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Armband

1942

Eisenhower National Historic Site, National Park Service

Eisenhower National Historic Site, National Park Service

1st Infantry Division brassard (armband) made of waterproofed cloth with an American flag. The vertical holes on either end are for adjusting the band around the arm with the attached safety pin. This brassard was worn by Capt. Paul A. Reihmann of the 18th Regiment, 1st Infantry Division, during the invasion of North Africa. When the Americans landed in North Africa in 1942, they encountered the Vichy French, those who had collaborated with the Nazis after the 1940 fall of France. Algeria and French Morocco were areas controlled by the Vichy government. It was hoped that when the French military saw the American flag armbands they would regard Eisenhower's soldiers not as enemies but as liberators. Most of the French forces in Africa came back over to the Allied side.

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