Medicine and Conflict: The Spanish Civil War and its Traumatic Legacy, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Medicine and Conflict

The Spanish Civil War and its Traumatic Legacy, 1st Edition

By Sebastian Browne


240 pages

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Hardback: 9780815394235
pub: 2018-08-06
eBook (VitalSource) : 9781351186513
pub: 2018-08-06
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This book focuses on an important but neglected aspect of the Spanish Civil War, the evolution of medical and surgical care of the wounded during the conflict. Importantly, the focus is from a mainly Spanish perspective – as the Spanish are given a voice in their own story, which has not always been the case. Central to the book is General Franco’s treatment of Muslim combatants, the anarchist contribution to health, and the medicalisation of propaganda – themes that come together in a medico-cultural study of the Spanish Civil War. Suffusing the narrative and the analysis is the traumatic legacy of conflict, an untreated wound that a new generation of Spaniards are struggling to heal.

Table of Contents


List of Images





Chapter One: Introduction

Anatomy of a Conflict: Concepts and Methodologies

Historiography and the History of Medicine of the Spanish Civil War

Local and Regional Histories of Medicine

Chapter Two: Military Conflict and Medical Care of the Moroccan Wounded 1909-1939


The Roots of a Conflict: Regulares and the Army of Africa

The Spanish Protectorate of Morocco: The Birth of a Military Elite

Professionalising the Troops

Surgical Care of the Wounded: North African Amputees

Medical Admissions in Salamanca and Zaragoza

Religion and Culture

Mosques, ‘Cantinas’, Courtesans and Kif

Care of the Dead


Chapter Three: Organisation


Civilian and Military Health during the Second Republic

Ideologies of Care: New Directions

Medical Services at the Start of the Conflict

Local and Regional Responses

Pharmaceutical Provision – Manufacture and Supply: A Case Study

The Role of Insurgent Women in Pharmacy: Gendered Propaganda

Frontline Medical Services

Building on the Experiences of the First World War

Evidence for the Evolution of the Three Point Forward System

Preparing for Chemical Warfare: Realities and Propaganda

Republican Civic Defence Measures

Insurgent Civic Defence Measures

Evacuation of the Wounded


Hospital Trains

Hospital Ships


Chapter Four: Blood Propaganda


The Historiography of Blood Transfusion and the Spanish Civil War

The Origins of Modern Blood Transfusion

The Symbolic Power of Blood

The Role of Film

Heart of Spain

Transfusió de Sang

Defenders of the Faith

The Image and the Word

Medical Journals and Propaganda


Chapter Five: The End of the Spanish Civil War and the Trauma of Post-War Francoism


The Spanish Civil War 1936 –: An Ongoing Conflict?

Trauma and its Legacy

The Unequal Trauma of Defeat

Gloriously Mutilated: Christ the Amputee

The Beginning of Exile: Conflicts in Motion

The Catalan Campaign

The Bombing of Catalunya: Lessons Learned?

Hospitals in Retreat: A Case-Study

Evacuating the Wounded

Trauma Imposed: Repression and Incarceration

Catalunya Occupied: The Persecution of Nurses

Hospital Penitentiaries

Across the Pyrenees

Care in France and in the French Internment Camps

Infants Imprisoned: The Prison for Nursing Mothers in Madrid


Chapter Six: Conclusion

End Notes



About the Author

Sebastian Browne is Associate Lecturer at Canterbury Christ Church, Kent and holds a PhD from the University of Kent.

About the Series

Routledge/Canada Blanch Studies on Contemporary Spain

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / Military / General
HISTORY / Modern / General
HISTORY / Modern / 20th Century
HISTORY / Europe / Spain & Portugal
MEDICAL / History