Lennox native authors winning paper at USD Justin Elhoff, a junior pre-medicine and history major at The University of South Dakota, won an award for his paper Shells and Scalpels: The Development of Military Surgery in the Great War and the Benefit to Soldiers in the AEF.
"I feel very honored to win this award," said Elhoff, the son of Jeff and Pam Elhoff of Lennox. "This paper was originally written for a European military history class, and I would like to thank Dr. Kurt Hackemer for telling me about the competition and for his help as I prepared the essay."
Elhoff won the 2003 Western Front Association/Phi Alpha Theta Undergraduate Essay Prize of $700 for an essay written by an undergraduate student at an American college or university.
Submissions must address the American experience in World War I and contribute to a better understanding of the impact of that global conflict on the United States and its people.�It may treat virtually any aspect of the American involvement in the WWI era during the period from 1912 (the Second Moroccan Crisis) to 1924 (the Dawes Plan).
Elhoff's paper addresses the technological, tactical, and strategic changes that occurred prior to World War I and the effects that these changes had on the wounds inflicted upon soldiers.�Military surgeons were initially unprepared for these new challenges, and at the beginning of the conflict injured European soldiers suffered greatly as they often received mediocre care.�
Wound mortality approached 28 percent.�As the war progressed, however, advancements were made and treatments improved greatly. Elhoff found that United States military surgeons were able to incorporate these developments into their methods and by the time the United States became involved in combat in late 1917, surgery and treatment of wounds had improved dramatically.�By the end of the war, wound mortality was as low as 8 percent.