The Backwash War
The Human Wreckage of the Batteflied as Witnessed by an America Hospital Nurse
We often hear of the acts of bravery and heroics on the battlefield, but what of the injured and dying who are carried back to the hospital? Who will tell their tales if the soldiers who were taken in for treatment did not survive their injuries? How about a nurse? Ellen La Motte was one of the first volunteer war nurses in World War I. She witnessed the horrors of a field hospital in Belgium and kept a diary of her day-to-day experiences. Once she returned home to America, she incorporated the contents of her journal into the creation of this book, The Backwash of War. It contains 14 vignettes of events from the front—stories considered too graphic and unsavory for the general public, and The Backwash of War was taken out of print immediately after its initial publishing in 1916. It was republished in 1934 and is lauded as a grim but honest and eye-opening account of the World War 1 battlefield.
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