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Padded canvas boot, Austria, 1914-1918

The padded canvas boot was probably made for a soldier experiencing trench foot. During the First World War, many soldiers experienced the condition, which was caused by prolonged exposure to the wet, the cold and mud in the trenches. The skin became black and in extreme cases amputation was required. The boot was made in Austria and may have been supplied to a German or Austrian soldier.

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    Glossary: amputation

    Removal of part of, or a whole limb by surgery. Used to control pain or the spread of disease in the affected limb.

    Glossary: boot

    Footwear, the leg of which extends above the ankle joint.

    Glossary: trench foot

    A medical condition caused by the prolonged exposure of feet to water. Affected feet become numb and swollen. Untreated trench foot leads to gangrene and amputation.