In a previous post, I already wrote about medics. Their role in the care of the wounded was extremely important. The immediate care of the wounded and their transport to the first aid station was the most important condition for healing and often survival. In the memoirs of wounded soldiers, they are mentioned repeatedly. Sometimes with a positive, sometimes with a negative assessment. If someone’s wound was treated quickly and he did not bleed instantly, that wounded person surely remembered the medical soldier fondly. On the other hand, those who were left without care due to the many urgent operations or the impossibility of transportation, if they survived, did not like to remember the hours of crisis.
The medics were unarmed soldiers who, using the wound treatment equipment they had, provided immediate care to the newly wounded and transported them back. All this, of course, under enemy fire. Their task was by no means without danger. They had the basic knowledge needed to care for the wounded, and their superior was the regimental doctor. The aid station of the regiments during trench warfare was usually arranged directly behind the front lines. The regimental doctor cared for the seriously wounded brought back from the front line and performed life-saving operations. After that, they had to be taken as quickly as possible to well-equipped field hospitals behind the front, where they received further care.
One of the main tasks of the medics was therefore to carry and move the wounded. Stretchers were used for this purpose, as can be seen in the insignia presented. But it often happened that the wounded were brought from the front lines by their comrades on their backs. Other times, the lightly wounded was carried by two soldiers sitting on a gun held by medics on both sides, as shown in the attached photo.
In addition to general insignia, badge makers also produced Kappenabzeichen for medical personnel of specific units. The second badge depicting wounded carriers was made for the field hospital of the Hofmann corps.