No. 7925934. Sgt. Greenwood.
British Army Exhibition
British Army Staff
Jessie Mine: I have had a little bit of information today. Firstly, a note has arrived from the 9th enquiring about our whereabouts – and a possible date of return to the unit. I was glad to hear about this: I was beginning to wonder whether the unit had been liquidated, thus leaving us officially unwanted by anyone.
Secondly, I have been told that our transporters for carrying the tanks may arrive on Monday, and that we may thus leave Paris on Tuesday 14th. I believe we have to accompany the vehicles to Antwerp – a two day journey, I guess. And then it will probably take a further day to get the vehicles off our hands. After this, we have to journey to the 9th at Hanover, I understand – so another two days can be added. Therefore if we get away on Tuesday, and if there are no snags en route, I should re-join the 9th somewhere about the 18th or 19th… And that should just about be my leave date. That is how things stand at the moment: I certainly hope this programme will not be delayed – but will keep you informed.
We have had some rain today, Jess – and that is big news here. The countryside is horribly parched through all these weeks of heat and sunshine, and I believe the farmers have become quite pessimistic about their crops. Because of the rain, I went to the cinema this afternoon – and saw a lousy picture for my trouble: But there was a good news reel, and a cartoon, so it wasn’t altogether a wasted afternoon. When I came out of the cinema at 4.0pm, the newsboys were busily advertising ‘Japan’s capitulation’. But somehow I couldn’t believe it, even though Japan’s surrender is now a logical probability. With Japan out of the war, it would mean that ‘the war’ no longer exists: that the entire world is officially ‘at peace’. This takes some swallowing: it requires time to condition one’s mind to something so fabulous. But the ‘Paris Post’ (the American evening paper published here) seemed to have no doubts about the matter: it annouced “Japs Quit” in the biggest headlines I’ve seen in this war – I will try and remember to enclose a copy of the paper… also a French paper.
On the strength of this news, the Yanks appear to have been celebrating this evening, but I think they are a bit premature. The Japanese seem to have offered to surrender on condition that their emperor retains his job. This is not ‘unconditional surrender’ so I don’t see how the ‘offer’ can be accepted. Perhaps we will know more tomorrow…
Jess, there has been an interruption here, and now I haven’t time for more.
Will do better tomorrow –
Goodnight, my love