Australians as America saw us in 1942
Nothing like coming here prepared!
AUSTRALIANS AS AMERICANS SEE THEM
"An Outdoors People;Breezy, Democratic"
WASHINGTON, Sunday, 25 October 1942 AAP
["You will find Australians an outdoors people, breezy, very democratic, with no respect for stuffed shirts their own or anyone else's," says a pocket guide on Australia which is being distributed among American troops.
Issued by US War and Navy departments, the booklet states that Australians have much in common with Americans. They are a pioneer people, they believe in personal freedom, and they love sports.
"There is one thing to get straight right off the bat," the booklet says. "You are not in Australia to save a helpless people from the savage Japanese. Recently in a Sydney bar an American soldier turned to an Australian and said, 'Well, Aussie, you can go home now. We've come over to save you.' The Aussie cracked back, 'Have you? I thought you were a refugee from Pearl Harbour.'
Being simple, direct and tough, the Digger is often confused and nonplussed by the manners of Americans' in mixed company; or even in camp. To him those many 'Thank you's" Americans use are a bit too dignifled.
You might get annoyed, at the blue laws which make Australian cities pretty dull places on Sundays.
For all their breezieness Australians do not go in for drinking or woopitching in public, especially on Sunday.
In Australia, the national game is cricket, but they, have another game called Australian rules football.
It is rough, tough, and exciting. There are a lot of rules, which the referee carries in a rule book the size of Webster's dictionary. The game creates the desire on the part of the crowd to tear someone apart. The referees in some parks have runways covered over so that they can escape intact after a game.
As one newspaper correspondent says, Americans and Australians are 2 of the greatest gambling people on earth. It has been said of Australians that if a couple in a bar have not anything else to bet on they will lay odds on which of 2 flies rise first from the bar.
Aussies do not fight out of textbooks. They are resourceful, inventive soldiers with plenty of intiative.
The Australian habit of pronouncing "a" as "I" is pointed out, and an example quoted: "The trine is lite to-di." The booklet includes "Waltzing Matilda" in full."]
I don't know about the too many thank-yous. It would seem that the Australian girls liked it, for 10,000 Aussie brides returned to America with these well heeled, well mannered and certainly well informed troops.