Military Review

Napoleon's Grand Army Medical Service: Volatile Ambulances

72
Napoleon's Grand Army Medical Service: Volatile Ambulances
"Flying ambulance" in the painting by Jack Gearball. First on the left is Dominique Jean Larrey, the inventor of the volatile ambulances.


Problem


Transporting the wounded from the battlefield to infirmaries and rear hospitals was a matter of improvisation - especially during the first revolutionary wars.

In 1792, no transportation service existed at all.

The wounded were transported in ordinary peasant carts. In conditions that contradict all the principles of not only hygiene, but also elementary humanism.

Peasant carts, heavy and clumsy, shook on the broken roads. And the wounded (in a semi-conscious state from pain and loss of blood) endured real torment before they were hospitalized after such hell.

It should be added that, as a rule, local residents became sleds. And this means that if the battle was played out on enemy territory, one could not count on any mercy on their part in relation to the invaders. And since the transportation was carried out without the accompaniment of French soldiers, the sleds could choose the longest paths along the most broken roads. It was in the nature of things that many of the wounded died on the way, unable to bear the burden of evacuation.

In 1792, the book La Santé de Mars by Jourdan Lequinte was published, who for the first time publicly drew attention to such a barbaric attitude towards the wounded.

The result of the publication was a scandal, as a result of which the National Convention, by decree of November 18, 1792, obliged the Minister of War to submit a draft of such a cart that could provide a humane transportation of the wounded.

On the walls of Paris, posters appeared with calls for chariots and carts to send models or ready-made copies of carts to the competition. Although several dozen projects were submitted for the competition, none of them was approved.

In 1793, a repeated competition was announced.

But it did not bring the desired results either.

In the end, it was decided to order several dozen carts of the project, which the jury of the competition considered the most practical. But even they, at the first tests, turned out to be too heavy and clumsy in the battlefield conditions.

Volatile ambulances


At the same time, the chief surgeon of the Rhine army, Dominique Jean Larrey, came up with the idea of ​​creating the so-called "ambulances volantes".

These carts were much lighter than ordinary peasant carts. They made it possible to carry out the evacuation of the wounded directly from the battlefield.

But Larrey managed to bring his idea to life only in 1797 during the first Italian campaign.

Its "volatile ambulances" have been developed in several varieties. During the Egyptian campaign, camels were harnessed to them.

However, they were not immediately recognized.

And their number was brought to a sufficient level only by 1812, that is, by the time the Moscow campaign was being prepared. They all disappeared in Russia. And in 1813, the means of transporting the wounded had to be rebuilt from scratch.

The slow implementation of the idea of ​​"volatile ambulances" did not mean, of course, that there were no other means of transportation in the Grand Army.

Until 1807, the suppliers were private entrepreneurs, primarily the Breidt company. However, their services were widely criticized.

In particular, the sleds, not wanting to risk their lives, hesitated to appear on the battlefield until the battle subsided and an attack from the enemy was no longer threatened.

In 1807, when the Breidt firm showed its complete failure during the first Polish campaign, Napoleon ordered the formation of eight transport battalions.

One of the tasks of these battalions was to provide the medical service with vans for transporting personnel, medical equipment and the wounded.

The vans, painted in the standard olive green, were covered with linen to protect them from rain and wind. An inscription was applied to the canvas indicating to which medical unit a particular van was attached.

However, throughout the revolutionary and Napoleonic wars, ordinary peasant carts were mainly used, requisitioned together with horses, and often together with coachmen. The peasants, however, preferred to hire themselves as sleds for several weeks to be sure that they would get their horses back.

Since 1807, Larrey's ambulances have been increasingly used.

The two-wheeled model, harnessed to a pair of horses, made it possible to transport only two wounded, but on a kind of stretcher, which allowed doctors to provide first aid to the wounded on the move.

However, such two-wheeled ambulances could only be used on flat terrain. In mountainous and hilly areas, a heavier, four-wheeled model, harnessed to two pairs of horses, had to be used. It could carry four wounded, laid in two tiers.

The situation in the guards regiments was better than in the line units. Napoleon took care of his veterans. And the guards regiments were better than the linear ones were equipped with medical equipment and means of transporting it. More sanitary squads were also assigned to the guards regiments.

