This book is not a learned treatise. Its purpose is to render practical instruction to all those physicians. surgeons, adminis trators, and paramedical personnel who have to act in war or disaster situations. As a manual it is in no way a substitute for existing detailed and specialized texts on the various aspects of trauma surgery and management: rather have we attempted to collate the most essenlial knowledge required to organize and afTord medical aid whenever civilian or military disaster strikes. The man on the spot is hardly ever a specialist, hence the need for a imple s general manual of instruction. The organizational aspects of medical services in war are very similar to those required for coping with a disaster: indeed the military are often called to cope with civilian disasters. Our duty is to be prepared, so as not to lose life and limb for lack of foresight. There are repetitions in the book for which no apologies are made, since they always concern invaluable knowledge. The chapters are organized to afford an understanding of the organization of medical services, the cause of wounds and trau matic disease, and the pathophysiological processes resulting from the different kinds of trauma. The management of treating casualties is divided in each section into the three basic eche lons: on site (at the actual place of wounding), at the medical (battalion) aid station and in the field or base hospital.