The casualty-producing capabilities of the atom bomb and the thermonuclear weapon present a problem which for sheer magnitude is totally new in the annals of mankind. For the first time a country at war may visit on its enemies thousands or millions of casualties simultaneously, thus creating a great disparity between numbers of wounded and numbers of professional personnel available to provide treatment.
The destruction produced by thermonuclear weapons will probably disrupt lines of communication, transportation, and electrical power for days, and perhaps weeks, and will compound the disproportion between numbers of casualties and medical capabilities. This will render more difficult the mobilization of medical personnel. In addition, in the event of a thermonuclear attack, it is felt that not one or two strategic targets will be chosen for destruction but that, instead, many throughout the country will be struck simultaneously. Such a situation will make it necessary that each