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  • "The D-Day Dodgers is a term for those Allied servicemen who fought in Italy during the Second World War, which also inspired a popular wartime soldier's song.

    The term was publicized by British Member of Parliament Nancy Astor, Viscountess Astor, who used the expression in public after a disillusioned serviceman in Italy signed a letter to her as being from a 'D-Day Dodger.' Astor mistakenly thought the phrase was a nickname with positive connotations, as the term Desert Rats had been in 1942. In reality the reference was bitingly sarcastic, given the steady stream of allied service personnel who were being killed or wounded in combat on the Italian front. A 'Dodger is someone who avoids something; the soldiers in Italy felt that their sacrifices were being ignored after the invasion of Normandy, and a 'D-Day Dodger' was thus a reference to someone who was somehow avoiding 'real' combat by serving in Italy."


    September 27, 2008