Letow Schnapps

January 2nd, 2009

From Wed Dec 17 12:32:14 1997
>Date: Wed, 17 Dec 1997 14:31:34 -0500 (EST)
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>To: mahan@microworks.net
>From: rickt@cris.com (Eric Bergerud)
>Subject: Re: Letow Schnapps
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>Sender: mahan-owner@microworks.net
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> > I don’t remember all the details, but here is what I do recall.
> >
> > Malaria was a problem, and the German forces had exhausted their
> > supply of quinine. They did have available unprocessed cinchona,
> > which Von Letow had brewed into a drink which his troops referred to
> > as Letow Schnapps.
> >
>That experience among others during WWI encouraged German chemists to
>develop synthetic quinine – atabrine. Like dumbkopfs (or good capitalists)
>they licensed it to US drug companies in the 1930’s. Later when the Pacific
>War started it was produced in the US by the megaton. (Quinine comes from
>Indonesia, and the Japanese were not sharing.) I think it is safe to say
>that several campaigns in the South & SW Pacific could not have been fought
>without atabrine. Should note that atabrine, like quinine, suppresses the
>disease – it does not cure it. Thousands of Pacific vets suffered bouts of
>malaria for several years after the war. Their blood, in theory, would still
>not be accepted by a blood bank.
>Eric Bergerud, 531 Kains Ave, Albany CA 94706, 510-525-0930

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