War Surgeons

Warfare and surgery go hand in hand. Wars give rise to casualties, and casualties need surgeons. This series tells the story of how surgeons were forced to improve their skills in times of war – from ancient times to modern terrorism. The injured were not always left to die, they were treated – all the great ancient civilisations had skilled surgeons. From battles between France and the Holy Roman Emperor in the 16th century to the American Civil War and World War I this series explores how advances were made and the difficulties of war transformed and aided medicine. Surgeons through their ingenuity, observation and sometimes sheer luck saved lives by refining their skills in times of war. This story is brought to life through drama re-enactments, archive footage of wars, sequences shot in accident and emergency units, and footage shot in the field with the International Red Cross.


  • Narrated by Colm Feore
  • Produced by John Gwyn
  • Directed by Amanda Rees
  • Photography Terry Zazulak
  • Edited by Mel Williams
  • Format: 3×50, SD
  • Language: English
  • Produced for S4C and History Television and Alliance Atlantis Fact co-production.