Instructions for American Servicemen in Britain 1942

Instructions for American Servicemen in Britain 1942

The original pamphlet consisted of seven pages of typescript, printed on poor quality foolscap size paper.

It was issued by the United States War Department in 1942 and distributed to American servicemen who were going to Britain to prepare for the invasion of occupied Europe.

Many of them had never been abroad before, and the pamphlet‘s aim was to prepare the American GI for life in a very different country and to try and prevent any friction between them and the local populace.

The following is as close as possible to the original spellings, grammar and typeface.

The accompanying notes are by John Barber. Some words and phrases have been more fully explained and are underlined. Just hover your mouse over the words.

Table of Contents


The Country

The People – their customs and manners

Britain at War

English vs American Language

Some Important Do’s and Don’t’s

Table of British Currency


“as much a guide to the American psyche, as to the British… The guide’s apparent simplicity belies its complexity. It deserves to be a set text in schools and universities, and should be compulsory reading for all philologists.” – Eluned Price”The Daily Telegraph” (03/29/2005)