The State of Military Medicine during the Russian Civil War

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Along with the analysis of military strategy and tactics and of the ideological component of the struggle, the history of the Russian Civil War can also be studied with regard to the “supporting” factors in the opposing camps. The present article is based on the study of sanitary-medical services of the Red Army and the armies of the White Movement. Under war conditions, the boundary between military and civil medicine was blurred, as we are talking about a domestic war that coincided with several major epidemics. The personnel as well as the organizational forms and practices of medical care went back to the experiences of World War I. At the outbreak of the war the armed formations competed with each other to attract specialists to their ranks. Members of the medical community thus had to decide which side to serve - a choice that some made consciously and others situationally. At the beginning of the war, the Whites had an advantage regarding medical personnel; by the end of the war, the Bolsheviks had managed to rectify this situation. The Whites adopted the experience of World War I, assigning public organizations a special role in supplying the army. The Reds, in contrast, sought to match the revolutionary spirit of the era by encouraging initiative. This they combined with a fairly tight control of their services, creating a centralized system from the outset. The analysis of how the warrying parties organized their military medical-sanitary services can thus add new insights to our understanding of why the Bolsheviks achieved victory in the Civil War.

About the authors

Olga M. Morozova

Don State Technical University

Author for correspondence.
ORCID iD: 0000-0001-8232-8189

Dr. habil. hist., Professor of the Department of Public Relations

1, Gagarina Sq., Rostov-on-Don, 344000, Russia

Tatiana I. Troshina

Northern (Arctic) Federal University named after M.V. Lomonosov; Northern State Medical University

ORCID iD: 0000-0001-5517-5949

Dr. Habil. Hist., Professor of the Department of Social Work and Social Security, Northern (Arctic) Federal University named after M.V. Lomonosov; Professor of the Department of Humanities, Northern State Medical University

17, Severnaya Dvina Emb., Arkhangelsk, 163002, Russia; 51, Troitsky Av., Arkhangelsk, 163000, Russia


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Copyright (c) 2022 Morozova O.M., Troshina T.I.

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