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New Zealand Medical Services in Middle East and Italy

Immersion or Trench Foot

Immersion or Trench Foot

This condition arose only in a very minor degree in the Division, although during the same period in Italy there were numerous cases in the American army. Our immunity can probably be ascribed to the recognition of the danger and to the provision of a pair of dry socks daily for the forward troops, thus ensuring that the feet were page 524 dry and clean, and to the encouragement given to the care of the feet. Cleanliness was also ensured by the provision of showers.

There were none of the factors present that made trench foot such a common and serious disability in France in the 1914–18 war. There was no constricting puttee; there was no prolonged occupation of wet, muddy trenches. The battle-dress trousers were loose and the feet were not constricted by wet, shrunken socks. The general health of the troops was also satisfactory and the rations excellent.