How can we calculate the cultural impact of the Americans on Britain in WW2?
We’ve just added onto the site for subscribers the testimony of Tess Stevens who married an American serviceman she met during WW2 and subsequently moved to the United States. She is also part of a video we’re making about GI Brides that will also be added to the site in the next few months.
What’s fascinating, in particular, about Tess’s story is that it doesn’t conform to the popular myth – that of a young British girl who moves to the USA and finds love and then happiness through marriage to a GI. In fact, it is a tougher story altogether, and one which shows just how remarkable and impressive a women Tess really is.
The latest research on the American impact on Britain during WW2 – and in particular the consequence for British womenfolk of so many available men arriving in Britain from 1942 onwards – shows that, if anything, the effect of this ‘friendly invasion’ has been underestimated. The fact that in Britain there were tens of thousands of illegitimate children fathered by Americans during the war tells its own story. As does the joke of the time that the Americans were ‘drinking British pubs dry, but filling up the nurseries.’
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