Hibernation for Infantry

This article from the Australian grabs my interest and suggests a solution for a lot of problems suffered by Infantry and defence forces generally
THE Pentagon is excited about research at a Queensland university showing that soldiers injured on the battlefield can be put into hibernation until specialist medical treatment becomes available.
It is estimated that 90 per cent of soldier deaths occur because of shock before they can get proper treatment.
I go along with that. Having been an infantryman in a war zone I have seen and been aware of many time-based deaths from battle casualties. As is always the case the time between the wound and theatre pre-op is paramount. Civilians would be surprised by the number of deaths that occur in the chopper on the way to the field hospitals. 38_7A_1_jpg.jpg A soldier from 7RAR being dusted off in South Vietnam The photo was taken by Andy Mattay who died this year from cancer. RIP Andy. I wonder if we couldn’t hibernate for longer. It took me years to get my strength back after Vietnam and even then it was touchy. Damage to my skeletal frame from the sheer drudgery of carrying a battle pack with ammo left me with pemanent problems. I’ve also long claimed that PTSD, although battle based, was exacerbated by the left wing sub-humans who abused us when we came home. Maybe a couple of years hibernation until the scum settled would have helped a lot of diggers. Whatever, the research work bodes well for those of us who choose to take the harder, yet more satisfying, road to retirement.


  • I think it would be better for the diggers (and the general public) if the lefties were put into hibernation.

    On second thoughts, judging by the ones I saw out the other day, I think quarantine might be more appropriate.

  • I agree…..put them into hibernation, load ’em into a freezer container and send them to the Antarctic. On the other matter, I am trying to recall some interesting stats on the time to aid and subsequent recovery speed for battle casualties in Vietnam as compared with WW2. “Dusted Off” Diggers had a much better chance of survival drom their their wounds than their fathers.

  • Dusted Off diggers certainly had a much better chance of survival. Maybe 20 minutes average from wound to hospital compared with a week or two walking back down the Kokoda Track.

    Although the chopper impacted on health in a positive manner it did allow for quicker deployment. When WW2 units came out of the line for a rest it generally meant a walk-out maybe taking days to get to a secure area followed by days at rest then days to walk back.

    In Vietnam the diggers got a 20 minute ride back to the secure area, a 36 hour hour leave pass and another 20 minute ride back into the battle area.

    Not complaining, the WW2 guys definitely had it tougher, but at times we did think the ubiquitous Huey was a two edged sword.

  • the ubiquitous Huey was a two edged sword


    It’s advantage is that it enabled quick and easy deployments (and evaculations). It’s drawback was that it enabled quick and easy deployments (and evaculations). As a result the average soldier in Vietnam (as opposed to WW2) had alot more contact with the enemy and spent alot more time in known dangerous areas.

  • Former RSM of the Army, Wally Thompson, wrote an article on the subject of quick delivery to the battlefield vs the quick evacuation of casualties via helicopter.
    He came to the same conclusion as Murph and Kev.

    A double edged sword in many ways, saved many lives of serious WIA, shortened the time out of harm’s way for the combat Diggers.

    Mind you, no SVN era helicopter crewman I know will ever buy his own beer while I have a dollar in my pocket.

  • This procedure I believe, was initially suggested by the British .During the Falklands War, critically wounded military personel who had been left in the ‘field’ for some time or even thought to be deceased, and who were unable to be rescued immediately, were found against all odds to have had a much improved survival rate by some considerable factor and a survival and recovery rate much more pronounced than those injured and speedily evacuated.
    In the first instance it has always been accepted that to prevent the onset of hypovolemic shock, the body temperture needed to be brought back to normal as quickly as possible applying blankets etc. yet these casualties had a poor survival rate.
    By keeping the body in a state of hypothermia it was discovered that the risk of of this killer condition was lessened dramatically possibley because the cold state prevented the huge loss of blood that ocours when the body is warm and in a high state of stress.
    I am glad thet we are working on this as it will save many lives and particularly in theatres of war where the median temp is extremely high as in Iraq