An elite military Guards battalion is growing breasts because of the way they drill, a military medical report had revealed in Germany. Dozens of soldiers in the Wachbataillon unit - which performs close drill displays at official events - are said to be stricken with a condition which stimulates male mammary glands.
Experts say the repeated slapping of the soldiers' heavy
rifles in the same spot on the left side of their chests during drills has
stimulated the glands to produce hormones, causing breasts to sprout on one side
only. The condition - called one-sided gynecomastia - has been diagnosed
in 74 per cent of battalion members who presented to army medics with concerns
over the growths.
Director of plastic surgery at the military hospital in
Berlin, Professor Bjorn Krapohl, confirmed: "There is a very significant link
between the activity in the Guard Battalion and the development of the breast on
the left side. They need to change the way they drill. The constant
slamming of the rifles against the left hand side of the chest is clearly a
significant factor," he added.
Official figures show that out of 211 male
patients operated on for the condition, 35 were from the elite
Wachbataillon. Military brass have promised to research the condition and
adapt the battalion's drills if necessary. An army spokesman said: "The
affected soldiers are being medically supervised and treated individually."