Covering the basics, cold war edition

I recently discovered the excellent twitter account @AwfulLibraryBooks.  One recent post highlighted a “Russian Phrase Book: Department of the Army Pamphlet Headquarters, Department of the Army, 1962.” It has some pretty funny phrases in it.  Here are some favorites:

“If we cannot trust a man, (1) wink your right eye, (2) place your left hand on your stomach, (3) move your head to the right, unnoticed, until we note your signal.”  I assume they are supposed to choose one of these things and not all three.  Also, what does the “unnoticed” mean?

“You certainly read our leaflets.”

“Do they place faith in America?”

“The enemy will lose the war”

“We are here to help them in the struggle on the side of (1) the free world, (2) the US, (3) Allies, (4) freedom, (5) God.”  Take your pick.

“Is there any (1) bear, (2) wild deer, (3) hare, (4) boar, (5) wolf, (6) hyena, (7) pheasant, (8) pigeon, (9) mountain cocks, (10) edible fish, or (11) crabs in this area?”  Ok, this is an interesting list.  Hyena?  Really?  Wolf?  I also like adding the “edible” to fish–nice touch!  Don’t give me any inedible fish.  Inedible wolf, no problem though.

Looks like the US Army had the basics covered!


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