Private Snafu and his unclean tools of War

    Making sure a soldier’s tools and weapons are clean and functioning are not a joke, his survival could obviously depend on them. However getting this message across to the troops without sounding completely draconian all the time can be tough. Thus we have satire and comedy. Certainly not a new way of conveying warnings, any currently serving Marine, Soldier, Sailor, or Airman can attest to the ridiculous lengths the DOD goes to present to us the perils of Cyber Awareness. But in World War Two, the War Department came up with Private Snafu (Situation Normal, All F**ked Up). A poor old private who just keeps breaking the rules and getting things wrong as an example to those in the service of what not to do as a soldier. A number of cartoon videos were produced, ranging from what not to say when out on Liberty, to how to act when an aerial attack is occurring. They were made with singing and rhyme, and the rhyming scheme actually isn’t too bad. However in this case, we have Private Snafu not taking care of any of his weapons, from his M1 Garand, to his M1917A1 water cooled machine gun, while confronting the evil Nazi aggressor in North Africa (these were made in 1943, and look to be concentrating on the North African front of operations, although some are oriented towards the PTO). I took some screen shots from the video, but I would highly recommend watching it, as it actually is a little funny, and filled with adult humor. For those diehard World War Two buffs out there, the entire cartoon series is available to watch on a 2 hour long video on Youtube.

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    Infantry Marine, based in the Midwest. Specifically interested in small arms history, development, and usage within the MENA region and Central Asia. To that end, I run Silah Report, a website dedicated to analyzing small arms history and news out of MENA and Central Asia.

    Please feel free to get in touch with me about something I can add to a post, an error I’ve made, or if you just want to talk guns. I can be reached at [email protected]