At the rate of Napoleon, there was always his personal ambulance. At the full disposal of his personal physician Alexander-Urban Ivan, who treated him after being wounded by a rifle bullet during the capture of Regensburg.

Based on materials from DJ Larrey and RW Hall. Memoirs of Military Surgery. Joseph Cushing, 1814.

Продолжение следует ...
Author:
Photos used:
https://www.decenniofrancese.it/2013/11/20/20131120-les-amis-de-lempereur/
Articles from this series:
Medical Service of Napoleon's Grand Army
On the battlefield
Surgeons and orderlies
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  1. Richard
    Richard 8 March 2021 06: 13
    +8
    At the rate of Napoleon, there was always his personal ambulance. At the full disposal of his personal physician Alexander-Urban Ivan

    Ivan (Alexandre-Urbain Yvan) Alexander-Urbain

    Ivan (Alexandre-Urbain Yvan) Alexander-Urbain (1765-1839) - Baron of the Empire (January 31, 1810), military surgeon. Born April 28, 1765 in Toulon (Var) in the family of a bricklayer Louis Yvan and his wife Marie Collomb, studied medicine at the Military Hospital of his hometown (L, Hopital militaire de Toulon), in 1796 assigned to the Italian Army (Armee d, Italie) as a senior surgeon of the 1st class (Chirurgien-major de 1ere classe), was present in the battles of August 5, 1796 at Castiglione, November 15-17, 1796 at Arcole and January 14-15, 1797 at Rivoli, in 1798 he was appointed assistant chief surgeon (Chirurgien-en-chef adjoint) of the House of Invalides (Hotel impérial des Invalides), and in 1804 he replaced Raphael-Bienvenu Sabatier ( 1732-1811) as chief surgeon. In 1805 - surgeon of the Imperial House (Maison de l, Empereur Napoleon), participated in all the campaigns of the Empire as the chief surgeon of the Grenadiers of the Imperial Guard (Grenadiers de la Garde Imperiale)
    After each battle, he compiled a scrupulously compiled, thorough and accurate report on the number of wounded and killed, which reached our time) and was always at the Emperor, earning the nickname "Roustam de la chirurgie"; according to the testimony of Baron Feng (Agathon-Jean-François Fain) (1778-1837): "He always rode behind the Emperor and looked like his shadow" (on le voyait toujours a cheval derriere l, Empereur, il semblait attachе a son ombre) ...
    On April 23, 1809, during the siege of Regensburg (Ratisbonne), he gave the Emperor, wounded by a bullet in the heel of his right foot, first aid
    Fig."Napoleon Ier, blessе au talon devant Ratisbonne, est soignе par le chirurgien Yvan", par Pierre-Claude Gautherot (1769-1825), 1830, Chateau de Versailles


    From the Mеmoires of the first valet de chambre de l, Empereur, Louis-Constant Wairy, dit Constant (1778-1845):
    “The Emperor has just received a bullet that hit him in the heel. One adjutant came to look for me, and when I arrived I found Mr. Ivan cutting His Majesty's boot. I helped him to bandage the wound, and although the pain was still very strong, the Emperor did not want to wait, put on his boots and to calm the army got on a horse and galloped off with all his headquarters "(L, Empereur venait de recevoir la balle qui l, avait frappе au talon. Un aide-de-camp vint me chercher, et lorsque j, arrivai, je trouvai M. Yvan occupе а couper la botte de Sa Majestе. Je l, aidai а panser la blessure et quoique la douleur fut encore tres vive , l, Empereur ne voulut meme pas donner le temps qu, on lui remit sa botte, et pour donner le change al, ennemi, et rassurer l, armee sur son etat, il monta a cheval, partit au galop avec tout son Etat- major).

