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Posted by eleanor

Or perhaps an artisanal hammock

In times of war, one is (ideally) given guidance. Or certainly the men are. Thus "Instructions for American Servicemen in Britain, 1942," a seven-page pamphlet issued by the United States War Department for the all-male Yankee soldiers of the time.

"You are going to Great Britain as part of an Allied offensive -- to meet Hitler and beat him on his own ground. For the time being you will be Britain's guest. The purpose of this guide is to start getting you acquainted with the British, their country, and their ways."

The furinners are not unfriendly, for example, merely reserved. Oh, and there's the lingo. "It isn't a good idea, for example, to say 'bloody' in mixed company in Britain -- it is one of their worst swear words. To say 'I look like a bum' is offensive to their ears, for to the British this means that you look like your own backside."

And it's good to make pals. "You will naturally be interested in getting to know your opposite number, the British soldier, the 'Tommy' you have heard and read about. You can understand that two actions on your part will slow up the friendship -- swiping his girl, and not appreciating what his army has been up against. Yes, and rubbing it in that you are better paid than he is."

And there's a special section on Brit's chicks. "A British woman officer or non-commissioned officer can -- and often does -- give orders to a man private. The men obey smartly and know it is no shame. For British women have proven themselves in this way. They have stuck to their posts near burning ammunition dumps, delivered messages afoot after their motorcycles have been blasted from under them. They have pulled aviators from burning planes. They have died at the gun posts and as they fell another girl has stepped directly into position and 'carried on.' There is not a single record of any British woman in uniformed service quitting her post or failing in her duty under fire.

"Now you understand why British soldiers respect the women in uniform. They have won the right to the utmost respect. When you see a girl in khaki or air-force blue with a bit of ribbon on her tunic -- remember she didn't get it for knitting more socks than anyone else in Ipswich."

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