Instructions for American Forces in Germany 1945

Instructions for American Forces in Germany 1945

by US War Department

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Instructions for American Forces in Germany is a reissued version of a guide originally prepared by the United States Army in 1945. The guide was published after American troops had begun to occupy German territory.

From 1942 onwards, a range of guides and pocket books were published for American forces, designed to introduce American servicemen and women to the various countries in which they were serving.

The guide to Germany differs from many of the other books made available to US troops, because of its altogether more serious tone. Instead of chatty advice about local customs, the guide deals with how American troops should talk to Germans about the rights and wrongs of the war. The United States authorities were concerned that Nazi propaganda should be countered, and the guide contains lines of argument which American soldiers could use when dealing with Germans espousing Nazi views.

However, the guide does offer some practical advice about day-to-day matters. Soldiers are reminded not to steal food from orchards or fields, or indulge in vandalism. The guide also gives advice about subjects ranging from cleanliness to climate.

In addition, the guide warns soldiers against fraternization or “intimacy” with Germans. Clearly, the US military authorities were concerned that “fraternization with fräulines” might undermine the authority of occupying forces.

In the guide, soldiers are warned that “marriage to a foreign girl is a complicated procedure. Before you get too romantic remember that foreign girls do not automatically become citizens upon marriage to an American.” The guide does not explain how a soldier might be able to “get romantic” given the ban on fraternization, but presumably there was a tacit acceptance on the part of the military authorities that some fraternization was inevitable. Helpfully, the guide reminds soldiers that if they were exposed to “venereal infection”, they should report for “prophylactic treatment” immediately.

Product Details

BN ID: 2940015777338
Publisher: Hamilton Books
Publication date: 11/23/2012
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
File size: 998 KB

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