    From 1811 to 1832, he acted as the chief surgeon of the House of Invalids, participated in the Russian campaign of 1812, on October 25 of the same year, the Emperor almost got captured by the Cossacks during a reconnaissance near Gorodnya, after which he ordered Ivan to prepare and provide him with a potent poison, which he was always with him in a marching neseser (on April 11, 1814, five days after his abdication, the Emperor used it in an attempt to commit suicide, but the poison lost its properties and since then Napoleon did not repeat any more attempts). On May 21, 1813, he was wounded by a cannonball that killed his horse in the battle of Bautzen, in 1814 - Inspecteur general du service de sante. He died on December 1, 1839 in Paris at the age of 74. Chevalier of the Legion of Honor (June 14, 1804), Officer of the Legion of Honor (May 12, 1807).
    I apologize in advance for the French inserts - the article is French, and the Google translator, as usual, coded names and locations. So, just in case, I duplicated in both transcriptions
    1. ee2100
      ee2100 8 March 2021 11: 16
      +4
      Richard, yesterday you surpassed Shpakovsky, your "comments" are much more interesting than the author's article, and your photos were appreciated by Shpakovsky himself.
      And today, with your additions and illustrations, you have given shine to a rather dull and little informative article.
      Where do such diverse interests come from?
      You "fat" plus!
      1. Richard
        Richard 8 March 2021 11: 58
        +2
        Thank you, Alexander.
        By the way, I always read your comments with great interest - they contain a lot of interesting and previously unknown to me
        Best regards
        1. ee2100
          ee2100 8 March 2021 12: 33
          +2
          Well, we congratulated each other!
          1. depressant
            depressant 8 March 2021 13: 08
            +3
            I support! Richard (Dmitry) is cool! )))
            This is what it means to have a genuine interest in history)))
            And there is no need to scold Shpakovsky. He gives a short topic that the commentators should fully cover. Otherwise, how would Richard have managed to show himself?))) Well, others.
            I have read early articles on VO. So you will get overwhelmed until you finish reading - huge! But when you finish reading, you find that there is nothing to add. For the Author has said everything! )
            1. ee2100
              ee2100 8 March 2021 13: 33
              +3
              Who scolded Shpakovsky here? I wrote that Dmitry's material is fuller and better designed. That's all.
              1. depressant
                depressant 8 March 2021 13: 54
                +2
                Alexander, well, you are a harsh person! )))
                All my statements - with a certain amount of humor wink ))) Don't take them too seriously.
                1. ee2100
                  ee2100 8 March 2021 14: 05
                  +4
                  Happy holiday Lyudmila Yakovlevna! The main thing is health!
                  And I have a certain amount of soreness am
                  About Shpakovsky, or rather about his book published in England, I read very unflattering reviews from historians.
                  This is where he stars, and so ...
                  1. 3x3zsave
                    3x3zsave 8 March 2021 14: 14
                    +1
                    Hello, Alexander!
                    I ask you to clarify which book by Shpakovsky is meant?
                    1. ee2100
                      ee2100 8 March 2021 14: 19
                      +3
                      If you are so interested in this, then I can't name it. I have it on another device, and now I am in the village only with a phone. I will look and send.
                      A book about the Russian Middle Ages and weapons. He boasted here that they learn from his books in England.
                      1. 3x3zsave
                        3x3zsave 8 March 2021 14: 23
                        +1
                        I will look and send.
                        Interested, I will be grateful. hi
                      2. ee2100
                        ee2100 8 March 2021 14: 30
                        +3
                        Armies of Ivan the Terriible is a book
                        In what the historian writes And, Babulin "if Shpakovsky, like his own, has done such a disgrace in the army of Tsar Ivan that it is still a shame for the state ...
                      3. 3x3zsave
                        3x3zsave 8 March 2021 14: 34
                        +1
                        Thank you!
                        As I understand it, this is the "Ospreyevskoe" edition? I’ll find it, see what’s screwed up there.
              2. depressant
                depressant 8 March 2021 14: 14
                +2
                Oh, colleague, how I do not like to discuss the Authors of the VO! Is it staring? Well, let it star! People with self-esteem make this world, and we live in it wassat
                Thank you for your congratulations! The package with mental warmth always comes! )))
                And he always supports the person.
          2. Mordvin 3
            Mordvin 3 8 March 2021 15: 13
            +3
            Quote: ee2100
            Who scolded Shpakovsky here?

            I scolded. And repeatedly.
        2. Richard
          Richard 8 March 2021 13: 54
          +4
          Happy holiday, Lyudmila Yakovlevna
          Good luck, health and long life.
          And there is no need to scold Shpakovsky. He gives a short topic that the commentators should fully cover. How else would Richard have managed to show himself?

