Also by John R Smith on Obooko:
Following on from their previous hilarious escapades, Dodd's Army continue their adventure, but, for the first time, find themselves in a face to face firefight.
Those Yanks, when they invaded, they invaded first class. Their soldiers had learnt to fight hard, and when it was over, they expected decent food, and plenty of it, along with showers, bars, cafes, cinemas, and all the comforts of home. Having been previously been shocked and disappointed in the rubbish facilities awaiting them in Africa, nowadays they brought their own comforts with them.
So when the Americans came to Naples, the change was miraculous. When they arrived, there was no electricity or gas, no telephone. Not that that affected the average Neapolitan – Naples was an impoverished city and most people didn’t have any of those services anyway, but they didn’t have much of anything else either.
And the bombs kept coming – the fact that they were now German bombs, trying to finish the job of disabling the main port and blocking roads, rather than American or British bombs which had been attempting the exact same thing, was of little interest to the pragmatic and long-suffering Neapolitans.
The sudden change in the weather didn’t help either: winter issued a fanfare announcing its imminent arrival, a sudden cold wind from the north blasting vicious flurries of rain along the narrow streets and alleys, into every crevice – nowhere seemed safe from it.
But the Americans brought many treasures beyond price with them - soap, tobacco, chocolate, real coffee – and began to repair infrastructure and supply at least some food.
The Americans made it plain they were here to stay, with immediate benefits to the populace, especially those like the youthful Toni and his scugnizzi, and Doctor Danielli, who were all anxious to resurrect their pre-war activities, so were inclined to regard the newcomers as tourists rather than invaders. Thus, the Americans had arrived on 1 October, and two days later, Danielli’s nightclub, il Farmaccia, still run down but liberally supplemented with beer and spirits supplied by the Americans, was packed with soldiers from several countries.