In times of war, surgeons have treated the untreatable and saved the unsavable, pushing the limits of surgery and medical science to new levels. History Television examines how battlefield surgeons have challenged traditional procedures and contributed to major medical breakthroughs in the broadcast premiere of the three-part series War Surgeons on Wednesday, August 6 at 10 p.m. ET/PT.
From the advent of anesthetics to the mastery of plastic surgery, War Surgeons explores how doctors have treated the maladies of war under the most harrowing conditions. Using dramatic reenactments, archived war footage and first-hand accounts, the series details what it was like to be a surgeon during such major conflicts as the English Civil War, the American Civil War, the two World Wars, and the Vietnam War.
Narrated by Colm Feore (Trudeau, Chicago, Sum of All Fears), War Surgeons explores current medical research, reveals modern war surgery techniques, and predicts future advancements in military medicine.
Episode 1 – This episode tells the story of how war surgeons have organized themselves in times of war. Specifically, how they dealt with large numbers of casualties as wars grew in scope and became more catastrophic. This episode also highlights the brilliant achievements of Napoleon’s surgeon, Dominique Larrey, and Jonathan Letterman in the American Civil War.
BROADCAST PREMIERE: Wednesday, August 6 at 10 p.m. ET/PT
Episode 2 – For centuries, the only real cure for shotgun wounds or compound fractures was amputation. In time, the treatment was improved and made less painful with the discovery of anesthetics. Eventually the need for such cures and procedures led to the development of more complicated treatments such as plastic and brain surgery.
BROADCAST PREMIERE: Wednesday, August 13 at 10 p.m. ET/PT
Episode 3 – This episode explores how war surgery has gone hand-in-hand with weapon development. In more recent conflicts, surgeons have had to deal with new trauma caused by radioactivity, chemicals, cold, heat and lasers. Today the focus has shifted to include the treatment of civilians as cases of collateral damage increasingly result from modern-day warfare.
BROADCAST PREMIERE: Wednesday, August 20 at 10 p.m. ET/PT
War Surgeons is produced by Alberta’s Great North Productions, an Alliance Atlantis company.