Friday, April 27, 2007

At the Tobruk Hospital

Robert Crisp says that the Tobruk Hospital was in dire straits. They had too many men to treat for the available facilities. Robert was laid on a stone floor, until someone died. He was then lifted onto the bed that was still warm. The next morning, two senior medical officers checked him over and decided that they needed to put a tube into his head wound, so it could drain. They hoped to send him back to Alexandria on a hospital ship. While they were recording Robert's "name and number", a young man who was waiting died. They made sure that he was dead and then removed his body. There was a long line of men waiting for an X-ray. When he was returned to the hospital ward, there were many new wounded men on the floor, waiting for treatment. The nights were punctuated by bomber attacks and AA fire. They were primarily 40mm Bofors guns. There were also some heavier guns that opened up when they were attacked by Stukas. One man broke and went wild, fighting some imaginery enemy. The orderly saw him and immediately went for help. They restrained the man and he was removed. This is based on the account in Robert Crisp's book Brazen Chariots.

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