Victory over Disease

Resolving the Medical Crisis in the Crimean War, 1854-1856

Michael Hinton

This book presents fresh analyses of unpublished, published and significant primary source material relevant to the medical aspects on the Eastern campaign of 1854-1856 - commonly called the Crimean War.
Publication date:
April 2019
Publisher :
Helion and Company
Language:
English
Series :
From Musket to Maxim 1815-1914
Illustration :
2 maps, 23 ills, 47 tables, 23 graphs
Format Available     Quantity Price
Paperback
ISBN : 9781911628316

Dimensions : 248 X 180 cm
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£29.95

Overview
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This book presents fresh analyses of unpublished, published and significant primary source material relevant to the medical aspects on the Eastern campaign of 1854-1856 - commonly called the Crimean War. The aim has been to produce an account based on robust evidence. The project began with no preconceptions but came to seriously question the contributions made by the talented and well-connected Florence Nightingale and the suitably-qualified Sanitary Commissioners. The latter had been sent by the government to investigate matters on the spot. This may prove an unexpected and possibly unsympathetic conclusion for some of Nightingale's many admirers. Rigorously weighing the evidence, it is unmistakeably clear that there is very little proof that Nightingale and the Sanitary Commissioners significantly influenced the improvement in the health of the main Army in the Crimea. The principal problems were at the front, not in Turkey, and it was there that matters were gradually rectified, with the health of the troops beginning to improve during the early weeks of 1855.

The historiography of the campaign has tended to concentrate on the catastrophic deterioration in the health of the Army during the first winter and the perceived incompetence of the heads of department. The contributions made by Nightingale and the Sanitary Commissioners have been greatly over-emphasised. As a consequence, the medical aspects of the war have been inaccurately portrayed in both academic works and popular culture.

The author's analyses should alter existing preconceptions or prejudices about what happened in Crimea and Turkey during those fateful war years. The ‘Victory over Disease' took place in the Crimea, and not at Scutari - and this was not due to the contributions of any one person, or even a group of individuals. Rather it represented the involvement of many people in many walks of life who worked, possibly unwittingly, for a common purpose, and with such a gratifying result.