25 February, 2012

25 February 1945

438th AAA AW BN
APO 230 % Postmaster, N.Y.
25 February, 1945      0910
Germany

Dearest darling Wilma –

About the one time of week it’s a bit quiet here – is at this time – Sunday morning when the boys are at Catholic services. I can remember when I used to be able to really concentrate on a letter – not only in the States – but in England, too. You once told me my letters to you, dear, were much better then – and certainly that was one factor, because I know that if I’m left alone long enough and quietly enough, I can think clearly what I want to write to you.

Sometimes I feel as if I ought to wait until night time to write you, darling. It seems as if there aren’t so many people around – but – experience has shown that you can’t count on an evening – and I don’t mean because we have movies – but because more often than not, we’re interrupted.


We’ve seen a lot of movies in the past two weeks chiefly because our setup is so convenient for showing them. The movies are always available – but only those outfits in the right position can call for them. We saw another movie last night – “Christmas Holiday”. I saw most of it – saw not heard – down in Belgium during the breakthrough. I don’t know whether or not I mentioned it to you, dear. It was bitter cold that day and the sound track didn’t work. The field artillery was putting it on and a couple of us walked over. When we had almost developed frostbite, trench foot and gangrene – we decided to leave. Somehow I enjoyed it last nite – not as a whole – but some parts of it. One part in particular made me feel sad or reminiscent or lonesome or what-not – the scene in the Concert Hall. I think that excerpt was from the Meistersinger – but I’m not sure, I’m getting so rusty about the music I used to know. I haven’t been able to listen to good music for a long time now and I suddenly felt an acute longing for it and all it connoted. I closed my eyes and tried to picture the both of us at a concert, relaxing and enjoying the music. I’ve always loved good music – whether I’ve understood it or not . I can’t describe exactly what it does for me – you can’t eat it or taste it or touch it – but it gets inside you someway and for me – at least – it has the effect of temporarily detaching me from my problems, cares or worries. I couldn’t help but think of all this last nite and I paid very little attention to the rest of the picture. I dreamed of you and me and what our world would be like after I get back. Sweetheart – I just don’t see any reason at all why we can’t be the happiest couple ever. We love each other so and we have the same goal in life, I know. I’ll strive for independence – surely – but above and beyond that I want to bring up a family, see them educated – and all the while not grow stagnant ourselves. As a doctor – I wonder whether we’ll have time for all that. I don’t know – but I’ve seen so many couples “go to pot” so to speak for lack of outside interests. This world has so much to offer and yet so few take advantage of it. I want to see things, to read, to hear –– Damn this goddamned war for the time it’s stealing from us – because by now we could have been started on the right road.

But I am not discouraged sweetheart – so long as you can stick it out. Come hell or high water – we’ll be together some day and our ideals will not have changed, I’m sure. Just keep on loving me, darling, as deeply and strongly as I love you – and nothing can stop us.

All for now, dear. Send my love to the folks – and

All my everlasting love –
Greg.

* TIDBIT *

about Coverage of the Roer River Crossing by


[CLICK TO ENLARGE]

Part of The Sunday Times front page
(from Trove's web site of digitized newspapers and more)

1400 Prisoners, 15 Nazi Towns Captured In
Roer River Crossing
COUNTER-ATTACKS FLOP
LONDON, Sat: American 1st and 9th Armies in their Roer River offensive captured at least 15 German villages and towns and 1400 prisoners in the first 24 hours of the attack.

Fighting is now proceeding inside Duren, which is only 20 miles from Cologne.

During the night the 9th Army beat off 6 German counter-attacks, and the offensive was still going well this morning.

Americans are across the road connecting Linnich, Julich and Duren at several places. Deepest penetration to date is that reported towards Hamback.

A correspondent reports that troops an supplies are steadily flowing across the Roer by ferry and bridges to consolidate hard-won gains and to press deeper into the Rhineland.

The Germans were quick to react after early surprise and after the Allies' tremendous effort to isolate the battlefield.

Americans are across the Roer on a 22-mile front, their spearheads at one point making progress up to 3-1/2 miles.

Reuters' correspondent at Montgomery's headquarters says the 9th Army has cleared Julich except for the citadel and the northern part of the town. Citadel consists of fortified buildings surrounded by a wall 14 feet thick and 15 feet high as well as a 20 foot moat varying in width from 70 to 100 feet.

Reuters' man on the 9th Army front describes German resistance today as light in some sectors, heavy in others.

American artillery is pounding the Julich citadel, where the Germans are holding out despite the threat of encirclement.

Effectiveness of Allied air blows is shown by the fact that 19 hours passed before the first decided German reaction came - counter-attacks against the 9th Army in the Linnich-Duren area.

Describing German counter-attacks, B.U.P. man with the 9th Army says the first counter-attack was made at Moslar, with tanks and assault guns, under cover of heavy artillery fire.

American guns countered with a barrage which sent the Germans back with heavy losses. The other 5 counter-attacks, all on a smaller scale were beaten off.

There are indications that large forces of German garrison troops in occupied Holland, north of the Maas, are withdrawing eastward beyond the Ijssel River line, which is the northern extension of the West Wall, says "Daily Telegraph" correspondent with the Canadians. Germans are probably leaving fairly strong garrisons to guard the V-2 rocket area on the coast, also such strong points as Rotterdam, The Hague and Amsterdam.

In their withdrawal the Germans have taken most of the able-bodied Dutch population to work on the Ijssel Line defense.

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