          Even as it is a little offensive. I absolutely do not try to "show off my erudition", because I know my "ceiling" very well and comment only on those topics that interested me, in other words, prompted me to learn more from this material. What I find on the topic of the article, and it seems to me that it will be interesting to someone else - I post it. And Shpakovsky, like no one else, knows how to "get" the reader with his material. So this article by Mikhail Arushev "hooked" me and prompted me to search. If what I have posted does not arouse interest, I ask you to excuse me, I will correct myself - now I will still look for myself, but I will not post it anymore.
          .
          1. depressant
            depressant 8 March 2021 14: 00
            +3
            You can immediately see the obligatory person! )))
            Thanks for the congratulation!)))
            1. Mordvin 3
              Mordvin 3 8 March 2021 15: 39
              +2
              Quote: depressant
              You can immediately see the obligatory person! )))
              Thanks for the congratulation!)))

              But Shpakovsky has fairy tales, if not about weapons and knights ... she-she ...
              1. depressant
                depressant 8 March 2021 15: 49
                +2
                "But in the end everything will be fine!"
                Hmmm ...
                But we will be good together! wassat )))
                1. Mordvin 3
                  Mordvin 3 8 March 2021 16: 00
                  +1
                  Quote: depressant
                  But we will be good together! )))

                  Of course, I can post about the zoo, but it's better not. Better to remember our time (I apologize in advance if it's not yours)
                  1. depressant
                    depressant 8 March 2021 16: 10
                    +2
                    This song ... For a moment it seemed as if the hook in my heart was stirring with pain, disappeared, and now someone else's life, not lived by you, instantly flashed before your inner gaze like an unfulfilled expectation. And sadness came.
                  2. Mordvin 3
                    Mordvin 3 8 March 2021 16: 16
                    +1
                    Quote: depressant
                    And sadness came.

                    Yes, this will not be removed again, no matter how hard they try. There are no more Alis Seleznevs or Gerasimovs.
              2. ee2100
                ee2100 8 March 2021 16: 03
                +2
                "But we will be good together! Wassat)))"
                And they lived happily ever after and died in one day from a blow to the head with a blunt object.
                Sori for my black humor
                1. depressant
                  depressant 8 March 2021 16: 17
                  +2
                  Yes, in the very topic of humor - in the medical wassat )))
                2. ee2100
                  ee2100 8 March 2021 16: 23
                  +1
                  Rather forensic
              3. 3x3zsave
                3x3zsave 8 March 2021 16: 23
                +2
                Apparently, at the same time bending over the fallen object.
              4. ee2100
                ee2100 8 March 2021 16: 28
                +2
                Possible.
                Not a topic, but a medical one.
                3 doctors leave the clinic, and on the way they have a temple.
                The proctologist says: "Excuse my colleagues, I'll go put a candle to God"
                "What self-conceit!" the traumatologist comments.
              5. 3x3zsave
                3x3zsave 8 March 2021 16: 32
                +1
                The third, being a pathologist, grinned and said nothing.
              6. ee2100
                ee2100 8 March 2021 16: 35
                +1
                Were you third? laughing
              7. 3x3zsave
                3x3zsave 8 March 2021 16: 39
                +1
                No, I just heard this anecdote in this version.
              8. ee2100
                ee2100 8 March 2021 16: 48
                +2
                Not at all in the subject, inspired by the music.
                Ten English gentlemen rape a woman.
                German woman.
                She, of course, yells:
                - Nine! Naayn !!!
                And then one of the gentlemen politely steps aside.
    2. Mordvin 3
      Mordvin 3 8 March 2021 16: 42
      +2
      Quote: ee2100
      And they lived happily ever after and died in one day from a blow to the head with a blunt object.

      So, or what?
    3. ee2100
      ee2100 8 March 2021 16: 49
      +2
      It seems like
    4. Mordvin 3
      Mordvin 3 8 March 2021 16: 51
      +2
      Quote: ee2100
      It seems like

      Hehe ... That's it, I fell into the sediment, don't wake up ...
  • ee2100
    ee2100 8 March 2021 15: 53
    +2
    Why are you so on Shpakovsky? He's not alone! The video, and especially "the cat saw everything himself," refers to all domestic professional historians. am
    1. Mordvin 3
      Mordvin 3 8 March 2021 16: 08
      +5
      Quote: ee2100
      Why are you so on Shpakovsky?

