There are of course part of this guide which make you wince. But for a booklet written seventy years ago, in a time of war, and for soldiers in the mighty American army who probably didn't rate Calcutta as their most favoured destination, it's a surprisingly engaging and at times sensitive document.
Rather impressively, US soldiers are advised: '... after the war, in any permanent plan for peace that includes (and must include) Southest Asia, India must and will assume a prominent role. You are a practical person from a practical nation. You can see that it makes sense for anyone to cultivate a lasting friendship with India. Go to it, then. YOU - you're the one who is going to do it. It is a part of YOUR JOB.'
Of course, for many Bengalis, the privations of war were much more intense - the province succumbed to a dreadful famine in which huge numbers perished. The guide makes reference to that in such a matter-of-fact way that it comes across as distinctly callous.Not inaccurate, not impersonal, but simply descriptive about an immense tragedy for which the colonial authorities (Brits not Americans, of course) were widely held to be culpable.