I kept reading despite the fact that the book is formulaic and poorly-organized -- or maybe the "vivid scene-setting -> anecdote -> statistics -> thematic wrap-up" formula just didn't work for me. The stories are, of course, amazing.
Sarah Sundin
Dec 29, 2012 rated it liked it
Lots of fascinating anecdotes, but not much substance for research.
Jerry Vanvactor, DHA
I do not often write reviews about books I have read, but this one deserves some attention. I would give this book two stars, at best, and I believe I am being generous. This book is an interesting introduction to military healthcare for anyone who may not be intimately familiar with the inner-workings of active duty or the assignment of actual medics and corpsmen. I found this book to be an incredibly poorly structured book of facts and statistics riddled with a few human interest and sensation ...more
John Tintera
Oct 12, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
Battlefield Angels is one of those rare books that opens your eyes to whole new vistas. It is foremost an homage to the thousands of very brave men and women who have put their lives at risk so that front-line soldiers can "go over the top" with the certainty that if they're wounded there will be a medic or corpsman there to patch them up and get them home. It is also the story of how the reality of the battlefield has helped speed the progress of such medical innovations as x-rays and penicilli ...more
Apr 22, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A solid, sometimes moving history of combat medics and corpsmen and the warriors whose lives they have saved in American wars from our founding to the present. Scott McGaugh does a nice job of intertwining the advances in medical technology and techniques with the stories of the men, mostly very young, who defied the terrifying danger of combat to go under enemy fire and provide first aid to the wounded comrades. This book will give you a newfound appreciation for what our medics (Army and Air F ...more
Nov 27, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: military, medical
Interesting read for those in the emergency medicine field to learn about our profession's roots, the heroism displayed by our colleagues past and present, and how emergency care has evolved over the years.
BT Yates
Jan 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great read

This book serves as a means to honor the sacrifices of so many. As a former Corpsman, I fully appreciated the historical look at the military medical advances. I recommend this to any fan of history and/or medicine.
Nov 15, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I didn't learn too much new information but the presentation and organization into time periods was well done.
Dec 14, 2012 marked it as to-read
Dec 14, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is not about real Angels but is about medics and corps people who care for the injured on the battlefield. It takes a lot of guts to do this for a living.
Kathleen Hood
Jul 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Captivating and thoroughly informative.
Scott McGaugh
Sep 15, 2016 added it  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
So much of the healthcare we enjoy today was pioneered or validated on the battlefield.
Nov 22, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The great Christmas classic was great to read again. Like all great classics, what I learn reflects my stage of life so I always learn something I didn't know the last time I read it.
Jerry Teipen
Bland writing. Basically a general overview that could have been delivered in 20-25 pages stretched to almost 250. "Battlefield Angels" does not accurately describe the content. Maybe 20% of the book discussed the heroics of various medical personnel dating from the American Revolution to the current conflicts in the Middle East. Proud of myself for being able to finish this one. The struggle was real!
Al Ferreira
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I'm proud to be the founding marketing director of the USS Midway Museum in San Diego. It was on Midway's flight deck that I first discovered extraordinary courage in uniform by otherwise anonymous heroes. One book has led to another. As a San Diego native (endangered species), I'm honored to help preserve the legacy of service both to country and community.
More about Scott McGaugh...

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