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Medical Units of 2 NZEF in Middle East and Italy

Back to Winter Conditions

Back to Winter Conditions

February brought a sudden deterioration in the weather. January had been a month of dry frosts and gloriously sunny days, and the troops had been lulled into a belief that the climate of the west coast was milder, drier, sunnier, and in every way better than that of the east. Then came heavy rain and strong, cold winds. The water poured down the slopes through the 6 MDS area, and the deep ditch became a swirling, muddy stream. Unfortunately the ditch was not clear, being blocked at intervals by accumulated limbs of trees, tins, and cardboard cartons, which damned up the water and flooded the bivvies that lined the banks. The overflow spread about the area, flowing ankle-deep through bivvies and tents. When the stream subsided it left deltas of tins and rubbish.

Other units, though spared the troubles of flooding, had their share of mud, and the bitterly cold wind tore at bivvies and tentage, while the dead leaves took off from the oak trees and went streaming away like swarms of frenzied bats.

The spell of broken weather culminated in an appalling thunderstorm during the night of the 5th. The first peal was thought by page 340 some to be heavy bombing close at hand, but it went on and on, rolling and crashing, and the hills, trees, and fields leaped from pitch darkness into brilliant light at each flash of lightning.