In 1944 the British War Office distributed a handbook to British soldiers informing them what to expect and how to behave in a newly-liberated France. This book is an irresistible insight into British attitudes towards the French and an interesting, timeless commentary on Anglo-French relations.
A lot of the advice offered is as valid today as it was in 1944.
To be frank I bought this book for two reasons. First of all I am interested in militaria and WW2 history, and secondly I failed to notice it was not original.
Had I realized it was an abridged reprint I would not have bought it...that however would have been my loss, because having now read it it turns out to be a little gem.
It was written by Herbert Ziman,a journalist with the Daily Telegraph before being called up in September 1939. He wrote it during secondment from the Intelligence Corps to the French Section of the Political Warfare Executive in 1943.
Issued by the Foreign Office in 1944 to troops preparing for the Normandy invasion, this book has nothing to do with military operations.It deals only with civilian life in France and with the way British troops should behave to the French civilian population.
Amongst other things, the contents deal with making yourself understood, an explanation of French hardship under German occupation, a potted history of France and a list of important do's and don'ts towards the population.
At under a fiver you would be silly not to treat yourself.