History of Medicine


An Open Access Journal

Medicine during World War I: Commission for the revision of sanitary and medical supply standards of the Russian army (1915–1917)

doi: 10.3897/hmj.5.3.32483

Aleksandra A. Yaroshenko, Nataliya P. Shok

The lessons learned from the last wars of the second half of the 19th to early 20th centuries influenced the organization of the troop command and control. The latest inventions, mass outbreaks of infectious diseases among the troops and the population of countries at war, as well as a number of other factors, led to changes in army management mechanisms. Given the experience gained from initial hostilities, the Russian government decided to review its approach to medical support for the field army and the organization of the medical supply system for troops. This was due to the unsatisfactory state of the Russian military-industrial complex at the beginning of World War I. At the beginning of the war, Russia was forced to seek help from France, Britain, the United States, and Japan, and to take urgent measures to expand its own production of medical equipment. Emergency measures were taken to facilitate the production of medical equipment on the territory of the Russian Empire. During the reign of Nicholas II, in June 1915, a Special council was set up. The council oversaw the activities of industrial enterprises that produced war supplies, distributed military orders between Russian and foreign factories and facilitated the opening of new ones. The Special council entrusted the provision of medical supplies for the Russian army to the Commission for the Revision of Sanitary and Medical Supply Standards, which was established on October 24, 1915. As a result of the work of the commission during the war, the medical support system for the troops was improved, production of domestic versions of medical equipment was established, the procedure for dispensing medical supplies was simplified, and standards were increased.

Keywords World War I, the Special council to discuss and integrate state defense measures, the Commission for the revision of sanitary and medical supply standards for the army, medical supplies, medical equipment, pharmacy store


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