(From Oberstleutnant Dietrich von Throckmorton to his wife Katje hours before Case Waldgeist unfolded in North East London)
My Dearest Katje,
I know the censors will black out most of what I write here, but putting it on paper and knowing that you may see even some of my scribble makes me feel close to you. I hope the boys are well and that you are not troubled too much by the bombers that I'm sure must be causing so many of our people pain. Let the Schiller's know I have found an excellent set of sterling silver, as they requested, and I will find a way to ship it home to you. They've been so kind in my absence.
I wish my letter could come to you at a more peaceful time, but tomorrow I am ordered again to go into battle. My boys, who first came ashore in Devon and have fought across the width of this blasted country are being asked to do the impossible again; assault London itself.
The boys are ready, we've been off the line for near two weeks resting up and refitting after the hell that was Buckinghamshire. But I fear those terrible battles were just the prelude to something more. My two years on the east front fighting the Bolsheviks have well prepared me for the battle ahead but I do fear for my men. We've lost so many on this English shore that I've only a few of the veterans to spread around into the platoons.
Do you remember me writing about Gunter Freihoffen? He's the Oberfeldwebel who has been with me since Barbarossa. Sadly, he took a hit outside Aylesbury just days before we were pulled off the line. The doctors tell me he will be alright but do send word to his wife Ilse that he is alive. I'm afraid she won't have heard anything. His loss was a blow to the troops. He was our best baritone and Lili Marlene just doesn't sound the same without him. It seems all of us old soldiers are disappearing. From the original company there are only 17 enlisted men and 4 officers left of those who started with me in Poland.
This morning I sit in an English farm house, not so different from your Father's really. Just a few miles down the road is London and there, well... there are Russians there. Actually, Czech's if I'm to believe my scouts, along with more of those American Sherman's than you can count.
The air is warm, and I am reminded in the quiet before the battle a time before the war. This sector is as yet untouched by the devastation we are asked to bring upon our countries enemies and I know soon I must order my men to shatter that peace. I find no joy in this war.
If I am to die today know only that I have done my duty. I will miss this life, our boys and joyous home you've made for us. But, I am an officer of the German Army and I will perform my duty today. Know also that I am lucky, Rundstedt has gifted the assault with three of the new Konigstiger's. Oh darling, you should see these beasts! Steel so think I'm sure no red shell could penetrate it. They are commanded by the 503'rd, tankers I've fought beside many times before and do trust me they know their work well.
My men are ready and we have good allies at our side. My only hope, and the one that was dashed, those damned Jabos will have clear skies today. Let us hope their bomb's fall short of their target.
Well my love, the sun is rising and I must go. If I do not see you in this life, I am assured I will see you in the next.
All my love,