“The Frontline Surgeons” is a book written by Clifford L. Graves and is an account of the experiences of the Third Auxiliary Group during the Second World War. It is about the chronological events of the Auxiliary Surgical Group that was operating during the Second World War. The book outlines the significant roles that this group played during the war as they moved from Normandy, Sicily, and Africa and into the battle of Bulge. The book outlines the roles, duties, and functions of different auxiliary surgical teams and various hospitals as they performed surgery across Belgium, Holland, Germany, and Normandy. The author, Clifford L. Graves, sheds light on the third auxiliary surgical group who got parachuted and did the first surgery on three beachheads. This is a mind-boggling book that describes the first surgery teams that, despite hard and adverse conditions that existed during the Second World War, managed to overcome all this and emerge successfully. They researched and introduced new concepts and useful information into the field of medicine thanks to the experiences gained in the war.
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Clifford in this book includes exhilarating, painful and breath-taking military campaigns of the Third Auxiliary Group as they took part in campaigns across many parts of the world and how they exhaustively demonstrated the full usefulness of the mobile surgical team in Sicily then united with the rest of the auxiliary groups in England. The author, Clifford, captures the real picture by including accounts of military campaigns across Africa to Europe and wittingly illustrates to the reader using maps and illustrations how the real situation during the war was like hence putting reality into the unfolding events.
The author, Clifford, who was a historian with an assignment to prepare the annual reports, got an opportunity to meet with the surgeons, and in writing this book, he tries to relive the experiences of the surgeons during the Second World War. He tries to put into account all the activities of the surgeons, the challenges and achievements, and even highlight the specific roles of the members of the “Third Auxiliary” played during the Second World War.
Clifford uses the real experiences that the auxiliary surgeons went through, for instance, when the third auxiliary team was in Africa. The author records that on the 16th of February 1943, while in North Africa, in the little village of Fluoride, the third auxiliary experienced intense war between the Germans, Americans, and the British. He captures this by using imagery to illustrate the real scenario that was there. He writes that ‘the allies did not let the grass grow under their feet.’ This literary means that allies (Americans and British) did not allow the Germans to reestablish and revamp themselves.
Furthermore, the writer develops his work by listing the chronological events by dates. This has assisted the author is giving a true picture of the events that happen. In outlining the real events and dates, we get to know exactly what was happening, and this enables the reader to experience the events as if he or she was there. To portray the challenges that the surgeons underwent, the author takes the reader into the real battlefield for instance the outlines about the stealing of the supplies that the doctors were eagerly waiting. He says, ‘before sleeping bags got uploaded, the first Arabs were beginning to infiltrate and by the time supper was ready they were swarms of them. These Arabs had just one purpose, snoop and steal. They would hide under trucks, inside trucks and even in the latrines, no one was safe it was nothing for an Arab to sneak into a tent, open up a bedding and help himself with what he wanted and steal away’ (Graves, 55).Through this extract, the author gives an account of the challenges the members of the third auxiliary group went through.
The author also uses pictures to illustrate and support his argument. In many pages the reader encounters many pictures of different scenarios which help the learner to easily understand and to clarify on what the author is saying together with the author’s intentions. The author uses two methods to present this chronological description of events and use of pictures. By using these two ways Clifford maintains high quality and flowing series of events that helps whoever want to know the real events of the Second World War.
Clifford in his work did not use any earlier sources like books and other written materials to present his work. The author follows the events and writes about them as they happen; his work is of high quality due to the author use of first hand and undistorted information. The author interviews the surgeons and gets feedback about the events and how it was unfolding. As a result of this, the author produces a piece of work that is of high quality since the author has used first hand information to present it. The author’s use of experience to record his work is dependable and gives weight to his arguments.
The author does not use any footnotes or end notes to write his work. This is basically because his writings described the events that were actually happening and he wrote the book from a participant’s point of view.
The author describes the events as they happen and he gives us the accounts of what happened historically during the Second World War. Most of what he writes actually happened and it becomes a historic book. The author actually participated in the real events and wrote them as they were and it qualifies to become a history book. If this relied on any scholarly work, the author could have given citations and references of his work. To show that the work is from firsthand experience Clifford even uses first person point of view.
This writing has very important information that can help learners, researchers and historians to know about the events real as they were happening during the Second World War. In this book, the events unfold as they are happening and this helps researchers to extract real information which has not been distorted. The use of pictures, maps and chronology of events assists the historians and interested groups to trace how the war was being fought. The author mentions the real places and where the combat missions were and this is useful in tracing the events especially those which was not recorded. So the book is highly commendable to researchers, students and historians. It is also important to mention that the book may also be useful to doctors and those who are studying in the field of medicine, as it records great inventions and the achievements made by surgeons at that particular time. Clifford’s work is also useful in literature as it has many literary devices worth studying.
Graves L.C. (1950) Front line surgeons; a history of the Third Auxiliary Surgical Group. California:Frye & Smith,