      And he counts me at eighty percent, when he, beloved, enters twenty percent. crying
      1. ee2100
        ee2100 8 March 2021 16: 22
        +1
        Maybe I'm dull, but explain
      2. 3x3zsave
        3x3zsave 8 March 2021 16: 25
        -1
        Pareto Law
    2. depressant
      depressant 8 March 2021 16: 28
      0
      And this is a very interesting topic! In general, we live in a time when whoever considers himself to be who, so others who depend on him are forced to consider him. What times, such and counting rhymes - "beautiful far away, Zauron's eye is watching"!
      Don't cry, Vladimir, history is a swing! wassat good wassat
  • 3x3zsave
    3x3zsave 8 March 2021 15: 57
    +1
    When I served in Kharkov, this song was a drill with us. wassat
    1. depressant
      depressant 8 March 2021 16: 14
      +2
      Well, so the military is kind of like a topic. But then I presented the marching combatants and at the same time fighting their throats and ... wassat good
      1. ee2100
        ee2100 8 March 2021 16: 30
        +2
        Probably the foreman or ensign had good humor
      2. 3x3zsave
        3x3zsave 8 March 2021 16: 43
        0
        Probably the foreman or ensign had good humor
        I was neither one nor the other, but still, thanks!
      3. depressant
        depressant 8 March 2021 16: 46
        +2
        The fighters were young, the song is close))
        Pull your sock! Raise your leg to the bottom of your ears!
  • ee2100
    ee2100 8 March 2021 13: 01
    +2
    To make it interesting and informative for the public to read about the military medical topic, in my opinion, it was necessary to start with the fact that by the XNUMXth century the nature of hostilities and tactics had changed and wars became practically European from "pocket" ones and the number of wounded increased significantly. And the importance of providing timely medical care has become extremely important.
    The author did not highlight the importance of sorting the wounded. Looks like you put up a military surgeon's kit here. Why is he like that? The surgeon mainly cut and sawed. 70% of the surface of the human body is hands and feet, and naturally they are subject to more frequent bullets, nuclei, etc. hitting them. With a serious injury to the head and torso, assistance was practically not provided. For known reasons.
    At Borodino, there were only 1% of stab wounds. it never came to hand-to-hand combat.
    Something like that.
    1. 3x3zsave
      3x3zsave 8 March 2021 14: 44
      +2
      read about the military medical topic
      I think not necessarily a military medical one. The history of medicine is interesting in itself. About two years ago, for example, he discovered Supotnitsky.
      1. ee2100
        ee2100 8 March 2021 14: 50
        +2
        Do you mean Michael? If yes, then I read something about his work, but not at all.
        In general, epidemiology is a very exciting science akin to detective stories.
        1. 3x3zsave
          3x3zsave 8 March 2021 15: 07
          +1
          That's right!
          The book was written by him in collaboration with his wife, "Essays on the history of the plague." It is easy to read, even for a person far from epidemiology.
        2. 3x3zsave
          3x3zsave 8 March 2021 15: 15
          +1
          In general, epidemiology is a very exciting science akin to detective stories.
          If we take the example of the cholera outbreak in London (1854), it is so.
      2. ee2100
        ee2100 8 March 2021 14: 53
        +3
        If you haven't read, I advise you to read about the localization of smallpox in Moscow in 1959.
        All detectives are resting.
        1. 3x3zsave
          3x3zsave 8 March 2021 15: 09
          +1
          Oh, thank you so much! Could you concretize the work?
          1. ee2100
            ee2100 8 March 2021 15: 21
            +2
            Just type in a search engine and that's all smallpox, Moscow 1959 and that's it
            1. 3x3zsave
              3x3zsave 8 March 2021 15: 23
              +1
              Thanks, I will try.
              1. ee2100
                ee2100 8 March 2021 15: 47
                +1
                You will not regret. Everything's there. Love, treason, Soviet bohemia, self-sacrifice, the KGB ...
    2. Former naval person
      9 March 2021 21: 01
      0
      about surgeons - in the next two articles. but about tactics - this is a separate topic - some other time.
  • Richard
    Richard 8 March 2021 06: 30
    -2
    It has now become "fashionable!" take in nicknames the names of famous historical figures. So Alexandre-Urbain Yvan got a similar "heir" And the same as she claims she is engaged in medicine. The truth is very peculiar laughing
  • Richard
    Richard 8 March 2021 06: 47
    -3
    Throughout the entire author's cycle, he did not insert into his comments the most famous lifetime portrait of Larrey. Thought - The author himself will place it in the next article. But the cycle, alas, ends. So, dear Mikhail, no offense
    "Surgeon Dominique-Jean Larrey (1766-1842) - Officer of the Legion of Honor". ... Portrait by Larrey's sister-in-law, artist Marie-Guillemines Benoit, 1804. (Museum at the military hospital of Val de Grasse)
    1. Richard
      Richard 8 March 2021 06: 55
      +4
      Here is another famous image of Larrey
      1. depressant
        depressant 8 March 2021 15: 55
        +1
        It's amazing how you can portray the same person in different ways. The portrait depicts a man with a strong will, a huge social temperament, a self-confident organizer, and his will for good. And in the picture - Mitrofanushka)))
    2. Former naval person
      9 March 2021 21: 03
      -1
      Do you know better than me what and how I want to write? can you write it yourself?
  • Richard
    Richard 8 March 2021 07: 01
    +7
    In addition, the professional sketches of Dominique-Jean Larrey himself have been preserved, he drew quite well


