Books: The Preoccupation Of Britain

THE G.I.'s

by NORMAN LONGMATE 416 pages. Scribner's. $12.50.

On Jan. 26, 1942, there began what might be called the Preoccupation of Britain. It was on that misty day at the nadir of World War II that the U.S. 34th Infantry Division lurched ashore in Belfast, vanguard of the first foreign army to disunite the kingdom since 1066 and all that. The Americans were to be the matter and yatter of Britain for the ensuing three years, in which some 2 million G.l.'s bought and bulled their way through England's gray and rationed land. In...