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Technically, I believe the servlet container is allowed to "passivate" the servlet object to disk, in a similar way that EJB session beans can be. So you're correct to ask the question if your app will fail due to non-serializable fields.
In practise, I've never heard of a container doing this, so it's really just legacy baggage from the bad old days of early J2EE. I wouldn't worry about it.