… and news broke of Bismarck’s outrageous actions Ephraim’s personal interest grew. Talk among the medics turned from the massive losses of the American Civil War to the horrible death count in the Crimean War only a decade ago. ‘The only good thing that comes of war is medical progress,’ his chief surgeon harrumphed. ‘And opportunities, especially for doctors.’
Ephraim saw younger physicians seeking military commissions. Here was his chance — a test of courage in battle conditions, a gain of medical experience, an escape from claustrophobic Vienna, and threats on two fronts, by land and by sea, with no other nation coming to Austria’s aid. This was the answer for Ephraim, a call and determination he’d not felt since his decision to go to America.
Vienna, 1866: Dr Epstein dares to take up a new challenge which will see him shine in one of naval history’s most famous events, the Battle of Lissa. Its 150th anniversary is next month. In Chapter 19, Fierce as a Leopard, Light as an Eagle, Ephraim overcomes his own impatience and pride to pass official exams and be commissioned ship’s surgeon in the Austrian Imperial Navy. His epic poem about the battle won him an award from Emperor Franz Joseph. Author great granddaughter still seeks that poem. Contact via this site if you can help!
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