The Invasion of Normandy: The Wounded
In 1944, cigarette smoking was considered to have a calming effect and cigarettes were available throughout the military supply system.
In the first days following the D-Day landing, LSTs brought back continuous streams of wounded and German prisoners of war. This scene is on the "hards" (concrete ramps simulating a beach in a deep-water harbor) where LSTs unloaded at a southern English port. These were British Royal Marines, who hit the British beaches before any other assault troops. Ambulances were waiting further back to take them to hospitals. To onlookers who were not with the invasion fleet who witnessed this return, there was the terrible fascination of seeing men, coming back broken and ravaged from the mouth of some monstrous but invisible machine.
Study for LST discharging British Wounded
This was the scene on Omaha Beach on D+2 (June 8, 1944). Elements of the American army occupied a bombproof German gun casement and put it to good use as an emergency dressing station and operating room.
Again, loading the wounded on a beached LST for transport to medical facilities in England. The wounded arrived from fighting inland on jeeps.