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Captain America

How Not To Piss Off The English - 1942 Edition

Posted on 2011.07.04 at 15:58
A post on a mailing list I manage pointed this out, and I thought you guys might be interested in it:

How Not To Piss Off The English - 1942 Edition


oncelikeshari at 2011-07-04 20:41 (UTC) (Link)
They really did worry about them talking about their wages *lol*
Jonathan Andrew Sheen
leviathan0999 at 2011-07-04 20:49 (UTC) (Link)
Which is predictable in many ways -- everywhere I've ever worked, it's been deeply frowned upon to talk about your wages with your co-workers, which is enormously in favor of management and against the workers -- and, wasn't a famous English description of Americans stationed there in WWII "Overpayed, Oversexed, and Over here!"?
oncelikeshari at 2011-07-04 20:55 (UTC) (Link)
It was. The cliché was that the Brit soldiers were in Europe fighting and the American soldiers were in Britain stealing their girlfriends by giving them 'nylons' *lol*
Jonathan Andrew Sheen
leviathan0999 at 2011-07-04 20:59 (UTC) (Link)
In fairness, when my Dad was flying B-26 Martin Marauders out of Chipping Ongar (You can learn more about that here) he married an English girl, and I've no doubt nylons were involved there somewhere -- and possibly chocolate! I guess nobody gave him this booklet!

(And, no, the marriage didn't last, and I don't really know much of anything about her or what happened to her.)

Edited at 2011-07-04 09:00 pm (UTC)
katling73 at 2011-07-05 07:52 (UTC) (Link)
It was a very famous description and many of the British girls were quite mercenary about it too. The US soldiers had money and were willing to spend it on them. A fair number of British girls indulged in what be considered a little casual 'boyfriend gathering' in order to get some luxuries for themselves and their families and their friends that they hadn't had for a long time.

My grandmother is English and lived through the war (even being evacuated during the worst of the Blitz because she had a baby - my father!) and she always said that she found the US soldiers to be very charming and very pleasant but a bit like those overenthusiastic and overbearing relatives that descend on you at Christmas and sort of overwhelm everything and while you do like them, you like them in small doses and you're always very relieved when they go home again.
Monica Rose
carose59 at 2011-07-05 05:30 (UTC) (Link)
I have to say, referring to Great Britain as part of Hitler's "own ground" probably wouldn't have endeared one much to any of the British, particularly since they were never even invaded.
Jonathan Andrew Sheen
leviathan0999 at 2011-07-05 16:31 (UTC) (Link)
I don't think that was the intent. The meaning I took was that American forces were going to join with English forces to "take the fight to Jerry" -- to move forward and attack German forces in Europe. Certainly, my Dad's bomber left Chipping Ongar, in England, to rain explosives onto factories and bridges and German troops in France. When enough territory was taken in France, his unit moved to an airbase there to bomb targets ever closer to Germany.
katling73 at 2011-07-05 08:01 (UTC) (Link)
That's actually not a bad guide. It was clearly written by someone who actually did know what had been going on in Britain during the war and someone who knew quite a bit about Britain and the British. Possibly the British Embassy was involved.
Jonathan Andrew Sheen
leviathan0999 at 2011-07-05 16:33 (UTC) (Link)
I'd be surprised if they weren't. I also wonder if there were pamphlets printed up and distributed to British forces whose bases would host Americans giving them similar advice about Yanks.
mrsquizzical at 2011-07-05 09:37 (UTC) (Link)
ha. what a great read. i wonder if there was something similar for american troops stationed here. thanks for posting, L.
Jonathan Andrew Sheen
leviathan0999 at 2011-07-05 16:34 (UTC) (Link)
I'm sure there must have been. I bet it was an entertaining read, as well.
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