Wow what a haul !!!
Hours of reading there, I am sure you will discover some fascinating stories
"In all my years as a soldier, I have never seen men fight so hard." - SS Obergruppenfuhrer Wilhelm Bittrich - Arnhem
Not my area of collecting,unless Hilfskreuzer related.
But as mentioned above,"what a haul,and hours of reading".
Fantastic collection you have amassed here.
Are there examples from all branches of the Wehrmacht ??
"You mention the invasion and you expected some trouble ahead. I think you are right, surely something had to come from that end, it can not go on like it did. Imagine the problems the English and Americans have now with their supplies. Everything has to come across the water and much will be sunk by us"
The quote about the invasion came from a letter written by Obergefreiter Hans Richter, Panzer Jäger Compan. Inf. Regt 113. The entirety of the letter is as follows:
Than you for your letter dated June 7th and I will answer it today. The mail seems to be going fast lately, it took only six days to get here. You mention the invasion and you expected some trouble ahead. I think you are right, surely something had to come from that end, it can not go on like it did. Imagine the problems the English and Americans have now with their supplies. Everything has to come across the water and much will be sunk by us. So let us hope the enemy gets beaten over the head and we have a bid of peace. You wanted to know whether we are still in the old position, yes, nothing has changed for us. I am glad that you received the bag with washing powder but you swapped it for bread. So for the washing powder you get potatoes and bread and as I know you, you will swap the bread for something else. Nowadays one needs to have something to swap to survive and if you have nothing, you can get nothing. If I was at home now, things would be different, believe me, and that Marichen is not helping with the cooking and washing surprises me but that will change, I promise you. For now all the very best,
This one was particularly interesting to me since it was written at the tail end of Market Garden. By Gefreiter Encke, Reserve Hospital, Schlageter School, 21 Letmathe on 25 September 44.
Only today I find the time to answer the letter that I got on Tuesday and I thank you very much. Yes, it was quite a lot that was required from us older people, and besides that, the rapid advance of the Americans almost brought difficulties too. Our position was at the Maas River at Eindhoven. From there we had to fight our way back against American Paratroopers and Dutch Resistance. We retreated fighting 8 days until we reached Mook. When we got there, the older men were exhausted and were sent back to Germany. Our company had 21 dead and 26 wounded. They sent us to Osnabrück. There we had another 8 dead and 16 wounded. From there we were sent to occupy trenches but the first night I had the misfortune to stumble in the dark into a trench and broke my leg. Now I am in a plaster cast in bed, and hope to recover soon. For now that is all.
Greetings to all the loved ones."
I have a second one from Encke dated 16 Jan '45 where he is "an overseer of a Prisoner of War group." Love the history in these letters, especially since it gives an insight to their side of the war.