1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Langenbeck, Bernhard Rudolf Konrad von

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LANGENBECK, BERNHARD RUDOLF KONRAD VON (1810–1887), German surgeon, was born at Horneburg on the 9th of November 1810, and received his medical education at Göttingen, where he took his doctor’s degree in 1835 with a thesis on the structure of the retina. After a visit to France and England, he returned to Göttingen as Privatdozent, and in 1842 became professor of surgery and director of the Friedrichs Hospital at Kiel. Six years later he succeeded J. F. Dieffenbach (1794–1847) as director of the Clinical Institute for Surgery and Ophthalmology at Berlin, and remained there till 1882, when failing health obliged him to retire. He died at Wiesbaden on the 30th of September 1887. Langenbeck was a bold and skilful operator, but was disinclined to resort to operation while other means afforded a prospect of success. He devoted particular attention to military surgery, and was a great authority in the treatment of gunshot wounds. Besides acting as general field-surgeon of the army in the war with Denmark in 1848, he saw active service in 1864, 1866, and again in the Franco-German campaign of 1870–71. He was in Orleans at the end of 1870, after the city had been taken by the Prussians, and was unwearied in his attentions, whether as operator or consultant, to wounded men with whom every public building was packed. He also utilized the opportunities for instruction that thus arose, and the “Militär-Aerztliche Gesellschaft,” which met twice a week for some months, and in the discussions of which every surgeon in the city was invited to take part, irrespective of nationality, was mainly formed by his energy and enthusiasm. He was ennobled for his services in the Danish War of 1864.