C.M.L. Pretorius


'An Army Medical Service is an indispensable technical branch of the military organisation. On its efficiency the manpower of an army to a great extent depends.'

The military medical service has been given little consideration in the past. In 1912 the Union Defence Force was created and with it, the organisation of a new medical service. During the First World War medical personnel offered their services in South Africa, German East Africa and in several parts of Europe. In 1918 the death rate had been 42 per thousand, many as a result of the tropical and sub-tropical campaigns. At the end of the Second World War a world record was created by die SAMC during the East African Campaign. The death rate had then been less than two per thousand. After the war the Medical Service returned to its peace-time work.

Many recommendations have since then been accepted by the government and today the fourth arm of the SADF is formed by the Medical Service. It is commanded by a Lieutenant-general. Operational support facilities are also provided.


Army Medical Service; military medical service; SAMC; East African Campaign; Medical Service; Commanded by a Lieutenant-general.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5787/12-2-621


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