British Pathé: Settling in – American troops in Northern Ireland (1942)

During 1942, American troops in Northern Ireland began a process of settling in, becoming accustomed to rigorous training, route marches, and the poor weather.

'Settling in - American troops in Northern Ireland'


Two men with but one single thought, the overthrow of Nazism; Major General Russell Hartle, Commander of American forces in Northern Ireland on the right, and Lieutenant-General H.E. Franklyn, commanding the British forces.

The doughboys are here to drop of work, and as they march onto the parade ground for inspection by their C.O., they are watched by admiring groups of nurses of the colleen variety. It looks as though they have had one patient already.

It is too bad that the weather has not been kinder to these grand fellows from across the Atlantic. In their homeland, there is a choice of all four seasons at any time of the year but in Northern Ireland, it is just one kind only, winter.

The troops are still continuing the hardening process. Most things are softened by water but not these chaps. A good trudge through Irish mud of the very best quality will help keep them as hard as nails. I don’t know how American doughboys express their views on this kind of route march but Tommy Atkins would murmur something about being “fed up and far from home” or words to that effect.

Assault with bayonets, useful practice with each man hoping that soon he will have a chance of doing this with real Gerries as his objective. Of course, they have brought their gas masks with them. I wonder if every member of this audience has. They are given six seconds in which to take the mask from its bag and have it in position of protection against a gas attack. Six seconds. That’s not so long but it will be long enough if gas were about. O.K. soldier, yours is checked.

Another spot of marching with respirators on this time. These fellows are going to give a good account of themselves when they get to grips with the huns of Hitler. They’d eat him alive if their position would stand the strain.

Well we’re glad to see you, boys. And now let’s all tidy ourselves, face up to what’s coming, and with confidence in our hearts, set out to conquer.

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