Below is an anecdote regarding the veterans of the Italian Campaign in World War II. [via The War Amps]

From the time Canadian troops landed in Sicily in July 1943, through to the epic battle of Ortona and beyond, the Italian Campaign was front page news.

However, after the D-Day invasion of France on June 6, 1944, Italy became the forgotten war. For the rest of the campaign – another year of bitter and bloody struggle – the Canadians toiled in virtual anonymity.

The Allied troops in Italy, in a questionable jest, became known as the D-Day Dodgers. The nickname implied that the troops in Italy were avoiding the “real” war in France. Some of the boys in Italy considered the name a bit of a slur, so they put out an extremely clever and sarcastic response to the catchy tune of the famous wartime song, Lili Marlène, which was well-known to the fighting men.

The Canadian version of the D-Day Dodgers song went like this:

We’re the D-Day Dodgers out in Italy -
Always on the vino, always on the spree.
Eighth Army scroungers and their tanks
We live in Rome – among the Yanks.
We are the D-Day Dodgers, over here in Italy.

We landed at Pachino, a holiday with pay
Jerry brought a band out, to cheer us on our way
Showed us the sights, and gave us tea
We all sang songs, the beer was free
We are the D-Day Dodgers, way out in Italy.

The Moro and Ortona were taken in our stride.
We didn’t have to fight there. We just went for the ride.
Anzio and Sangro were a farce,
we did fuck all, sat on our arse.
For we are the D-Day Dodgers, over here in Italy.

On our way to Florence we had a lovely time.
We ran a bus to Rimini right through the Gothic Line.
On to Bologna we did go.
Then we went bathing in the Po.
For we are the D-Day Dodgers, over here in Italy.

Once we had a blue light that we were going home
Back to dear old Blighty, never more to roam.
Then somebody said in France you’ll fight.
We said never mind, we’ll just sit tight,
The windy D-Day Dodgers, out in Sunny Italy.

Now Lady Astor, get a load of this.
Don’t stand up on a platform and talk a load of piss.
You’re the nation’s sweetheart, the nation’s pride
We think your mouth’s too bloody wide.
We are the D-Day Dodgers, in Sunny Italy.

When you look ’round the mountains, through the mud and rain
You’ll find the scattered crosses, some which bear no name.
Heartbreak, and toil and suffering gone
The boys beneath them slumber on
They were the D-Day Dodgers, who’ll stay in Italy.

So listen all you people, over land and foam
Even though we’ve parted, our hearts are close to home.
When we return we hope you’ll say
“You did your little bit, though far away
All of the D-Day Dodgers, way out there in Italy.”

Here’s a slide show featuring the Sod’s Opera recording of the song:

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