Researching the history of the British Army of the Rhine it seems difficult to locate pictures of certain aspects regarding the German views of these times and troops. The Rhine Army or Rhine Garrison was an occupational force in Germany from 1945–1994, with slight status modifications over the years, notably in 1955 and 1994, though still present on German soil today, now renamed to British Forces Germany (up to February 2020).

Some examples for these sentiments as reported from the German as well as from the British side are in one German magazine: Schindluder gespielt (~"Mischief played", 1950) Eine Rabiate Antwort (~"A Rough Response", 1958), „Wir sind die halfforgotten Army“ (~"We are …", 1977), Briten raus! (~"Brits out!", 1991).

There were stickers, signs and (little) posters on cars or in shop windows, especially in bars which signaled that British soldiers should please abstain from entering. These were in the form of a Union Jack and some accompanying text in English. This kind of behaviour was to be found wide-spread at least throughout the 1980s, very possibly much earlier.

These posters, signs and stickers existed at least in the surrounding areas of where the 7th Armoured Brigade was stationed. Other areas with similar posters on display were presumably to be found in or around these out-of-bounds areas, which would be the likely source for one of the phrases used.

Prior research: Searching for British-German relations from below there are several documents and documentaries, from both sides, celebrating the friendship of both nations expressed by amiable social relations between soldiers and the locals. These are evidently not showing too much of the problems and tensions that were surely present and documented in written words.

One such poster and the raising tensions is evidenced in this article from 1992, but only mentioned in the online version, not depicted:

Plakate mit "Tommy go home"

Going for the original article scan reveals this late example from 1992:

Anti-British poster from 1992

That is a poster used by an 'official' (i.e.: registered) "citizen's initiative", founded in 1987, when this variant was designed. This variant was used for example in September 1990, when this initiative blockaded a train transport with fresh tanks and forestalled the unloading for a few days:

protester using this sign in 1990

Are there any pictures expressing this anti-occupation sentiment directed at the British Forces specifically from before 1990?

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    – MCW
    Commented Mar 20, 2018 at 8:25

1 Answer 1


I was in that period often stationed in Germany, for the Dutch army. I have never noticed any problems between the German population and the British army. I interacted regularly between military (Dutch, British, US) and German civilians.

There were stickers, signs and (little) posters on cars or in shop windows, especially in bars which signaled that British soldiers should please abstain from entering.

Yes, those were 'Out of Bound' signs. They were not little signs or stickers, but prominently displayed. Quite a few bars and entertainment venues carried them. They were not placed there because the Germans disliked the British that much, but for a different reason: most soldiers in the BOAR were not exactly eager volunteers. Many of them served to avoid a prison sentence. Drugs weren't that common back then, alcohol was the preferred drug of choice. Young men with a criminal record and alcohol are not a good mix.

One of our jobs (military police) was to patrol those bars and venues. 'Out of bounds' applied to all military, not just the British. When we interacted with civilians it was usually for traffic incidents. Of course a German would be furious when a tank accidentally backed up in his front yard. Anyone would be. But apart from that I never noticed any 'we're occupied/BOAR go home!' feelings.

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    I'd second that. As a German citizen in the British Zone, at least in the late 80s onwards, there was no resentment. It were "The Brits". As a preschooler, I thought they sometimes talked funny. That's it. Never heard anything negative about them, frequently walked through their buildings on my way from elementary school to my grandparents, was never warned of anything or told not to go there. Never learned any slang or slurs about them. I guess I wouldn't even know how to insult one properly.
    – nvoigt
    Commented Jun 1, 2023 at 13:25

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