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Abstract

“Fighting a War Without Rifles: Deconstructing the Image of the Unflappable Medic” focuses on comparing the official romanticized image of the medic in World War II and the soldiers’ reality. During the Second World War, the US Army in Europe faced high casualty rates, and the soldiers of the Medical Department were tasked with treating the wounded. The medic was the first echelon of care that the wounded would receive, as well as the most important. After the War, the medics were portrayed in a romanticized light. Official literature presented them as highly competent soldiers; infantry men saw them as men who would risk everything to save them. However, when looking at the memoirs and letters of medics, a much different image appears. The medics of the Second World War experienced psychological breakdowns, were ill-prepared for combat, and in some cases insubordinate. The medics’ war has for many years been romanticized by film, television, and literature; this paper seeks to expose a side of war that has not come to light.

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