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Medical and Evacuation Support of the Fronts in Berlin Operation during the Great Patriotic War

V.S. Novikov
A.M. Shelepov
vice-president of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences, Chairperson of the section of interdisciplinary problems of science and education of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences, a recipient of the State Prize in Science and Engineering, Honored Science Worker, member of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences, Doctor of Medicine, professor
professor, the Department of Organization and Tactics of Medical Service, Kirov Military Medical Academy, member of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences, Honored Science Worker, Doctor of Medicine, professor
St. Petersburg
St. Petersburg


  • the Great Patriotic War
  • the First and Second Belarus Fronts and the First Ukrainian Front
  • Berlin operation
  • hospital bases
  • medical and evacuation support
  • the wounded and the sick
  • sanitary losses
  • medical service
  • operation rate of the wounded
  • forces and resources
  • field mobile hospitals
  • We introduce the results of the analysis of fronts’ actions and their medical and evacuation support in Berlin operation during the Great Patriotic War. The operation involved the First and Second Belarus Fronts and the First Ukrainian Front containing 21 Combined Arms Armies, 4 Tank armies, 3 Air armies, 10 independent tank and mechanized corps, 4 cavalry corps, some part of Baltic Navy, 18th Air army of anti-aircraft warfare as well as two Polish armies, tank and air corps. We characterize their structure and the balance of the forces in confrontation. The tasks of the fronts in the offensive operation in question are described.
    We show the size of sanitary losses at the fronts and the unevenness of their distribution. The armies involved in the main front offensive are characterized by the greatest losses. Initially all the armies deployed only a part of their hospitals keeping the rest for the use as the first-line hospitals. It was caused by the inevitability of big losses during the breakthrough of Berlin defense and fighting the resistance in Berlin.
    The most difficult tasks of the medical service of all the fronts were the evacuation of the wounded and the sick from the hospital bases of the armies and fronts, releasing hospitals and approaching them to the troops. Medical and evacuation support of the troops during Berlin operation represented a complicated system and its successful performance could be achieved and improved based on general principles of organizing the work and resources of medical service.