  • Richard
    Richard 8 March 2021 07: 07
    +5
    And lastly, since this article is about volatile ambulances
    1. Richard
      Richard 8 March 2021 07: 17
      +4
      The author's cycle turned out to be very interesting, written in a wonderful style, but for some reason poorly illustrated. Hopefully in the future work of Mikhail, he will fix it.
      In any case, the Author "+"
      1. IPC 245
        IPC 245 9 March 2021 06: 03
        +10
        Thanks for the great addition to the article!
      2. Former naval person
        9 March 2021 21: 05
        -1
        Well, I was just thinking that it is not necessary to overload articles with pictures. especially since most of them are available on the Internet.
  • Boris55
    Boris55 8 March 2021 08: 01
    +2
    Great again?

    If their army is great, then ours, which smashed their army to smithereens, is the greatest! Maybe it’s enough to repeat the Western delirium?

    Or are you one of these:



    I do not understand how you can call the Napoleonic army great, as a result of the war of which, and the so-called "excellent medicine", in all of France, 2/3 of the male population were killed. Only old people and children remained.

    By the same approach, you can call the Armenian army great and release a cake with the name "Pashinyansky" and brandy at the same time ...
    1. depressant
      depressant 8 March 2021 14: 58
      +2
      Boris, just imagine, years will pass, and printed memoirs of the participants in the current war will appear in Azerbaijan. Do you think they will say "Yes, we rubbed these bugs with our finger!"? No, I assure you. Future readers of the memoirs will learn that "despite the fierce resistance of significant military formations of Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh, their cunning tactics and considerable firepower, our valiant troops crushed them in a short time and, out of humanity, forced them to peace, etc." After all, belittling the enemy, you belittle your own victory over him))
    2. Former naval person
      9 March 2021 21: 07
      0
      Le Grande Armee i.e. Great Army, that's the name. like the Ukrainian Front or the Volunteer Army. how many times can you repeat the obvious? especially since they can be checked on the Internet - in the same Wikipedia, for example.
      1. Boris55
        Boris55 10 March 2021 07: 09
        -1
        Quote: Former Naval Person
        Le Grande Armee i.e. Great army

        Again. Let them call their army and their mediocre Napoleon whatever they like, but why do we need it?
        1. Former naval person
          12 March 2021 18: 11
          0
          for me, so you can call at least big ben a small broom, even though microsoft big and hard, but know the elephant, go ahead.
          1. Boris55
            Boris55 13 March 2021 07: 48
            -1
            Quote: Former Naval Person
            and the elephant, know yourself, goes forward.

            Is it a loser Napoleon or an elephant? laughing
            He came to our land to kill and plunder. He will never be great for a Russian person, no matter how hard you try to impose a Western point of view on us. Remember this.
  • Oleg Aviator
    Oleg Aviator 10 March 2021 17: 50
    +2
    Explanatory article