23 September, 2011

23 September 1944

438th AAA AW BN
APO 230 % Postmaster, N.Y.
23 September, 1944

My dearest one –

This is Heine, Kraut or just plain dirty Bosche writing paper which we acquired – but dammit – it is good writing material so I’m using some of it. There seems to be some controversy, by the way, over whether or not we’re allowed to state that we’re actually in Germany. Since I have seen nothing in writing saying we can’t – I’m writing that I am. Some of the censorship rules seem awfully silly to me. If we left our address blank – after having written France and the Belgium, it seems to me it would be quite obvious where we were now; however – as the Germans say “es machte nichts aus”.

Yesterday I got two swell much-needed letters from you, sweetheart – postmarked 8 and 9th September. Darling, you certainly seemed to take to heart what the papers had to say about demobilization – and although you said in your letter that you were trying hard to make me laugh but couldn’t, actually, darling – I did. Don’t worry, dear, even though the war isn’t over yet, we are sweating out the subject of demobilization already, but take it from me – what you read in the papers is a lot of hokum. I don’t think the Army has a plan and when it finally works one out, I see no reason at all why my outfit, or I, won’t get out just as soon as the others. With every passing month – our seniority over-seas is mounting – and that’s what will count most of all, I believe. There are thousands upon thousands of troops that hit England and France – after we did, remember. I think Time summed it up best when it concluded that – whatever the plan turns out to be – the chances seem to indicate that the newest soldiers will get out last. And anyway, dear, when I get back to the States – demobilized or not, we’ll get married immediately, wherever I happen to be stationed. Right?

You were very sweet though, and comforting, too – I may add in writing that regardless of the time involved, you would wait for me. Sweetheart – that’s music to my ears, and I’m not kidding. But I will love you so hard, so earnestly and sincerely – and with so much devotion – that I hope you will feel, dear, that it was all worth it. It has turned out to be a long time – and don’t think I’m not always aware of it; so much so – that I sometimes wonder if I were not a little bit unfair. Now – don’t get angry with me for writing that, sweetheart. The Lord knows how glad I am that you were willing to become engaged to me. I just never want you to be even the tiniest bit sorry.

And I’m so thankful that you got a job with some interest attached to it – and with pay. I know that your work with Red Cross must be a great help to you in helping the days and weeks go by.

I liked your dreams about furnishing a home, dear, because I think of it myself so often. There’s not a home I see – or an object in a window – that I don’t imagine in our home – and if it were only possible – I’d have half a home furnished already with things I could have picked up or bought – here and there. Incidentally – I wonder if electric push-buttons could keep us in bed all the time and let us run the house, the office and outside work – without having to leave. Well – we’ll see –

One more thing before knocking off for now – what have you found out by ‘Palmistry’? And could you read my palm by mail? If not, darling, don’t worry. Without a knowledge of it all – and from way out here – I can tell you that you and I are to have a long happy successful wedded life together – because we love each other deeply and that’s the best foundation of all!

All for now, darling. Will write tomorrow. Love to all and

My deepest and sincerest love to you

P.S. Enclosed completes all of available snaps. Total 51 and not 52 as I had thought. Still taking pictures dear, and will hold on to them until opportunity for developing arises.


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

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

British 1st Airborne Division
On this day more than 120 Allied aircraft dropped supplies in spite of heavy German anti-aircraft. About 80 aircraft were shot down. Sadly, almost all of the supplies they dropped fell into German hands...again. Shortages of food, medicine and, most of all, ammunition began to create an unbearable situation for the British troops. The Germans tried continuously to cut the Allies off from the riverbank. Londsdale’s Force defending this area endured heavy attacks. The Polish paratroops on the other side of the Rhine were also heavily attacked. They didn't have any artillery because it had landed on September the 19th on the northern side of the river. Luckily, some tanks from the XXX Corps arrived and supported the Poles. During the night the Poles attempted to cross the river again. They used some other boats which arrived before midnight. This time they were more successful than the day before. About 150 soldiers reached the 'perimeter' on the other side, but this still was just a small number.

U.S. 82nd Airborne Division
The 508th Regiment tried to secure the Ooijpolder River (east of Nijmegen). The 8th Armored Brigade’s Sherwood Rangers Yeomanry supported them. They made a good start, but later on German counter-attacks forced them to retreat again. The battle continued for several days with alternating success. Finally, weather conditions improved. The 325th Glider Infantry took off with the rest of several other units. They carried about 3,500 men, jeeps and guns. The sky train ran into heavy anti-aircraft fire near Veghel. A large number of gliders had to land prematurely, but the landings were considered a success. About 350 gliders arrived at Overasselt. The 325th Glider Infantry immediately headed for Groesbeek’s woods to support the troops there. This lift also brought in the 1st Battalion of the 1st Independent Polish Parachute Brigade. According to plan they were to jump at Driel on September the 21st, but because of bad weather the planes carrying them were forced to return to their bases. Now two days later, they still were a part of Operation Market Garden, although the Market-part had ended at Nijmegen.

82nd Airborne dropping above field in Overasselt
23 September 1944

82nd Airborne Landing Zone near Grace
23 September 1944

The U.S. 82nd Airborne Division's role in Market Garden was completed. The division remained active in the Nijmegen area until November 1944 and was then relieved by the First Canadian Army.

U.S. 101st Airborne Division
German forces launched several attacks on Veghel. All were stopped but the corridor was still cut. It was vital that the advance towards Nijmegen and Arnhem continued. Horrocks sent the 32nd Guards Brigade from Nijmegen to open the corridor again. Around 1700 they arrived north of Veghel. A combined assault from both sides by American and British troops finally broke the German roadblock and the corridor was opened. However, the XXX Corps was far behind schedule.

101st Airborne in Veghel
23 September 1944

The 327th Glider Infantry and the 907th Glider Artillery Battalion arrived by airlift. Due to bad weather, they couldn't be transported earlier to the Eindhoven sector. After their arrival they were sent immediately to Veghel to secure the corridor for further German attacks.

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

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