The Briggs Plan was multifaceted, with one aspect which has become particularly well known: the forced relocation of some 500,000 rural Malayans, including 400,000 Chinese, from squatter communities on the fringes of the forests into guarded camps called " new villages ". These villages were newly constructed in most cases, and were surrounded by barbed wire, police posts and floodlit areas, meant to keep the inhabitants in and the guerrillas out. At the start of the Emergency, the British had 13 infantry battalions in Malaya, including seven partly formed Gurkha battalions, three British battalions, two battalions of the Royal Malay Regiment and a British Royal Artillery Regiment being used as infantry.  This force was too small to fight the insurgents effectively, and more infantry battalions were needed in Malaya. The British brought in soldiers from units such as the Royal Marines and King's African Rifles . Another effort was a re-formation of the Special Air Service in 1950 as a specialised reconnaissance, raiding and counter-insurgency unit.
The calf-high pull-on jackboot had been the traditional footwear of the German soldier for generations. The Wehrmacht boot was little different from that of World War I: made of brown pebbled leather (blackened with polish), with hobnailed leather soles and heel-irons. Trousers were worn tucked inside. Originally 35–39 cm tall, the boots were shortened to 32–35 cm in 1939 in order to save leather. By 1940 leather was becoming more scarce and issue was restricted to combat branches, and in 1941 jackboots were no longer issued to new recruits. By late 1943 production of jackboots had ceased altogether. However, as late as fall 1944 depots were encouraged to issue Marschstiefel to infantry and artillery, to the extent they were available.