Know Your Enemies!
1. The tick! - Ticks encountered in Europe transmitted Rickettsia, Lyme Disease (different from US Lyme Disease and rare), Tick-Borne Meningoencephalitis, Tick-Borne Relapsing Fever, and Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever. In the Pacific, a hemorrhagic fever related to yellow fever could be contracted.
2. The body louse! - TYPHUS! Death from typhus! Epidemic typhus occurs almost every time there is mass civil unrest, wartime conditions, or natural disasters forcing people together, even though endemic typhus no longer exists. The body louse can also cause “trench fever” and louse-borne relapsing fever.
You HAVE to get rid of (or at least control) these guys if you want to win any war. Otherwise you’ll have incapacitated or dead soldiers before you even set foot on the battlefield. Getting rid of the body louse (and typhus) was especially important.
As the German army invaded Russia during WWII, the multitude of problems they already had was compounded by the fact that they kept getting waves of deaths due to typhus. When Napoleon retreated from Moscow in 1812, more soldiers died of typhus than were killed in combat. And, of course, millions died of typhus in the Nazi concentration camps, including Anne Frank, and her sister Margot.
Posters from the Otis Archives of the National Museum of Medicine.
Interesting posters. Sage advice. What I notice is that our not-so-friendly parasites have human faces. Human faces that, gosh, are pretty Asian. I suppose this makes sense, given the time frame we’re looking at here (I believe the original poster of these images placed them in the 1940s). John Dowland’s book, “War Without Mercy: Race and Power in the Pacific War” addresses questions of “why the Japanese were perceived as being more treacherous and atrocious than the Germans…” and how that was reflected in American/Allied propaganda, and then counters it with Japan’s own propaganda, that portrayed the Allies “as the real barbarians of the modern age…” I cannot recommend this book highly enough. Dowland cannot fully explain the origins of hateful, racist propaganda, but he makes some stunning inroads into understanding it.