Best Defense

Fallout from ‘A Bridge Too Far’: British paratroops looking for Americans to kill

I think they left this out of the movie.



I think they left this out of the movie:

“One day I went into the post office [near Greenham Common] and saw some Red Beret paratroopers. . . . The eyes of these men were the eyes of those returned from hell. They had come to that air base with the express intention of killing one American for every one of their mates lost at Arnhem. That night the feeling in the dark streets was one of absolute quiet and fear. Knots of men stalked about. They didn’t even see the women. They were crazed to kill. American military police combed the pubs and cinemas and every GI was hustled back to base. The British MPs came and hustled the Red Berets off. I heard of only one — not fatal — knifing in a pub.”

(From Norman Longmate, The G.I.’s: The Americans in Britain, 1942-1945.)

Photo credit: IWM Collections/Wikimedia Commons



Thomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military from 1991 to 2008 for the Wall Street Journal and then the Washington Post. He can be reached at @tomricks1

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