Saturday, April 24, 2010

Letter 215- July 17-18, 1945

July 17, 1945
(Dürtingen, Germany)

Dear Mudder and Dad,

Nürtigen, Göppingen, Dürtingen, Blürtigen—I’m telling you I’ve got “ingens”. In Alsace it’s “berg”—Lemberg, Saarberg, Glassenburg, but here it’s “ingen”. Why can’t it be sumpin’ romantic like “Alt Schmats” or “Guzzlaufbien”? But no! It’s always “ingen”.—Phooey.

This may sound like bull but just as I wrote that last line I did get a letter from you, Dad, which keeps me from being altogether burned up at the mail situation.

Well, we’re guarding Russian D.P.’s again. We’ll be getting rid of them this week and it’s a good thing since the way they’ve been getting on their high horse lately somebody’s going to get hurt, and you know we wouldn’t let it be us. It’s too bad too, because actually the Russians are a rather likable lot. The trouble is that they’re emotionally so unstable.

(to be continued)

July 18, 1945

Dear Folks,

Yesterday I misspelled Derdingen and today I mispelled misspelled. Anyhow I didn’t get it right one of them times.

It’s a beautiful day to loaf—hot in the sun but cool in the shade so of course we have to go out in the sun and practice for a regimental parade or rather a review. The entire Regimental combat team will be there. In this war a regiment can act independently like a division. There will be 3 Infantry battalions with a full complement of jeeps, 1 service battalion, 1 medical company with ambulances and jeeps, on Engineer bn., one reconnaissance group (armored cars), cannon co. (75mm. howitzers) one bn. of field arty. (105mm. howitzers) and the anti-tank company (57mm. guns) plus 100 piece division band plus 100 piece 399th Infantry drum and bugle corps. The reviewing stand is surmounted by 3 flag bearers with white starred red banners forming 3 stars on a red background; the insignia of a Lt. Gen. (Devers is inspecting us). But get this; this is the “piece de resistance” or something. The Gen. flies up in a small plane, taxis up the reviewing stand, deposits himself and then the plane assumes an honor guard position along with the armored cars around the stand. It’s somewhat reminiscent of the pagents that Adolf used to put on before the war. I must admit, however that a marching regiment with a 200 piece band is a thing of beauty and majesty.

I suppose it’ll all have died by the time you get this, but tonight it would seem that the war in the Pacific is just about in the bag. I suppose such rumors are inevitable since we’ve made such progress in recent days. All day today it’s been—Stalin has or is about to hand over Japan’s unconditional surrender to Truman. To me that seems absurd but when one week the Japs are fighting so hard for Okinawa—suicide planes and such and the next we are bombing and shelling the heart of the Empire at will with no opposition at all I don’t know. They do some of the queerest things—surrender without having a shot fired at them, refuse to fight. “NICHTE VERSTAY”.

Well, that’s it.

Best Love,

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