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#10- Granatwerfer und Verpackungen - 10.02.43


Part of The KB41 Collection On This Day Series


This is the 10th letter that Herbert has writes home to his family and is the 5th letter written in 1943. This letter is written 24 days after the last letter on the 16.1.1943. It is not known if Herbert got given his leave request after his final inspection in training, but it can be suspected Herbert did get the leave due to the large gap between the families correspondence of letters. This letter written exactly 80 years ago on this day.


This letter from the collection that Herbert writes home to his family is lucky to be accompanied by its Feldpost envelope. Unfortunately many of the original Feldpost envelopes are lost to time as they were not present with the letters when we obtained the letters into the collection but they are critical in giving information and context to the letters and timeline of Herbert Tank. Herbert writing to his family in Kiel the letter, written from his billeted accommodation again (location unknown but it is in relation to his position with Marsch-Kompanie Grenadier-Ausbildungs-Bataillon 333 (In training).




The Feldpost reads as:


On the envelope it reads

Familie

Hans Tank

Kiel

Hohenstaufenring 36


Abs. Sold. H. Tank

Feldpostn 06719 E





O.U. den 10.2.1943

Ihr Lieben!


Nun muß ich ja wohl mal wieder etwas von mir hören lassen.

Hier oben haben wir ein paar ruhige Tage verlebt, wenn es auch ein

bisschen einsam ist hier; aber eine Woche hält man das schon aus.

Morgen geht´s nämlich wieder weiter. Wohin wissen wir noch nicht.

Es ist ein richtiges Zigeunerleben; aber es bringt Spaß. Von den ganzen

Granatwerfern sind nur noch 3 Mann hier und so lassen sie uns hier

den ganzen Tag in Ruhe, bis auf Wache stehn und Strefe. Hoffentlich

bleibt es auch da so, wo wir jetzt hinkommen.

Von den Paketen müssen 2 fehlen. Der Kamerad der sie für mich

in Empfang genommen hat, hat sie ja geöffnet wegen der Lebensmittel.

Ihr wißt doch?! Und nun hatte er sie alle in einem großen Karton ge-

packt; aber es fehlt die Pfeife und der Tabak. Ärgerlich, aber ich

will sehen, daß ich noch einen Knösel auftreibe. Nun will ich

schließen.


Viele Grüße, an Alle

Euer Herbert


The letter translates in English as:


O.U. on 16.01.1943

My Dears!


Now I have to let you hear something from me again.

We have spent a few quiet days up here, even if it is a bit lonely here, but you can stand it for a week.

Tomorrow we're going on again. We don't know where yet.

It's a real gypsy life, but it's fun. From all of the grenade launchers only three are still here, so they leave us alone all day, except to stand guard and patrol. Hopefully it stays that way where we're going.

Two of the packages must be missing. The comrade who picked them up for me opened them for me because of the food.

You know that, don't you? And now he had packed them all in one big box,

but the pipe and the tobacco are missing. Annoying, but I'll see if I can find another pipe. Now I will close.


Many greetings, to all

Your Herbert



The letter that Herbert writes, like many before (Except for one addressed to his Mutti (Mother) on the 13 Jan 1943) being addressed to his collective family, the Hans Tank family residing in Kiel (Northern Germany). Herbert being consistent with how he lays out not only his envelopes with the information of his family's address but also his Feldpost number and his personal details that discloses to us his rank "Sold", denoting Soldat. Herbert writing in his crisp and legible handwriting with no mistakes and dating and locating in the same format as previous letters. This letter like others showing the swift delivery of the Deutsche Reichspost (German Postal Service), this the military postal service, as clearly detailed with "Feldpost" at the top as this didn't require a postage stamp. Instead the Feldpost is cancelled with a postage mark showing a Reichsadler (German Eagle) with the date "11.2.43" and finally Feldpost detailed above in a circle postal mark.


Herbert writes in this letter that he has spent quite a few days in the location in which he is billeted in, still attached to his previous unit in training the Marsch-Kompanie Grenadier-Ausbildungs-Bataillon 333, possibly in the same region as he was based before. Herbert writes that he is finding it somewhat lonely, but he is putting up with it before he moves again tomorrow, he doesn't know where to yet but he will be moving. Herbert details it as "Zigeunerleben", a Gypsy life as he writes showing that he finds it comedic with all this moving with his unit all around in service. Herbert details how he finds it fun.


Herbert gives an insight into what equipment and weapons he and his unit uses. This is detailed in the letter as Herbert writes that there was many "Grenade launchers" however Herbert details that only three remain. The grenade launchers mentioned could either be a grenade launcher attachment that was attached to the Kar98k rifles, or more possible could be the Granatwerfer (Mortar). The mortar would support the role of infantry and grenadiers in combat, this type of weapon would require training and explain why Herbert would find himself in training. With this the unit that Herbert is attached to is left alone all day except when they are to stand guard or on patrol. Hebert hoping his duties of this will stay the same wherever he is due to go to.


Finally Herbert thanks his family by mentioning the packages in which they sent from home to him. Herbert does unfortunately detail that the comrade who got the mail opened his package due to the food that was inside. Herbert detailing that he two packages are missing. Herbert details that they may have been packed into one big box, hoping that he might get them soon. However Herbert isn't too hopeful that he will get some of the items sent from home now as they might be lost. Hebert expresses big sadness as his tobacco and tobacco pipe are lost, Herbert hoping he might be able to find another pipe as from previous letters we read that smoking and tobacco is something he is very fond of and helps ease the stresses of Soldaten life. Herbert closes the letter with best wishes to his family. Euer Herbert, Your Herbert.


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