Archive.org contains a scan of an 84-page pamphlet, called "Our Red Army Ally" that purports to be a document published by the United States War Department in 1945, for the purposes of training American Soldiers how to deal with their USSR counterparts.

DA PAM 21-30 Our Red Army Ally 1945-04-23.

Scan of opening pages

The descriptions are so against stuff prevalent in mainstream Western press, movies and games today, that reading all this in English was quite a surreal experience for me.

Is the description of this document accurate? Is it an authentic pamphlet issued to US soldiers?

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    Interesting reading from the same era are A Pocket Guide to France and 112 Gripes About the French. The U.S. cultivated an identity as being separate from (and in various ways superior to) Europe, as well as a strongly isolationist ethic through most of its history till Pearl Harbor, so some education (propaganda) was needed to make Americans, in and out of uniform, more sympathetic to their own allies.
    – choster
    Feb 9, 2019 at 0:09
  • Related question: skeptics.stackexchange.com/questions/36087/… Feb 9, 2019 at 0:34
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    Note: I made a rather substantial edit to focus this question.
    – Oddthinking
    Feb 9, 2019 at 0:48
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    @Oddthinking, I've noticed. You've completely nuked that "out of mainstream" content so now it is much harder to see at a glance why it is very surprising compared to stuff that's going on news today without actually reading through all of it. Now can you please revert it back? Feb 9, 2019 at 2:27
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    @OlegV.Volkov: I still think the new version is an improvement, despite your protests. (1) The old version got a close vote and a flag suggesting it was moved to History.SE. (2) Quoting more from the original, rather than your personal reading would be helpful. (3) I left your summary in which sufficiently explained why you were skeptical. (4) Ultimately, it appears to be based on your personal incredulity that propaganda about the USSR has changed so much, which is most easily understood because the USSR has changed from a US ally to an enemy to a group of frenemies over the years.
    – Oddthinking
    Feb 9, 2019 at 7:27

1 Answer 1


The pamphlet in question appears to be real. The US war department published a number of propaganda pamphlets during the war. Here is a listing for a similar one on Amazon, and a scan of a different type of instructional pamphlet.

You can find this specific pamphlet from amazon third party sellers and on ebay. You can also find it in library catalogues. By all appearances this is a real document published by the US government during WWII. During WWII the United States and USSR had a common enemy, and this pamphlet was designed to help soldiers for the two sides get along should they meet.

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    I think it is fruitful to explain that the pamphlet was published in World War II, when the US and the USSR were allies, not during the Cold War, when they were enemies. This is probably the cause of the OP's perception of dissonance.
    – Oddthinking
    Feb 9, 2019 at 0:48
  • @oddthinking I agree but I did not have the time to write a skeptics quality answer including that info at the time. Feb 9, 2019 at 2:13
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    @oddthinking After a few minutes of fruitless googling, I am giving up on writing a comprehensive well sourced answer. The alliance between the soviets and the United States is a tricky one, and began to fall apart before the war even ended. Feb 9, 2019 at 2:33
  • @Oddthinking my perception of dissonance comes on how it is diametrically opposite of "facts" promoted today and was detailed in 1) short description of said myth and 2) bullet list of parts of pamphlet that break that myth apart. You've removed both, making HARDER to understand why someone would doubt authenticity of such pamphlet. Feb 9, 2019 at 2:45
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    Despite the reservations of US and UK leadership - the Russians were fighting the common enemy at the time, and as the Germans were collapsing under the combined onslaught, this pamphlet (and almost certainly others issued to the British, French, Russian, and other allied troops) would have been issued to prevent unfortunate misunderstandings when the Eastern and Western forces inevitably met: which they did on the 25th April (2 days after this pamphlet was apparently distributed).
    – user2276
    Feb 11, 2019 at 0:11

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