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Nothing a shot can’t clear up

“Among the Allied military, the better-smelling fleshpots of Cairo and Alexandria were not the exclusive preserve of headquarters staff. A field officer taking a well-earned break from the desert could share facilities with ‘the gabardene swine’ of GHQ, as many front-line soldiers called them, and, if so inclined, pick up one of the attractive Nicoles and Babettes—Frenchified daughters of the Greek, Armenian, Jewish or Coptic middle classes—who, for the price of a meal, a few drinks and a box of chocolates, were often willing to offer the lonely warrior an hour or two of sweet consolation. For Other Ranks, the attractions offered by Cairo were more basic. The rancid bars, live shows and urine-and-carbolic-reeking brothels of the Wagh el Birket red light district did a roaring trade, as did the official VD Centres that were set up by GHQ to ensure that pox and clap did not produce more casualties than enemy fire.” – John Bierman and Colin Smith, The Battle of Alamein

Published inEconomicsJohn Bierman and Colin SmithLit & CritThe Second World War

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