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War bride is a term used in reference to wartime marriages between soldiers and foreigners, especially–but not exclusively–during World War I and World War II.

One of the largest and best documented war bride phenomenons is American soldiers marrying German "Fräuleins" after World War II. By 1949, over 20,000 German war brides had emigrated to the US.[1] Furthermore, it is estimated that there are "... 15,000 Australian women who married American servicemen based in Australia during World War II and moved to the US to be with their husbands".[2]

Allied servicemen also married many women in other countries where they were stationed at the end of the war, including France, Luxembourg, Philippines, and Japan. This also occurred in Korea and Vietnam with the later wars in those countries involving U.S. troops and other anti-communist soldiers.

As many as 100,000 GI war brides left the United Kingdom, 150,000 to 200,000 hailed from continental Europe, 15,500 from Australia and 1,500 from New Zealand, between the years 1942 and 1952.[3] In 2008 the Royal British Columbia Museum in Victoria, B.C., Canada, had as its major exhibit paintings by Calgary artist Bev Tosh.[4] The exhibit chronicled the warbride experience in Canada and New Zealand via a painting medium.

Famous American War Brides[edit | edit source]

  • Anni Neuman Adams b. November 11, 1926- [5]
  • Elfrieda Berthiaume Shukert and Barbara Smith Scibetta[6]

War brides in World War II[edit | edit source]

During and immediately after WWII, more than 60,000 servicemen that married women overseas were promised that their wives and babies would be delivered to their doorsteps free of charge. The US Army's "Operation War Bride", which would eventually transport more than 70,000 women and children, began in Britain in early 1946. The first batch of war brides 455 British women and their 132 children arrived in the US on February 4, 1946. The RMS Mauretania left Liverpool, England, on 4 February 1946 as the first dedicated war bride ship to Canada bound for Pier 21 in Halifax. One estimate says that there were 300 thousand foreign war brides that came to the United States following the passage of the War Brides Act of 1945, of which 51,747 were Filipino.[7]

About 650 Japanese war brides migrated to Australia after the ban on Japanese migration, imposed at the outbreak of the Pacific War, was lifted in 1952 when the San Francisco Peace Treaty came into force. They had married Australian soldiers involved in the Occupation of Japan.[8]

Approximately 43,500 war brides went to Canada accompanied by some 21,000 children. The overwhelming majority of these brides (some 93%) were of British origins due to the fact that Canadian soldiers had been fraternizing with British civilians since the outbreak of the war in 1939.[9] Indeed, the first marriage between a Canadian serviceman and a British bride was registered at Farnborough Church in the Aldershot area just 43 days after the first Canadian soldiers arrived in December 1939.[10]

These war brides to Canada emigrated mainly in 1946 in specially commissioned "war bride ships," like the Queen Mary, Letitia, or Mauretania, and the Île de France, landing at Pier 21 in Halifax.[11] The Canadian Museum of Immigration has a section dedicated to war brides located on that site at Pier 21.[12]

Korean War[edit | edit source]

6,423 Korean women married US military personnel as war brides during and immediately after the Korean War.[13]

Vietnam War[edit | edit source]

8,040 Vietnamese women came to the United States as war brides between 1964 and 1975.[14]

2003 Iraq War[edit | edit source]

War brides from wars subsequent to Vietnam became less common due to differences in religion and culture, shorter durations of wars, and direct orders. As of 2006, about 1,500 visa requests had been made by US military personnel for Iraqi spouses and fiancées.[15] There have been several well-publicized cases of American soldiers marrying Iraqi women.[16][17]

Operation Enduring Freedom[edit | edit source]

Cases of war brides from Afghanistan are rare, due to cultural reasons, as in Iraq.[citation needed]

See also[edit | edit source]

Notes[edit | edit source]

  1. http://www.atlantic-times.com/archive_detail.php?recordID=363
  2. Mitchell, Peter (2007-04-26). "Aussie brides reunite". The Daily Telegraph (Australia). Archived from the original on 2007-12-25. http://web.archive.org/web/20071225064638/http://www.news.com.au/dailytelegraph/story/0,22049,21623761-5001028,00.html. Retrieved 2008-04-06. [dead link]
  3. http://www.americainwwii.com/stories/warbrides.htm
  4. "Royal BC Museum". http://www.royalbcmuseum.bc.ca. Retrieved 2008-05-13. 
  5. Story
  6. (ISBN 0-89141-390-X)
  7. Michael Lim Ubac (8 July 2012). "Whatever happened to Filipino war brides in the US". http://globalnation.inquirer.net/43451/whatever-happened-to-filipino-war-brides-in-us. Retrieved 18 September 2012. 
  8. James Jupp, 'The Australian people: an encyclopedia of the nation, its people and their origins, Cambridge University Press, 2001, p523.
  9. "About the Canadian War Brides of WWII". http://www.canadianwarbrides.com/intro.asp. 
  10. "About the Canadian War Brides of WWII". http://www.canadianwarbrides.com/intro.asp. 
  11. "CBC coverage of warbrides - Love and War". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. http://archives.cbc.ca/war_conflict/second_world_war/topics/1542/. Retrieved 2008-05-13. 
  12. "Pier 21 Museum". Pier 21. http://www.pier21.ca/. Retrieved 2008-05-13. 
  13. Eui-Young Yu and Earl H. Phillips, Korean women in transition: at home and abroad, Center for Korean-American and Korean Studies, California State University, Los Angeles, 1987, p185.
  14. Linda Trinh Võ and Marian Sciachitano, Asian American women: the Frontiers reader, University of Nebraska Press, 2004, p144.
  15. "In love AND WAR". Colorado Gazette. 2006-08-13. 
  16. "Two US soldiers defy order, marry Iraqi women". Indian Express. 2003-08-28. http://www.indianexpress.com/oldStory/30471/. 
  17. "Few Battlefield Romances From Iraq". Newsweek. 2007-10-13. http://www.newsweek.com/2007/10/13/love-and-war.html. 

References[edit | edit source]

  • "The Meeting of Anni Adams: The Butterfly of Luxembourg" by Lonnie D. Story (ISBN 1932124268)
  • Love & War: stories of war brides from the Great War to Vietnam by Carol Fallows (ISBN 1863252673)
  • Michi's memories: the story of a Japanese war bride by Keiko Tamura (ISBN 1740760018)

External links[edit | edit source]

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