The history of man's military activities is one of ever improving and more deadly weapons, but in relatively recent times it is also one of ever improving medical care for the soldiers. The medical services in World War II were better than in any previous war, and men who fell in battle could reasonably expect to be picked up and cared for by a well-organised service that benefited from the tremendous advances in medicine, surgery etc. that the 20th century could provide. To match their small selection of sets for the British Army in the early years of the war, this set offers us a simple tableau representing this important activity, a casualty being attended by three men, one of whom is preparing a stretcher.
For the stated three-year period the uniform and equipment is perfectly authentic. All wear battledress, and the casualty also wears the standard webbing of the day, although his right pouch is in a slightly odd position, possibly because the sculptor has also included a respirator; a reasonable item of equipment during the period. The other three men all have a dressing bag and water bottle, but it would have been reasonable for all to also have a respirator, though such an item was not always worn as it became apparent that the enemy were not going to use gas. All three of the attendants have an armband on the left arm, which would either hold 'S B' if they were battalion stretcher-bearers, or else the red cross if they were part of the RAMC. Since none have a pistol or any weapon, the latter possibility, as illustrated on the box artwork, is much more likely.
The poses are very good - in our photo the first man has empty hands but is presumably doing something (we might imagine preparing a dressing for example), while the second is supporting the casualty's head. The casualty himself has bandaging round the head, and the fourth man is presumably preparing the stretcher that is at his feet. Unlike some of these small Zvezda Art-of-Tactic sets, these figures make more sense placed together on the single base also provided as shown here, but it should be noted that the second man has not been given an individual base, which is an odd oversight as the rest have. However the poses are great and the group is also very good.
Zvezda still maintain their very good standard of sculpting, with all three attendants being made up of multiple parts that fit together firmly and well. No flash, and well thought out poses, so as we would expect this is a very nicely put together product. Such medical personnel are rare in this hobby, but with this excellent set the modeller or wargamer has the chance to portray something of the reality of warfare, or at least to acknowledge the human cost. That is reason enough to welcome this product, but as a quality set this has much else to recommend it too.