History of the Second World War Part 21: Operation by Barrie Pitt (Editor)

By Barrie Pitt (Editor)


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Although destined for the British Army Barracks at 10 DESTINATION NORMANDY Tidworth in the south of England, the division landed in Scotland in order to minimize the risk of attack from enemy aircraft and submarines. Once at Tidworth, the troops began to train for the projected Allied invasion of Europe. By comparison with the delights of Fort Meade or Fort Blanding, their new British accommodations left a lot to be desired. Twin bunks, straw mattresses, no pillows, and unheated barracks were features of Tidworth that the men of the 116th Infantry Regiment would long remember.

New equipment and clothing were issued, and soldiers prepared to leave their families. Decisions had to be made about a range of domestic issues, including whether to sell cars that might otherwise stand idle for months. On January 7 the regiment went to the railhead at Fort Jackson to begin the journey north. Their destination was Camp Kilmer, New Jersey. At the camp telephone calls in and out were forbidden, the mail was censored, and visitors forbidden. The men did at least receive 12-hour passes to New York City while being sworn to the strictest secrecy.

Making a speech at one of the parties for two local Plymouth schools, she said: ‘‘All I have told Plymouth about the Americans has come true. ’’5 Wandering around the party, eating ice cream out of a mess tin, she expressed the children’s appreciation of the party by kissing Santa Claus, being played by a Jewish GI from Brooklyn. 30 DESTINATION NORMANDY The American Red Cross did its best to set up and run facilities and entertainment that would provide for the welfare of American soldiers overseas.

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