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Appendix F

Contents

APPENDIX F

HEADQUARTERS
THIRD U. S. ARMY
APO 403
U. S. ARMY

21 NOVEMBER 1944


MEMORANDUM:
TO: Corps and Division Commanders.

    1. The most serious menace confronting us today is not the German Army, which we have practically destroyed, but the weather which, if we do not exert ourselves, may well destroy us through the incidence of trench foot.
    2. If the prevention of trench foot were impossible, I would not mention it, but prevention is perfectly practicable and is a function of command.
    3. Trench foot is due primarily to two causes, both of which produce a reduction in the blood supply of the foot. The first cause is due to the feet being cold and wet, which naturally shrinks the small blood vessels. The second cause is due to reduced flow of blood to the foot due to tight socks, and/or tight shoes, and tight leggings.
    4. If company officers and non-commissioned officers did their full duty, there would be no trench foot. The onus of their failure rests on you. You must see to it that the following pointsbrought home to all members of your command:
        a. First, each man is personally responsible for the health of his feet. He has to live with them, and if, through carelessness, he becomes a victim of trench foot he may well become a cripple for life.
        b. Second, company officers and non-commissioned officers must see to it that the men care for their feet.
    5. This care should be exercised along the following lines:
        a. Where men have arctics, they should be worn in wet and cold weather.
        b. Before putting the arctics on, the shoe should be dried and two pair of dry socks worn inside it. Size of shoe must be large enough to permit this to be done without constriction. Lace shoe as loosely as possible. Same procedure applies when no arctics are available.
        c. The shoe should also be treated with dubbin, particularly where the upper joins the sole. One treatment of dubbin is not sufficient; it should be repeated daily.
        d. Men should carry one extra pair of socks in their helmets. This will not only keep the top of the head warm but will dry the socks.
        e. Whenever opportunity affords--and certainly each night--the galoshes, shoes, and socks should be removed, and the feet massaged vigorously for at least five minutes by the watch. The men should then put on a pair of dry socks next to the foot and preferably a second pair of dry socks outside the first pair. If only one dry pair is available it should be worn next the skin.
    6. Orders have been issued that all new shoes be treated with dubbin before issue. Unit supply officers are responsible to check that this is done.
    7. When possible a pair of dry socks will be issued with the daily ration and the wet pair turned in for laundering and drying.
    8. We are going to have weather conditions from now on until the end of the war which will be conducive to trench foot. To win the war we must conquer trench foot. You have conquered every other obstacle--I am sure you can conquer this.

    /s/ G. S. PATTON, Jr.,
    Lieut. General, U. S. Army,
    Commanding.