22 September, 2011

22 September 1944

438th AAA AW BN
APO 230 % Postmaster, N.Y.
22 September, 1944     0900
Dearest darling –

I’m trying to get an early start this morning in writing to you but it looks as if I’ll not have a smooth time of it because there are a lot of fellows around and everybody is talking and joking and in general – trying to prevent me from writing. I’m in the C.P. tent of Battery D – at the moment – but I think I’ll have to go outside if I ever expect to get this finished.

No mail came from battalion for me last night, dear, but I shouldn’t complain too much because I have heard from you quite regularly. In that connection, sweetheart, I intended to mention something to you about that before – namely your writing every day – now that you’re working every day. I realize dear that you have a pretty full schedule these days and that occasionally you have something or other to do of an evening. If you try to write every evening – you’ll get all tired out. I’d rather you didn’t write of an evening darling than to see you writing at midnight or past that – as you have done so often before, dear. Mind you – the more I hear from you – the more I love it – but you do have a job now and I’ll understand. It’s different with me, darling. Most days of the week I can get a letter off to you – at some hour of the day or night. Occasionally we make a move at an awkward hour – or something else turns up – and I can’t write, but ordinarily I can, I do – and I love to.

I don’t know what I would have done, darling, over here, if I didn’t have you to think of, love, write to and dream about. The mental comfort it has given me not only in the present – but in the plans for a future – is something I just can’t describe. It’s just something to lean on when things are slow and lonesome over here; when you’re cold and wet, or tired and dirty, or completely fed up with the whole business – you get a flash of a sweetheart at home – waiting for you – and then all the inconveniences you are experiencing seem so trivial and temporary compared to what’s waiting for you back home. This thought hits me at least every day and usually several times a day – and I know, darling, that I don’t tell you often enough just what I do think. I can say only this, though, that by now – my love has grown to such proportions – that even I didn’t suspect was possible. My every thought concerns you, dear, and us – and the truth is – I just can’t consider my post-war life without you as my prime motif.

Well, I sort of rambled out a lot of words, sweetheart, but they all add up to the fact that I love you and that’s that!

Darling – I’ll have to stop now because it’s getting more and more confusing here – and besides – I’ve got something to do at one of the sections – interview a chronic alcoholic with a view to getting rid of him. I’ve got to hand in a report. The enclosed snaps – dear – make 43 in all – so far, I believe.

Hope to hear from you tonite, dearest. For the while – love to the folks and all

My deepest love


about "A Bridge Too Far"
Operation Market Garden - Part VI

The story of the sixth day of Operation Market Garden continues, primarily from the web site "Remember September '44"

British 1st Airborne Division
The Poles settled on the other side of the river near Driel and made contact with a reconnaissance unit of the 2nd Army’s Household Cavalry which had succeeded in getting around the German positions at the Nijmegen Bridge. Two British soldiers managed to cross the river and inform Sosabowski of a plan to bring the Polish soldiers and supplies across the river at 0300 the next morning using two amphibious vehicles. But at 2100 hours, Sosabowski started ferrying his men across the river in groups of six using rubber rafts. A German parachute flare illuminated the river and machine gun fire ripped through the night. The Poles tried moving further downstream but were again under intense fire. When Sosabowski called the operation off in the early morning hours of Saturday, only 50 men had made it across. Meanwhile, Major General Roy Urquhart in Oosterbeek estimated he had less than 3,000 men left. Convinced that XXX Corps didn’t appreciate the desperate nature of his situation, he began considering a withdrawal across the Lower Rhine.

Major-General Stanislaw Sosabowski

U.S. 82nd Airborne Division
With the Nijmegen Bridge taken, the 82nd Airborne Division achieved its assignment, but they still had to defend the landing zone near Overasselt where the 325th Glider Infantry had to land. This landing had been scheduled for September the 19th, but the 325th still hadn't arrived. The Germans were fighting back along the front line, but the Americans held their positions with some support from British tanks. The Germans’ attacks weren't a real threat to the XXX Corps’ corridor.

U.S. 101st Airborne Division
The 506th Regiment 2nd Battalion "Easy Company"
101st Airborne Division in Veghel
22 September 1944
Schijndel village, partially liberated on September the 21st, was now completely liberated by the paratroops supported by British tanks which shelled the German positions during the night. About 400 Germans were taken prisoner. The American paratroops headed north along Hell's Highway. Men of the 506th Regiment marched towards Uden. Just after they left Veghel the Germans launched attacks on the village. From the east the 107th Panzer Brigade again shelled the corridor. They approached Veghel out of Erp and had been ordered to destroy the bridges at Veghel and stop the advance of XXX Corps. The 107th Panzer Brigade had been reinforced and was now called Kampfgruppe (fighting-group) 'Walther'. It consisted of three SS battalions, 35 tanks and artillery. From the west Kampfgruppe ‘Huber’ of the 59th Infantry Division attacked Veghel. Veghel was a constant scene of battle and Horrocks would refer to this day as 'Black Friday'. The soldiers of the 501st Regiment couldn’t stop the German attacks on their own. The 506th Regiment was sent to support their fellow 'Eagles' and the British 44th Royal Tank Regiment also provided support. Although Kampfgruppe Huber's attack from the west was stopped, the other German attack was not. The main assault from Erp was withstood, but the Germans succeeded in blocking the corridor north of Veghel. Even though the bridges remained intact and in Allied hands, the British XXX Corps’ advance came to a halt. The Americans who had left for Uden in the morning were cut off from the rest of their division.

From "Operation Market Garden" on Amazing Planet's web site:

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