Smoking - Cigarette Camps

Cigarette Camps

The American Army established a ring of "cigarette camps" near Le Havre, France during World War II. As explained in "Introduction: The Cigarette Camps" at the website, The Cigarette Camps: The U.S. Army Caps in the Le Havre Area:

The staging-area camps were named after various brands of American cigarettes; the assembly area camps were named after American cities. The names of cigarettes and cities were chosen for two reasons: First, and primarily, for security. Referring to the camps without an indication of their geographical location went a long way to ensuring that the enemy would not know precisely where they were. Anybody eavesdropping or listening to radio traffic would think that cigarettes were being discussed or the camp was stateside, especially regarding the city camps. Secondly, there was a subtle psychological reason, the premise being that troops heading into battle wouldn't mind staying at a place where cigarettes must be plentiful and troops about to depart for combat would be somehow comforted in places with familiar names of cities back home (Camp Atlanta, Camp Baltimore, Camp New York, and Camp Pittsburgh, among others). (I doubt if the GIs heading into Europe were taken in by any of that cigarette and city mumbo-jumbo!) By war's end, however, all of the cigarette and city camps were devoted to departees. Many processed liberated American POWs (Prisoners of War) and some even held German POWs for a while.]

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