Documentary

Was World War I Good For Medicine?

From 1914's grim reality to today's virtual reality, we look at how healthcare played a key role in the First World War.World War One was...

From 1914's grim reality to today's virtual reality, we look at how healthcare played a key role in the First World War.

World War One was fought on a scale that had never been experienced before.
 
At the Battle of Waterloo in 1815, the main infantry weapon was the muzzle-loading musket, which fired up to four shots a minute.
 
At the Battle of the Somme, just over a century later, machine gunners could fire off 600 rounds a minute.
 
High velocity rounds wreaked havoc in the body, twisting tissue and splintering bone.
 
Fighting on farmland fertilised by manure meant that wounds quickly became infected; gangrene was rife.
 
Faced with this challenge, new equipment and techniques were invented that, across four years of fighting, would end up saving thousands of lives.