25 September, 2011

25 September, 1944

438th AAA AW BN
APO 230 % Postmaster, N.Y.
Germany
25 September, 1944       0900
My dearest sweetheart –

As has happened so often in the past, I received a letter from you today discussing a subject which I had written about that same day. I think, however, that had I waited until I received your letter – I might not have attempted to discuss in such simple terms, dear, so complicated a matter. At least your quote from “advice to the lovelorn” made the subject of love even more complicated than I had given it credit for being.

I want to say first, darling, that I do admire your frankness in discussing subjects like this so openly – and yet, on the other hand – how else should it be? If you and I can’t discuss intimate matters at this stage, then we have no business being engaged. My own plain attempt at telling you I love you seems very puny when I read your quotes – and yet I experience ‘love’ and that’s what matters most. As for the interpretation of it – I’ll tell you this, dear, too many marriages have gone on the rocks because one partner tried to follow too literally something he or she had read in some psychiatric or other book on ‘love’. On that subject, I know what I’m talking about – because I have had such patients.


In this case – I don’t agree with the words “mysteriously elusive” although the rest of it does make some sense. The trouble with the whole thing is that it’s a lot of nice words – put together, and when taken apart – it doesn’t say very much e.g. the words ‘eternal feminine’ are pretty but unnecessary. A woman is a woman and always so and a man loves her for being so. If something goes wrong between them – it’s for some other reason – but not because she isn’t still ‘eternal feminine’. I loved and courted you with ‘suspense’, sweetheart even though you write you left nothing to my imagination – and it didn’t take a long time. We will not have to start anew – unless you are not sure about me.

The peculiar part of your bringing the whole matter up is that in effect you do want to fit into a pattern and yet you hated the thought that I might want you simply because I had a pattern and you fitted it. The trouble is – as I see it, dear – that I just didn’t use the right words – although, in one way or another, I must have convinced you that I loved you because you were you – and that’s what matters to me most. The discussion of such a subject by mail is a little difficult – but I do want you to know, darling, that I do love you more than you apparently – you used the word ‘expect’ – and I’ll say ‘suspect’. I know I must sound so matter-of-fact at times, and yet, sweetheart, I don’t feel like that at all. Whatever in the world makes you think that I write of kissing and hugging simply because you do, I don’t know. And you imply things dear, that I don’t. If I ask you if you’ll ever get tired of kissing me and hugging me – I mean just that, and it must have been written to you at a moment when I felt I could kiss and hug you practically forever without getting tired and wondered whether you would. And the moments I feel like that are many. Don’t you every worry about my loving you as much as you love me, dear. It’s been a long time since we last saw each other and I know things must be a little dim. But remember that I’m the same guy who met you, knew immediately that I would love you, introduced you to my close friends, kept seeing you at every opportunity, told you I loved you and meant it, regretted that time was short and I couldn’t become engaged to you, went overseas with plenty of time to think it over and plenty to divert me – had that been possible; the same guy who wrote your folks asking permission to become engaged and who considered himself the luckiest fellow in the world when I actually became so to you. Sweetheart, that was love, however unadorned by psychiatric interpretation. Nothing has been closer to my mind, to my inner being since that time, dear, then the one thought – that I love you, you love me – that we belong to each other and that nothing can come between us. Forget the advice to the lovelorn, darling; you don’t need advice. You love me deeply and sensitively I know. You will find that my love is just as deep, sensitive, thorough – and revealing.

If I ever had any doubts in my mind about your being young – they are certainly dispelled now, darling, because you write and feel maturely and I’m glad for that. And if – in the future – you hear from me again in terms that make you wonder or cause you hurt – then please, darling, tell me about it – and I know I’ll be able to correct it.

Honestly – I must stop right now – but give my best regards to the folks and to you
My everlasting love, dear
Greg


* TIDBIT *

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

Here is some coverage of the Battle for Arnhem published in the London Daily Express on 25 September 1944:


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

British 1st Airborne Division
The 4th Dorset of the 130th Infantry Brigade, 43rd Wessex Division, attempted to cross the river but failed. The Allies decided to withdraw the whole 1st British Airborne Division starting with the forces on the north site of the 'perimeter' and ending with those on the south side. Around 2200 the retreat began under the code name 'Berlin'. On the river bank, Canadian and British engineers waited for the troops to arrive. The engineers crossed the river many times to help worn-out soldiers get away. The British XXX Corps tried to hide the evacuation with an artillery barrage. The operation brought 2,200 men across the river to safety. On Tuesday morning, the evacuation was stopped by heavy German gunfire. Some men tried to swim to the other side, some succeeded, some drowned. Around 300 men couldn't be saved and surrendered. With the end of this operation came the end of the battle of Arnhem and the end of Operation Market Garden.

U.S. 101st Airborne Division
Nijmegen after the battle, with the bridge still intact.
The corridor still was severed at Koevering. The 506th Regiment and 44th Tank Regiment attacked, but thanks to their artillery, the Germans withstood the attack. The corridor had to be opened again, even though the main target of Operation Market Garden, Arnhem, was now out of reach. The Allies continued their attacks. Paratroops attacked from the south while the British 50th Division also launched an attack. Most of the Germans were defeated. On the 26th of September, after two days, the German forces were overrun and the road cleared of mines. The corridor was open again. From that day on, XXX Corps no longer advanced towards Arnhem. Nijmegen was now the new front line in the Netherlands.

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

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