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New Zealand Medical Services in Middle East and Italy

Food and Water in Crete

Food and Water in Crete

In the very early stages of the occupation of Crete the food ration was only four-fifths of the normal scale. In the latter stages heavy bombing of the port of Suda Bay made a further reduction to two-thirds of the normal scale necessary. In the last few days, because of the difficulty of distribution, some of the troops went without rations altogether. At first oranges, eggs, and bread were available locally to supplement the rather scanty ration, but the supply of these soon became exhausted. When the flour mills were destroyed by bombing and a ship with a cargo of flour was sunk, the bread supply was cut off altogether.

An adequate water supply was available in most areas from wells, but some of these became fouled owing to poor water discipline. In the withdrawal water was not readily available and some of this was contaminated, but lack of individual water sterilising tablets prevented purification. At the time of evacuation cases of dysentery became manifest.