Medicine: Again, Trench Foot

Europe's mud and slush of October and November caught the U.S. Army with its feet unprepared. Result: up to Dec. 12, 17,500 G.I.s had developed trench foot, something no one expected in World War II (partly because no one expected the war to settle down into mud and trenches).

Trench foot is a sort of mild frostbite that results from letting feet stay cold and damp for a long time. Shelter foot and immersion foot (TIME, May 10, 1943) are essentially the same thing. Circulation slows or stops, feet turn white and numb, sudden warming causes painful burning. The devitalized tissues may...

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