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October 26, 1940

CLIMATE AND MILITARY PREPAREDNESS

JAMA. 1940;115(17):1421-1424. doi:10.1001/jama.1940.02810430011003

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Abstract

Any plan for military preparedness based on a defense of this hemisphere would be incomplete without proper consideration for the role of climatic factors in American warfare. Adherence to the Monroe Doctrine may necessitate the sudden dispatch of troop units with considerable striking power sufficient to prevent invasion or to break enemy footholds in any part of the Americas. Extending from one arctic region to the other, the Americas present all types of climate and all varieties of climatic change. Diseases caused by abrupt climatic change or by prolonged exposure are manifold and constitute important problems of preventive medicine in warfare. Troop movements, therefore, must always carefully take into account the degree of climatic change involved lest the efficiency of the fighting force be considerably, even dangerously, impaired. It is my purpose in this paper to outline the principal factors of this important problem and to present a basic and

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