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Browned Off and Bloody-MindedThe British Soldier Goes to War 1939-1945$
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Alan Allport

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780300170757

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300170757.001.0001

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Teeth and Tail

Teeth and Tail

(p.202) (p.203) Chapter 11 Teeth and Tail
Browned Off and Bloody-Minded

Alan Allport

Yale University Press

This chapter discusses British soldiers' varied exposures to combat during the Second World War. In practice few soldiers were actually tested in battle; the hazards of battle were also distributed unequally amongst soldiers. In October 1937, nine in ten of the officers and men of the British Army were serving in its combat or “teeth” arms. But by autumn 1944 that ratio had fallen to just six in ten. The remainder could be found instead in the Army's “tail,” the shadow force of tradesmen, specialists, clerks and laborers who toiled in the vast rear-area system of bases, depots, and camps across Britain and the overseas theatres of the war.

Keywords:   British soldiers, British Army, Second World War, killing, combat soldiers, shadow force, front lines, battle

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