28 November, 2011

28 November 1944

438th AAA AW BN
APO 230 % Postmaster, N.Y.
Germany
28 November,       1944
Dearest darling Wilma –

Well, I don’t know; There’s one thing about the war at this point, and that is – the Germans are catching more hell than we are, because in addition to their Army, the civilians are taking a beating. I can’t tell you how many civilians I’ve treated in the past couple of days – badly wounded civilians with serious injuries incurred from booby traps and anti-personnel mines – left behind by their own godammed army. It’s a pleasure to hear these same civilians curse their own soldiers for using tactics like that – because it certainly is a bastardly way to fight a war. Well, every mine exploded by a civilian – is one less we have to worry about. I guess I have about the busiest practice in town – and I think I’ll open an office in Filene’s – on the street floor after the war, dear. This central location of ours – with our Geneva Cross flying in the front and from the back door certainly keeps them coming – wounded, sick babies, old men, children with rashes, etc. Too bad I haven’t got an adjoining operating room – I could really have a field day.

We got some mail yesterday, darling, but I got two only, one from you and one from Eleanor. I’ve still got a bunch of them due me – but they’ll be coming in one of these days. What I’ve just written you, dear, is not to worry you – but merely in answer to one of your letters some time ago in which you hoped we were giving the Germans hell. If the papers say we are – you can believe them in that respect. Any single town that is defended – is being leveled by our artillery, and of course the Air Corps has already done a terrific job. This whole Rhineland is being devastated – and after the war they’ll be busy for years trying to build up some of their cities. I hope the other side of the Rhine catches a bit of the same medicine. If it does, Germany – as a modern, civilized country – will cease to exist.


You also asked me in one of your letters if I knew my ARC Field Director. The answer is “No” – darling, since I have had no occasion to contact him for any reason at all. I did know a couple of them in England, one in particular who had the Ipswich district. He was a regular fellow – came from Cleveland and his name was Bob Armstrong. Over here – the Directors remain with the Corps – Rear, usually – where we aren’t. Our only contact with the ARC has been the Club-Mobiles, whose effect upon us is much more immediate.

And one more thing you asked of me in a recent letter – and that was – to love you hard. Sweetheart – if I love you any harder – you’ll soon start to ache – even at this great distance! Yes, dear, I love you hard – and long and constantly – and I know I always shall no matter how long I’ll be away from you. And when I’m finally with you and marry you – my pent-up love will have to be metered – or I’ll be classified as dangerous.

That’s all for now, sweetheart. I hope everyone is well at home and taking things in stride. My love to the folks, dear and

My sincerest love to you
Greg.

* TIDBIT *

about The Destruction of Germany

Greg speaks of the devastated Rhineland and the rebuilding that will have to take place after the war. Here are some of the facts:

All German towns and cities above 50,000 population were from 50% to 80% destroyed. Dresden with a population larger than that of Liverpool was incinerated with an estimated 135,000 civilian inhabitants burned and buried in the ruins. Hamburg was totally destroyed and 70,000 civilians died in the most appalling circumstances. Cologne with a population greater than Glasgow's was turned into a moonscape. As Hamburg burned the winds feeding the three-mile high flames reached twice hurricane speed to exceed 150 miles per hour. On the outskirts of the city trees three feet in diameter were sucked from the ground by the supernatural forces of these winds and hurled miles into the city-inferno, as were vehicles, men, women and children. Between 1940 and 1945, German cities with a total population of 25 million souls were destroyed or devastated. Here is a list of 111 of those cities, towns and villages:
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Berlin
Essen
Koblenz
Recklinghausen
Aachen
Frankfurt
Konigsburg
Regensburg
Arrnang-Pucheim
Frankfurt-Oder
Krefeld
Remscheid
Aschaffenburg
Freiburg
Kreuznach
Reuel
Augsburg
Friedsrichhafen
Kulmbach
Reutlingen
Bad Kreuznach
Gelsdenkirchen
Leipzig
Rome
Bayreuth
Genoa
Linz
Rostock
Bielefeld
Gieben
Lubeck
Saarbrucken
Bocholt
Gladbach
Ludwishafen
Schweinfurt
Bochum
Gladbeck
Luneberg
Schwerte
Bonn
Graz
Madgeberg
Siegen
Bozen
Hagen
Mailand
Solbad Hall I.T.
Braunschweig
Hale
Mainz
Solingen
Bremen
Hamburg
Mannheim
Stuttgart
Bremmenhaven
Hamelin
Moers
Turin
Chemnitz
Hamm
Munchen
Ulm
Coburg
Hanau
Munich
Vienna
Cuxhaven
Hanover
Munster
Vilach
Danzig
Heilbronn
Neapel
Wanne-Eickel
Darmstadt
Hildesheim
Neumunsster
Wetzler
Dorsten
Homberg
Noremberg
Wiener Neustadt
Dortmund
Innsbruck
Oberhausen
Wiesbaden
Dresden
Kaiserlautern
Osnabruck
Wilhelmshafen
Duisburg
Karlsruhe
Paderborn
Witten
Duren
Kiel
Passau
Woms
Dusseldorf
Klagenfurt
Pforzheim
Wuppertal
Elmshorn
Kleve
Pirmasons
Wurzburg
Emden
Knittelfeld
Plauen

Here are photos of some of these devastated cities, copied from the "rvision" website. Click here to see that site, where these pictures can be enlarged.
Aachen
Berlin
Braunschweig
Bremen
Cologne
Darmstadt
Dresden
Duren
Essen
Frankfurt
Freiburg
Karlsruhe
Mannheim
Mittelwihr
Munich
Münster
Nuremberg
Sigolsheim
Ulm

2 comments:

  1. Ammershwir et strasbourg étaient françaises et non allemandes (région alsace, souvent occupée par l'allemagne mais française à cette époque), merci pour les alsaciens qui je pense ne seraient pas contents de voir leurs villes et villages indiqués comme allemands.

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  2. Bonjour Marie,

    Thank you for noticing the photos of French towns included among the German towns. I apologize for this misrepresentation and appreciate your letting me know. They were not even among those I listed! Merci encore. Susie

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