Battle of the Atlantic
On 24 May 1943, Grand Admiral Karl Donitz withdrew his U-boats from the north Atlantic, signalling the end of the Battle of the Atlantic. During that month, 41 U-boats were lost to escort ships and patrolling aircraft. While they continued to operate until the end of the war, the U-boats were never to pose a significant threat again. The U-boats highlighted the potential of submarines in naval warfare, which has carried through to today. While Australia did not have a large part in the Battle of the Atlantic, it did have a role. HMAS Nestor, one of 5 Australian N-class destroyers, sank U-127 in December 1941 and the Royal Australian Air Force’s 461 and 462 Squadrons were involved in attacking U-boats in the Bay of Biscay in mid 1943.The cooperation and coordination of Allied ships with Allied aircraft was an important factor in defeating the U-boat offensive.
Understanding the military experiences of our serving members and veterans is a key factor in delivering appropriate health services to this group. The papers that we publish in the Journal are focused on the impacts of military experiences on members and veterans, and how we can manage any adverse impacts from that service. To that end, I would like to highlight the important role of Associate Editors in identifying reviewers with the subject matter expertise to review the diverse papers, the Reviewers in their constructive comments on the respective articles, and, importantly, the Authors, who consider the comments in refining and improving their articles. All of these people are critical in building a Journal like ours into a useful addition to the medical literature, and I would like to thank them all.
There is a further person, often unnoticed in this process, who ensures that the Journal is published, the Editorial Board stays on track and the website is updated. This is our managing editor in Hobart.[See photo in Download]
Naomi Searle, who has been doing this role for the last three years, is leaving the Journal for the wilds of London, and, on behalf of the Editorial Board, I would like to thank for all her efforts, support and patience over that time. We all wish her well in her next endeavour. We would also like to welcome Ebony Abblitt into this role.
Our second issue of 2018 addresses a range of diverse areas. Spiritual wounds, soldier identity, reintegration following discharge and Gulf War Illness, are addressed in four excellent articles. There is also a focus on public health, with articles on tobacco use and sexual health looking at these areas. Finally, there is an interesting historical perspective on Naval uniforms.
We continue to get a good range of articles, but other military and veterans’ health articles are always very welcome and we would encourage all our readers to consider writing on their areas of military or veterans’ health interest. Our themes are now available for both 2018 and 2019 to allow for authors to research and develop their articles – we certainly welcome articles in these areas but welcome any articles across the broader spectrum of military health .We would also encourage authors who are preparing to present at the AMMA Conference in October to consider writing up their presentations early for publication in the Journal.
Dr Andy Robertson, CSC, PSM