It was only a relatively small cadre of mathematicians, linguists and cryptographers of the interception centre at Blechley Park in southern England that brought about the war winning exploit of the Ultra code breaking operations in the Second World War. An even smaller cadre of immunologists based in a London hospital successfully struggled during the Great War to control some of the more pernicious diseases that had plagued the soldiers of earlier European Wars.

Potentially, one most important diseases that could be anticipated to occur among troops in the static conditions of trench warfare on the Western Front was typhoid. The second and third were, respectively, a group of manured soil related diseases associated with gangrene that infected the damaged tissues of the soldiers caused by the trauma of war from missiles and explosions, and the disease tetanus commonly known as 'lockjaw'.

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