Ivan M. Chizh1, Jury E. Vyazovichenko1, Igor A. Grishin1, Alexander A. Baranov2
1 Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University
2 Military unit № 93998
Based on the memoirs of eyewitnesses and participants of the Battle of Borodino, the organizational principles of providing medical assistance to the Russian and French armies and the principles of medical care on the battlefield are reviewed. Accounts of eyewitnesses who received medical help or watched as it was provided, in comparison with data on the “standards of care” established during the period, allows us to compile the complete picture of the level of medical support during the battles of the 1812 campaign. The new scales of combat due to the use of more destructive weapons, and demanded an improvement in the organization of military medicine. The military administration of the Russian state had taken into account the experience of previous military campaigns. Sir J. Wylie made the first attempts to establish military hospitals to which patients would be sent according to the nature of their illness or injury. Particular attention was paid to sanitary and hygienic measures. Daily medical examinations of staff were introduced in order to identify the ill during epidemic outbreaks among the military. The vaccination of troops against smallpox was introduced, which ensured fewer medical casualties among Russian Army personnel, compared with the French. The development and improvement of organizational and preventive work of the Russian Army’s military medical service at the beginning of the 19th century is demonstrated and the measures taken to address the challenges it faced to ensure the provision of skilled care under combat conditions are described.
Keywords: The Battle of Borodino, military medicine, organization of medical care on the battlefield, Sir J. Wylie, evacuation of the wounded, gunshot wounds, military hospital, field dressing station