Trench Foot

Topics: World War I, Trench warfare, World War II Pages: 5 (1492 words) Published: June 1, 2013
World War One:

Table of Contents:
What is Trench Foot?....................................pg3 Causes of Trench Foot?.................................pg4 Symptoms and Treatment……………………pg5 Why does it affect the soldiers during the world war one?...............................................pg6 Bibliography……………………………………..pg7

What is Trench Foot?
Many soldiers who fought in the First World War suffered from trench foot. Trench foot is a medical condition caused by long period of time in wet, cold conditions such as waterlogged trenches (5). It is one of many immersion foot syndromes—resembling frostbite (3). The use of the word “trench” in the name of the disease is referencing to the trench warfare and it mainly happened on soldiers’ feet (5). During World War One trench foot was known for a “nonbattle casualties” (Bull .67). It can be quite painful, but it can be prevented and treated. This letter describes how painful it was to have trench foot and how easily soldiers could loose their feet and legs from this horrible “If you have never had trench foot described to you, I will explain. Your feet swell to two disease. to three times their normal size and go completely dead. You can stick a bayonet into them and not feel a thing. If you are lucky enough not to lose your feet and the swelling starts to go down, it is then that the most indescribable agony begins. I have heard men cry and scream with pain and many have had to have their feet and legs amputated. I was one of the lucky ones, but one more day in that trench and it may have been too late.” (Harry Roberts)

This was written by Sergeant Harry Roberts of the Lancashire Fusiliers, a soldier who suffered from trench foot but lucky enough to leave the front before it was incurable. This is a reliable source because it was written by Sergeant Harry Roberts of the Lancashire Fusiliers during the war, and he had seen how horrible agonies of having this disease were.

Historical Significance: Trench foot is remembered today because it was a painful disease that took soldiers’ lives to become cripple forever. In the winter of 1914, 20,000 soldiers got trench foot and that was just in the British army alone. It been memorialized because of the hardships that soldiers faced during the first world war to get rid of trench foot completely, but some soldiers did not make it out with their feet or legs

The Causes of Trench Foot
During the war, the cause of trench foot is the exposure to damp conditions for more than half a day (7). Soldiers suffer from trench foot find that their feet turn red or blue due to poor circulation and oxygen in their feet (6). The soldiers will also notice a bad rotting smell and will be able to feel their feet swelling up. It will become cold to the touch; discoloured slightly (5). If untreated the tissue will swell with excess fluids and could turn gangrenous (6). The suffering of the trench foot may take up at least for weeks or months; if lucky the foot will start to look normal again (6). This picture describes the hardships that the soldiers faced during the First . World War to keep their socks and their feet dry. This was taken in January 9th 1918, a medical officer of the 12th East Yorkshire is inspecting for any symptoms of trench foot before the disease is incurable. This picture is reliable because it was taken during the First World War, by a medical officer of the 12th East Yorkshire organized in a support trench, near Reclincourt, in January 9th 1918.

Historical Significance: It also been memorialized for the hardships the foot inspectors’ faced to check all the soldiers feet, to see if there is no disease.

The results of the wet conditions were increasing as it continues to rain heavy. Officers ordered soldiers to put in more duck boards in the trenches.

The Symptoms and Treatment (Prevention)
During the World War One, there were different unique symptoms of trench foot such as the foot turning blue and red...
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