Monday, 15th Feb (Postcard) & Sunday, 7th March 1943 (letter).

Dear Dorothy,

With a mouthful of chocolate (it will all be finished by tomorrow) I thank you and Mum for letters of 10th Jan + 15th Nov respectively. Yes the mail question has improved a lot over the past few days.  At the moment we are receiving 1/2 Red Cross parcel weekly, but I believe we can expect 3/4 in the near future.  I don't know what we would do without them.
Love from Burt and myself,

My Dear Mother and Father,

Sorry for neglecting to write last week but candidly I have not got a lot to say.  Since writing last two of your letters have arrived a/17th Dec + 3rd Jan, but these are old, as you know, I have already answered  (3 weeks ago) your letter of 26th Jan. Therefore until the February letters begin to arrive I will not have anything fresh to talk about.

I received a Dec. letter from A.Clough the other week with 2 photos from Burma, he told me about his broadcast from there but I was able to tell him that I already knew all about it.  He looks very well.

Les Knowles' firm is very busy isn't it?  That's the stuff to give them.  Uncle Jerry's health is still very bad, although he attempts to pass it off with easy words, even though his condition is now plain to see.  

I am very pleased to hear that you are all well & happy - you are no happier than us, that is impossible.
I am in the best of health and Burt is too. 

Mrs Simmonds sent me 6 gramophone records (sent last August via Christina Knowles) but I will tell you about that next week.

Well, my 3rd German birthday is nearly here - will I have a 4th?  Ah well! We can take it! 
And now all my love and wishes to both of you, Dot & Bill.


During Feb and March 1943

On the Eastern Front... In the Caucasus the Soviets capture Krasnodar. To the north, west of the Don River, Shakhty, Kommunarsk and Krasnoarmeskoye are all occupied by the advancing Red Army.

In Tunisia... Troops under the command of Rommel, now commanding the Italian 1st Army, join the Axis offensive. A detachment of the 15th Panzer Division, along with Italian armor, strikes Gafsa and captures the town. Most of Rommel's forces are defending the Mareth Line where the last of the rearguard is now arriving from Libya.

In the Solomon Islands... Operation Cleanslate. Troops of the US 43rd Division (commanded by General Hester) occupy Banika and Pavuvu in the Russell Islands. There is no Japanese resistance. By the end of the month about 9000 American troops occupy these islands.

In the Atlantic... Convoy ON-166 is attacked by U-boats over the next five days (February 21-25th). It will lose 14 ships of 85,000 tons. One German U-boat is sunk by the convoy escorts.

In Norway... The Norsk Hydro power station near Ryukan is badly damaged by a sabotage team of Norwegian soldiers who have been parachuted in from Britain. This plant is known to be in use by the Germans to produce "heavy water" for atomic research.

In Burma... The Chindit force is making slower than expected progress because. In part, this is the result of a concern for finding clearings for supply drops. It is later discovered that it is possible to recover supplies in jungle areas.

In the Bismark Sea... A Japanese convoy of 8 ships, carrying the 7000 troops of the 51st Division (General Nakano), escorted by 8 destroyers, is sighted by Allied forces. Planes from the 5th Air Force (General Kenney) attack the convoy. The Japanese are heading for Lae from Rabaul.

Over Germany... Battle of the Ruhr. In the first of a series of bombing raids against the German Ruhr industrial area, RAF Bomber Command sends 443 aircraft to attack Essen, losing 14 aircraft.

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