What Australian Field Hospital for 23rd Brigade

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Fatboy Coxy
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What Australian Field Hospital for 23rd Brigade

Post by Fatboy Coxy » 12 Feb 2024 12:03

Hi all, the Australian Imperial Force sent to Malaya had two field hospitals, the 2/10 and 2/13, supporting the two infantry brigades and supporting arms that were deployed there. Does anyone know what other field hospital might have been sent if the 23rd Bde had also be deployed there?
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Tom from Cornwall
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Re: What Australian Field Hospital for 23rd Brigade

Post by Tom from Cornwall » 12 Feb 2024 18:06

Fatboy Coxy wrote:
12 Feb 2024 12:03
Hi all, the Australian Imperial Force sent to Malaya had two field hospitals, the 2/10 and 2/13, supporting the two infantry brigades and supporting arms that were deployed there. Does anyone know what other field hospital might have been sent if the 23rd Bde had also be deployed there?
Hi,

Do you mean Field Ambulance?

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Tom

Fatboy Coxy
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Re: What Australian Field Hospital for 23rd Brigade

Post by Fatboy Coxy » 12 Feb 2024 22:37

Hi Tom, no the General Hospitals, the two they sent were AGH 2/10 and AGH 2/13, (AGH is Australian General Hospital).
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Tom from Cornwall
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Re: What Australian Field Hospital for 23rd Brigade

Post by Tom from Cornwall » 12 Feb 2024 23:57

Fatboy Coxy wrote:
12 Feb 2024 22:37
Hi Tom, no the General Hospitals, the two they sent were AGH 2/10 and AGH 2/13, (AGH is Australian General Hospital).
I had never previously seen any references to the scale of General Hospitals being associated with the number of infantry brigades - are there are details in the RAMC official histories?

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Tom

Fatboy Coxy
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Re: What Australian Field Hospital for 23rd Brigade

Post by Fatboy Coxy » 13 Feb 2024 21:32

Hi Tom, the more I read your question, the dumber my original question is. I have no idea of what number of troops require another Field Hospital, although the Australian force in Malaya was noted as being well supported. Looking at the Indian forces deployed there by 7 December 1941, I have 4 Indian General Hospitals, for 20 infantry battalions. Now they had few supporting arms, as in artillery regiments, but did have 5 Indian State infantry battalions, and a lot of Indians served in the HKSRA (Hong Kong Singapore Royal Artillery), all of whom I'd presume would use those hospitals. On that basis, 2 Australian Field Hospitals for two brigades of infantry plus supporting arms is something of an extravagance, and I'm thinking the arrival of the third brigade of the 8th Australian Division would not have triggered the sending of a third AGH.
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Fatboy Coxy

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Tom from Cornwall
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Re: What Australian Field Hospital for 23rd Brigade

Post by Tom from Cornwall » 13 Feb 2024 23:44

Fatboy Coxy wrote:
13 Feb 2024 21:32
Hi Tom, the more I read your question, the dumber my original question is. I have no idea of what number of troops require another Field Hospital, although the Australian force in Malaya was noted as being well supported. Looking at the Indian forces deployed there by 7 December 1941, I have 4 Indian General Hospitals, for 20 infantry battalions. Now they had few supporting arms, as in artillery regiments, but did have 5 Indian State infantry battalions, and a lot of Indians served in the HKSRA (Hong Kong Singapore Royal Artillery), all of whom I'd presume would use those hospitals. On that basis, 2 Australian Field Hospitals for two brigades of infantry plus supporting arms is something of an extravagance, and I'm thinking the arrival of the third brigade of the 8th Australian Division would not have triggered the sending of a third AGH.
I had a quick look in the Australian medical official histories and there was a mention of a decision being made to supply hospital bed capacity to the Australian forces in the Medical East at 8% of total personnel. I think it might be a calculation based on both expected combat intensity and also the likely health of the troops in that location; higher rates of sickness being predicted for the Middle East, for example, rather than in Europe. There is a section of one of the volumes about the campaign in Malaya so I’d recommend taking a look at that.

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Tom

Fatboy Coxy
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Re: What Australian Field Hospital for 23rd Brigade

Post by Fatboy Coxy » 14 Feb 2024 09:51

Hi Tom, thank you for that, I'm on it. I have to say Australian records and history are pretty good for Malaya, while British and British Indian Army records are spotty. Usually we blame the poor record keeping on the loss of Singapore, but the Australians went through that as well, they just spent more time (and money) on re creating the historical record. Not only was Britain short of money, but there has been a collective shame about what happened, and a desire to forget about it all.
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