Second World War: Blackout Discipline

Iowan remembers being on blackout to hide from German planes while dug in in Belgium during the Second World War

| Good Old Days

The evening was much the same as any other during the Second World War. It was spring, and the days and nights were warm. Soon, it would be blossoming time for the apple trees, and then the pup tents would look even more out-of-place. 

We were behind the front group, whose duty was to process new troops arriving from the States. We would interview each man or check his Form 20, then send him to another company.

Having processed more than 75 men that day, we were tired.

They, too, were weary after riding all day and part of the night to reach our camp. There would be little talk before bedding down.

The new troops were dug in at the far end of the orchard, and others had spread out along the hedgerows and into the field next to our camp.

With a complete blackout in effect - other than visiting in the dimming light while having a last cigarette - there was nothing to do but turn in. If you didn't have guard duty or some other chore, it was best to be underground after dark.

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