Friday, July 17, 2009

Britain at War, 1942 — Part 2

Members of the Women's Land Army ploughing in Hertfordshire, March 1942.

Between January 1942 and D-Day in 1944 more than a million and a half U.S. servicemen arrived in Britain. There were complaints that the Americans were “overpaid, oversexed and over here,” but paradoxically most civilians were sympathetic to black G.I.s, victims of colour bars in their own army.

Although women did not fly in direct combat, 166 served in the Air Transport Auxiliary which ferried aircraft from factories to their bases, and servicewomen like this Wren (from WRNS, Women's Royal Naval Service) radio mechanic flew to test radios.

In 1942 the Germans mounted hit and run “Baedeker raids” on historic cities in retaliation for raids on Lübeck and Rostock. Canterbury cathedral was damaged in June.

Many anti-aircraft batteries has male and female personnel. These women of the ATS (Auxiliary Territorial Service) operate a mobile power-plant on an anti-aircraft site in December 1942.

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