Sunday, 23rd January 1944 (Postcard) Sunday, 20th February 1944 (Letter)
My Dear Dorothy,
Many thanks indeed for two parcels each containing 200 cigs which I received during the last few days. My letter card I have sent to Arthur Clough (2/Lieut) from whom I received a Nov letter in which 'a very good photo' of him was enclosed. He is very well and wishes to be remembered to you all.
Until next week, my love and wishes to you all at home.
On this day:
In New Guinea... Australian forces in the Ramu valley advance up the Finisterre Range toward Shaggy Ridge, taking Maukiryo. Allied air superiority in the area influences the battle.
In Italy... There are now about 50,000 Allied troops concentrated in the Anzio beachhead. General Lucas commands. German resistance is light but the Allied forces advance slowly. Meanwhile, Kesselring believes it is possible to maintain the Gustav Line defenses at the same time as containing the Anzio landings. The commander of the German 10th Army, von Vietinghoff favors a withdrawal from the southern defensive line.
From Berlin... The German High Command allots German reserves from France, northern Italy and the Balkans as well as the German 14th Army headquarters to organize defenses around Anzio. Within a week a total of 8 German divisions are concentrated in the area.
My Dear Mother & Father,
After 4 or 5 weeks of silence two letters have arrived; one from Dad dated 3rd Jan and one from Dot 9th Jan. Bill also sent one dated 10th Jan which I shall answer today; a letter I received from a London friend (correct-female) is of 17th Jan! The postal authorities have surpassed themselves. Unfortunately the letters you wrote from 7th or 8th Dec to the end of Dec , have not yet arrived, therefore I am still in the dark about how you spent Christmas.
Jim received his November parcel yesterday, so mine too is not far away. A few days ago we received a lot of sports kit from the Red Cross (our fairy-godmother) amongst which was a complete set of football boots, stockings, jerseys and shorts, sufficient to equip two teams - you should have seen the boys training out today. England V Scotland is the fixture.
Every letter I get from Dot tells me she is either "expecting Ken home on leave in a few days" or "Ken is on leave again" or "Ken has been home for a few days and has now gone back". He must be a wizard at wrangling leave - I know how difficult it is, and according to my mates I was a good wangler. She talks of ice-skating - I absent mindedly walked outside the door the other day, it took me about four minutes to finally hit the gorund, but during those 4 minutes I think I performed every evolution known to ice-skaters!
My love to you all.
On this day:
On the Eastern Front... The Soviet 2nd Baltic Front (Popov) launches a new offensive toward Kholm, spearheaded by the 22nd Army. German 16th Army, part of Army Group North, is unable to contain the assault, in part because of the army group shifting of forces northward in support of German 18th Army in recent weeks.
In the Marshall Islands... American carrier aircraft from Task Group 58.1 (Admiral Reeves) attack Japanese targets in Jaluit Atoll. The fighting on Eniwetok continues. The nearby island of Parry is shelled by US naval forces.
In Occupied Norway... A ferry carrying a stock of heavy water from the Ryukan hydroelectric plant to Germany is sunk by resistance fighters acting on instructions from the British government and the Norwegian government in exile. The cargo is lost. Heavy water is used in atomic research.