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[Comments] (1) : The Internet Archive recently acquired a lot of "Pocket Guide" books that instruct the WWII infantryman on the customs of whatever weird foreigner-ridden place he's been sent, as well as nearly-indistinguishable "Short Guides" to Iraq and Syria. It's all written in that cheerful WWII field manual style where you're never quite sure the writer isn't having a joke at your expense: for instance, Iraq's history is said to go back "a tidy 5,000 years". They also toy with your affections, telling GIs bound for China and North Africa alike that "No American troops anywhere have a more important assignment." Also, apparently the Chinese love Irish jokes, "the Chinese equivalent for the Irish being people from Hunan province."

One of the guides to France says: "Anyway, so far as your military duties permit, see as much as you can. You've got a chance to do now, major expenses paid, what would cost you a lot of your own money after the war. Take advantage of it." From what I know of post-WWII American culture, a lot of people did.


Comments:

Posted by Rachel at Wed Feb 06 2008 05:19

They reprinted a bunch of "guide for american servicemen in britian" and I think, for british in france, which you can find at the IWM and various places. HilARious. "The British can't make a decent cup of coffee. You can't make a decent cup of tea. It's an even swap."


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