Down the ages, war epidemics have decimated the fighting strength of armies, caused the suspension and cancellation of military operations, and have brought havoc to the civil populations of belligerent and non-belligerent states alike. This book examines the historical occurrence and geographical spread of infectious diseases in association with past wars. It addresses an intrinsically geographical question: how are the spatial dynamics of epidemics influenced by military operations and the directives of war? The term historical geography in the title indicates the authors' primary concern with qualitative analyses of archival source materials over a 150-year time period from 1850, and this is combined with quantitative analyses less frequently associated with historical studies. Written from the viewpoints of historical geography, epidemiology, and spatial analysis, this book examines in four parts the historical occurrence and geographical spread of infectious diseases in association with wars. Part I: War and Disease, surveys war-disease associations from early times to 1850. Part II: Temporal Trends studies time trends since 1850.
Part III: A Regional Pattern of War Epidemics, examines grand themes in the war-disease complex. Part IV: Prospects, considers a series of war-related issues of epidemiological significance in the twenty-first century.
Matthew Smallman-Raynor is Professor of Analytical Geography at the University of Nottingham. Andrew Cliff is Professor of Theoretical Geography at the University of Cambridge.