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American Arms for British Homes #365: Harold A. Titcomb Papers

Shortly after Britain entered World War II in September of 1939, concern mounted about a German invasion. While British troops fought the Germans abroad, civilians in the United Kingdom made plans to defend their shores. But firearms were in short supply. Ammunition was even more scarce. Some villages had little more than pitchforks for defense.

Across the Atlantic, the non-profit American Committee for Defense of British Homes sprang into action. Publicity went out in newspapers and magazines across the U.S. Gun owners were urged to donate firearms and ammunition.

The call also went out for binoculars which were needed to scan the skies for incoming German bombers and stop watches to time the approaching attacks. By the end of 1941, tens of thousands of rifles, pistols, and even Tommy guns had been shipped to the British Home Guard.

Read about the work of the American Committee for Defense of British Homes in the Harold A. Titcomb papers at UW’s American Heritage Center.

For more information, visit the American Heritage Center site.