Captain Harold F. Kleindienst
March 20,1945

Capt. H.F. Kleindienst
O-1165025, U.S. Army
Hq. 45th Div. Arty
APO #45, c/o P.M., New York
March 20,






Hello Gang -



Sorry again for the delay but we've been going hard and fast as you can see from my present location. Things are moving along just fine and the Krauts are falling back fast and in pretty much of a disoragnized manner.

From the boarder on in, all that remains of most towns is residue of crumbled masonry and dust - what a mess! But it's so different, destroying property which is genuinely Kraut. There's no feeling involved anymore concerning civilians - they're all the enemy, soldier and civilian alike. We had a few who didn't quite see it that way until a few of the "civvies" acted up - our boys were sold!

Before this last drive started, we were fortunate enough to receive a few weeks' of rest and fun. What a time! regular issues of liquor (B&W Scotch, Schenley's and Gordon's) helped so very much. Then too, there was always the very popular local stuff - Schnapps. Parties and dances - aplenty but now it's work - aplenty.

Prisoners of war line the roads, pouring toward the rear in droves - often unattended. They appear happy and relieved to have seen the last of the fighting. Despite rumors on this "die to the last man" stuff - theseKrauts are tired of fighting and for the most part ready and willing to call it quits. It's been a slaughter in these parts - men, horses, vehicles and material - nothing spared. Sights as messey as man could ever inflict on man. Just a case of '41 and '42 in reverse.

Right now we're in a hotel (windowless at that ) in the middle of a badly torn up city. The shops are being throughly looted - mostly by civilian refugees - and what a mess! I got a Nazi flag in a military store - that is, what was left of it. Bolts of all sorts of cloth thrown about the floor along with shirts, trousers, shoes, slippers - trampled upon and soiled. Golly, what a mess! Of course, the liquor supply always manages to disappear first. Some of these G.I.'s must be able to smell the stuff because no matter where it is, they find it. Guess that's one sense I've yet to cultivate.

Talk about died-in-the-wool Nazism - even little kids have been sold on the general idea that Americans are bad. Little lads will stand along the road aiming sticks or toy guns at our vehicles shouting "boom" as we pass. Hitler's educated them well. Poor fools, their education is costing them their all.

Your fine letters have been reaching me regularly and for them, I'm mighty grateful. I will try to come through with more frequent chatter on this and that but if I don't succed, you'll know that it's only because I'm unable to do so.

My very best to you all and please keep 'em coming.




Harold F.K.


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