This third volume of the history of the medical service of the British Army in World War II deals with both the preparations for and the actual invasion of Sicily, Italy, and Greece. Although military strength and effectiveness in these campaigns were more gravely threatened by disease than by enemy action, a high standard of health promotion, disease prevention, and individual treatment was reached. In Italy malaria, venereal disease, dysentery, typhoid, and typhus were all prevalent. These hazards were aggravated by the fact that the troops were often exposed to rain, snow, and wide variations in external temperature. Furthermore they moved amid a teeming civilian population whose social and economic life had been disrupted by the war. Long periods away from home had a deteriorating effect on the morale of the troops, thereby decreasing their attention to personal hygiene and increasing their susceptibility to disease.
Although this volume is generally