M*A*S*H is an acronym which stands for Mobile Army Surgical Hospital. MASH units were discontinued in 2006, and today the expression primarily refers to an element of the media franchise named M*A*S*H.
The novel, MASH, is by H. Richard Hornberger under the pseudonym Richard Hooker, about army surgeons in a MASH unit during the Korean War. Loosely based on his own experiences, the book is a series of episodes of three Americans coping with the pressures of war and emergency surgery and army bureaucracy.
The book was made into a 1970 movie starring Elliot Gould and Donald Sutherland.
A TV series based on the movie ran from 1972 to 1983. Gary Burghoff played Cpl. Walter "Radar" O'Reilly in both the movie and the TV series. Alan Alda, who played chief MASH surgeon and main character Capt. Benjamin Franklin "Hawkeye" Pierce in the series, also directed many episodes. The last few seasons, and particularly those episodes directed by Alan Alda, focused less on the quirky characters and cast and focused more on the realities of the war, as an allegory for the then-current Vietnam War.
- "MASH"k... was an American political comedy (based on a satirical film of the same name) that used the Korean War to make some fairly bold statements about the nature of war and the American military.