Sunday, 4 January 2015

Pocket guide issued to US troops in Northern Ireland during WWII

During WWII over 120,000 American troops were stationed in Northern Ireland, with over 300,000 passing through during the course of the war. During these years one in every ten people in NI was an American serviceman!
Every US soldier was issued with a pocket guidebook explaining the people, culture & history of Northern Ireland., and how a G.I. should conduct himself when interacting with locals. You can read this fascinating guidebook below.....



prepared by

  • There Are Two Irelands
  • The Country
  • Government
  • Eire Border Problems
  • The People—Their Customs and Manners .
  • About Arguments
  • Difference in Language
  • The Girls
  • Ulster at War
  • Pay-Day Blues
  • Conclusion
  • Money, Weights, and Measures


John Dunlop, the printer of our Declaration of 
Independence was born in that little town of Strabane
YOU are going away from home on an important mission—to meet Hitler and beat him on his own ground. For the time being you will be the guest of Northern Ireland. The purpose of this guide is to get you acquainted with the Irish, their country, and their ways.
You will start out with good prospects. The Irish like Americans. Virtually every Irishman has’ friends or rela­tives in the United States; he is predisposed in your favor and anxious to hear what you have to say. This, however, puts you under a definite obligation: you will be expected to live up to the Irishman’s high opinion of Americans. That’s a real responsibility.
The people of Northern Ireland are not only friends, but Allies. They are fighting by the side of England, the United States, the rest of the United Nations. Thousands of Irishmen are hefting steel in the hot spots of the war, doing their share and more. It is common decency to treat your friends well; it is a military necessity to treat your allies well.

Every American thinks he knows something about Ire­land. But which Ireland? There are two Irelands. The shamrock, St. Patrick’s Day, the wearing of the green— these belong to Southern Ireland, now called Eire (Air-a). Eire is neutral in the war. Northern Ireland treasures its governmental union with England above all things. There are historic reasons for these attitudes.
Ireland has sent many gifted and valuable citizens to the United States. Irishmen from North and South, Prot­estant and Catholic, began to emigrate to America in early colonial days. Nine generals in the American Revolution were of Irish birth. Four signers of the Declaration of Independence were born in Ireland and four were of Irish descent. Fourteen Presidents of the United States have carried the blood of Ireland in their veins.
There are many of you soldiers who are of Irish descent. Some of you, Protestants or Catholics, may know at first hand or second hand about the religious and political differences between Northern and Southern Ireland. Per­haps they seem foolish to you. We Americans don’t worry about which side our grandfathers fought on in the Civil War, because it doesn’t matter now. But these things still matter in Ireland and it is only sensible to be forewarned.
There are two excellent rules of conduct for the Amer­ican abroad. They are good rules anywhere but they are particularly important in Ireland:

(1) Don’t argue religion.
(2) Don’t argue politics.