Certain elementary precautions for use in tropical warfare are contained
in the following notes taken from British sources.
* * *
Reports of the operations in New Guinea emphasize the necessity of a high standard of
physical fitness; all troops must arrive in the area fit and hard. In order to maintain
this high standard, close attention to unit and personal hygiene is at all times
essential. In the jungle, troops often bivouac in small detachments, and it must be
their personal responsibility to ensure that the precautions that they have been taught
are faithfully observed. Strict adherence to malaria discipline is particularly important;
otherwise, a force may suffer more casualties from malaria than through enemy action.
Clothing and boots are continually wet in the damp climate of most tropical
countries, and full use must be made of every opportunity of drying them. In
particular, boots should be removed at least once a day and the feet dried by
vigorous rubbing. Neglect of this precaution may lead to personnel becoming
ineffective through a form of trench foot. Arms and legs must be kept covered
as protection against insects and infection from the undergrowth, and troops must
be prepared to wear slacks instead of shorts in spite of the discomfort.
The provision of hot meals or hot drink is as important in the jungle as elsewhere, but
when in close contact with the enemy, the necessity for concealment makes any form of
cooking difficult. Troops should be capable of doing their own cooking, but experience
has shown that supervision is necessary to ensure that mess equipment is properly
cleaned after use in order to avoid dysentery.
Although what follows is not perhaps immediately related to this general subject,
nevertheless it is not wholly out of place here. Many casualties have been caused
among troops who have gone to the aid of wounded men during their advance. Troops
must not be deflected from the operation in hand, and must realize that they will
be of more assistance to the wounded by pushing on to their objectives and thus
enabling medical personnel to come forward. The Japanese often fire along lanes
in the jungle and, when possible, casualties should try to crawl to a flank where
they can be aided in greater safety.