18 April 2009

You never think of this sort of thing

During World War II, Allied powers were cut off from their supply of quinine when the Germans conquered Holland and the Japanese controlled the Philippines and Indonesia. The United States, however, had managed to obtain four million cinchona seeds from the Philippines and begin operation of cinchona plantations in Costa Rica. It had come too late, however, and an estimated 60,000 US troops in Africa and the South Pacific died as a result of the lack of quinine.


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