No M*A*S*H, this account of a mobile surgical unit in WW II by the famous Russian surgeon of The Open Heart (1967) is recorded in the same sincere, sobersided, almost melancholy fashion -- without any of the more universal speculations of that earlier book. The style, too, seems more primitive, but then Amosoff was much younger -- 27 when he joined the ill-equipped PPG-2266 facility as Chief Surgeon. Although they were just supposed to handle light injuries (later upgraded to moderately serious) many dying men fell into his at first inexperienced hands; often the deaths, attributable to carelessness or his own human error, followed him about like ghosts. The unit was moved several times -- at one point finding 2350 cases on their rolls. The main problem was poor surgery, dogged also by the equipment, the transport, the personnel, even if Amosoff and his team of nonpareil nurses worked tirelessly, almost around the clock. Gangrene, sepsis, hemorrhages, amputations, one-two-three deaths a day -- that's the reality of this surgeon's war based on the diary he kept at the time, adapted by the translator.