26 Aug Fantasies of life at home, Jan 13 & 15, 1945
This last group of letters from Dad have had very little substance, most of his conversation is focused on whether or not he’s received mail and wishing he was home. He made one reference to not having anything to say because he can’t discuss what they’re doing militarily. Here’s what wikipedia has to say about what was happening in January 1945 on the Western Front in Germany:
Winter counter-offensives – Main article: Battle of the Bulge
“American soldiers taking up defensive positions in the Ardennes during the Battle of the Bulge.
The Germans had been preparing a massive counter-attack in the West since the Allied breakout from Normandy. The plan called Wacht am Rhein (“Watch on the Rhine”) was to attack through the Ardennes and swing North to Antwerp, splitting the American and British armies. The attack started on December 16 in what became known as the Battle of the Bulge. Defending the Ardennes were troops of the U.S. First Army. Initial successes in bad weather, which gave them cover from the Allied air forces, resulted in German penetration of over 50 miles (80 km) to within less than 10 miles (16 km) of the Meuse river. However, having been taken by surprise, the Allies regrouped and the Germans were stopped by a combined air and land counterattack which eventually pushed them back to their starting points by January 25, 1945.
The Germans launched a second, smaller offensive (Nordwind) into Alsace on New Year’s Day, 1945. Aiming to recapture Strasbourg, the Germans attacked the 6th Army Group at multiple points. Because Allied lines had become severely stretched in response to the crisis in the Ardennes, holding and throwing back the Nordwind offensive was a costly affair that lasted almost four weeks. The culmination of Allied counter-attacks restored the front line to the area of the German border and collapsed the Colmar Pocket.”
13 Jan 1945 V-Mail
Hot ziggity – 3 ltrs from you & one from Mom today! Two of yours Dec 28th (that’s really fine – 2 a day!) and Jan 1st. I’m so glad that you finally got my box from Eng (only 7 mo. for that pkg!!) with my good old hair brushes – but can understand your feelings at that time. I’m sorry, darling, but you stop worrying. You know me. Rough & tough. Poor li’l kid. Things kinda piled up on you there for a while, didn’t they? Speaking of Bill & Ellen’s spare bedroom – oh me – I can hardly stand it! Your top coat sounds like a honey. Wish I could see you in it. Or out of it! Haven’t you read a ltr about the bracelets yet? Strange. Yes, send one to Mom. She’d like it. You should have lots more of those Dutch kerns by the time you get this. Dispose of as you wish. Karen sounds more wonderful all the time. I love to hear about how she feeds the cat and puts on own shoes, etc. Stick in all you can about her, darling. Gee, but it’s good to get ltrs like these. Brings back fine memories. I particularly remember Bill & Ellens. And do you remember the Avery Hotel? and the Marseilles? Oh me oh me ohhh
15 Jan 1945 V-Mail
Dearest Mary – read your Dec 7 letter today. Ain’t mail mixed up, though? So Bar is still kidding everybody along? but who is she kidding? How long can that sex of hers last? And then where is she? Poor darn ol’ Bar! Do you suppose she’ll ever grow up? I hope so. She could be a swell gal if she only had 1/2 as much “upstairs” as in the front hall – with “welcome” on the doormat! You & your folks must be having a grand time about now. I wish I was there – maybe with a good part in a big hit that we could take them to. Maybe even a night club afterward? I think they’d enjoy it! Also like to see your dad bouncing Karen on his knee. Kinda like to bounce her on my knee, for that matter! Gosh darn it –
We go to the 6:30 movie every night now. Some good, most fair – many we’ve seen before – but they’e also getting short subjects now which we enjoy immensely. Besides, it kills a lot of time. It’s now ten of ten PM, and time for me to be climbing into my sleeping bag. No news at all baby – except that I love you so much that sometimes I can hardly stand it. Be a good girl –
All my love – Rollie