The Anonymous Widower

Tips For American Servicemen In Britain During The Second World War

The title of this post, is the same as this page on the Imperial War Museum web site.

These are the first two introductory paragraphs.

In 1942, the first of over 1.5 million American servicemen arrived on British shores in preparation for the Allied offensives against Germany during the Second World War.

That year, the United States’ War Department published Instructions for American Servicemen in Britain to help soldiers, sailors and airmen – many of whom had never travelled abroad before – adjust to life in a new country.

The whole area of the web site is well-worth exploring.

The book, which is entitled Instructions For American Servicemen In Britain 1942 can be purchased from the museum.

January 16, 2021 - Posted by | World | , , ,

3 Comments »

  1. Yes, very interesting – and of course it was sensible advice.

    For further background, there are great insights into the US response to Nazism in H R Knickerbocker’s ‘Is Tomorrow Hitler’s?’ It was written in Q&A format by a perceptive US journalist based in Europe in the late 1930s. Knickerbocker goes a long way to explaining why the States took so long to enter the war on the Allied side. He demolishes the ‘America First’ isolationist arguments, and exposes the ‘fake news’ and half-truths put out by Lindbergh and his supporters, so it’s not hard to see parallels with recent events in Washington. It’s long out of print, of course, but I picked up a secondhand copy quite cheaply.

    Comment by Stephen Spark | January 16, 2021 | Reply

  2. There’s also advice for American troops in Australia.

    My father couldn’t stand Lindbergh, but then my father was connected to a strange group at the time.

    I think they were called something like the British Empire Party and they could be considered on the left of the Tory Party. My father was very liberal and had the same second name as Gladstone.

    My father was asked to stand at the 1935 by-election in South Norwood, to stop a member of the British Union of Fascists, backed by Randolph Churchill, winning after the sitting MP resigned to be a High Court Judge. My father wasn’t keen and when Duncan Sandys turned up to stand for the Tories, he walked away. Because of Randolph’s backing of the fascist and other reasons, he wasn’t too keen on Winston’s son.

    This is the Wikipedia entry for the by-election.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1935_Norwood_by-election

    Sadly, my father didn’t tell me much about what he did in the thirties and during the war.

    But from his stories and notes I read in his office, he was mixed up in some unusual things. I mean to get down to Kew to see what they have.

    Comment by AnonW | January 16, 2021 | Reply

  3. I’m sure the historical reenactors of the period on both sides of the ocean will welcome a good facsimile of this, as long as any modern bits are easy to remove or cover. There may be a facsimile available already of course (not my period of interest and haven’t looked).

    The US government is fairly good at open sourcing intellectual property (documents and software) that was paid for by public funds so I would expect there is a scanned/OCR version of this freely available.

    Re the comment here about Lindbergh et all, I have been catching up with 2018 version of Das Boot (miniseries) which has a subplot about Americans attempting to profit by funding Nazi German rearmament. Not sure what basis in fact, if any, but interesting dramatically all the same.

    Comment by Milest | January 17, 2021 | Reply


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