American soldiers in England

In the Second World War, a large number of American soldiers and officers were placed in England. It was not only soldiers who would participate in the planned invasion in Normandie, but also a very large number of pilots and flight technicians. When the American soldiers were trained briefly before departure to England, they received simple instructions on what to be aware of in contacts with British soldiers and civilians. The American soldiers were also given a small booklet explaining the main differences between words in American and in British English.

After the war, a number of interview studies were conducted on what the American boys really liked about England and the English people. There were more complaints and negative attitudes than positive ones. These were things that were appreciated by the American soldiers: Fish and chips, afternoon tea, London subway, the British hospitality and even the English pubs. But the list of what they were unliked was longer: They thought the coffee was blurry and the beer was served lukewarm. They didn’t like the tasteless meat pies, the fatty mutton, nor the horrible brussels sprouts. Nor did they like the thick fog and the long nights. Many felt that the English dressed badly and they rejected the fact that the shops closed for lunch. They simply couldn’t live whith the British shiny non-absorbent toilet paper. Some were even annoyed that the English expected them to associate with and hang out with the colored American soldiers. The young American boys thought the English girls had bad teeth, awful breath and a disgusting body odor.

 But so terrible can the English girls not have been since approx. 70,000 girls moved with the US soldiers home country after the war. They are often called ”war brides”.

Om Arwidson

Advokat bosatt och verksam i Stockholm
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