An ague very violent
Humboldt has observed, that 'under the torrid zone, the smallest marshes are the most dangerous, being surrounded, as at Vera Cruz and Carthagena, with an arid and sandy soil, which raises the temperature of the ambient air' ... In all unhealthy countries the greatest risk is run by sleeping on shore. Is this owing to the state of the body during sleep, or to a greater abundance of miasma at such times?
Charles Darwin, Voyage of the Beagle, 1845
Throughout most of World War Two, Britain struggled to retain its Far Eastern possessions at the same time as it fought to keep from being overwhelmed by the Germans on the home front. Its armies became stretched to the point of near-invisibility. Even by early 1943 they had been able to do little about the Japanese thrust into the north‐ west quadrant of Burma, which was coming close to the heavily-jungled Manipur state on the Indian side of the border. Then there was a short pause as the Japanese halted to resupply, which gave a small British-Indian army, hastily assembled under General Slim, the chance to engage them.
One member of this ragtag army was an uncle of mine by marriage. He had only just managed to finish a hurried and totally irrelevant training course in assault landing in Maharashtra before he was thrust with his fellow trainees into the steaming Burmese jungles. There he took part in repeated battalion-strength forays against the enemy's forward positions. The Japanese, exceedingly skilled by that time in jungle warfare, inflicted heavy casualties. My uncle was one of them.