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#9- Inspektion! Bist du aufgeregt?! - 16.01.1943

Part of The KB41 Collection On This Day Series

This is the 9th letter that Herbert writes home to his family and is the 4th letter written in 1943. Just like the previous letter it is also written 3 days after the previous letter. This letter being a longer and more detailed from the previous one sent home. The update bringing more news of the life of Herbert, still billeted where he was before. This Feldpost is written on the same lined paper as other letters. In addition to this it unfortunately this letter also lacks a Feldpost envelope. Written exactly 80 years ago on this day on 16/01/1943.

The Feldpost reads as:

O.U. den 16.01.1943

Ihr Lieben!

Es wird ja mal wieder Zeit etwas von mir hören zu lassen. Wir sind augenblicklich stark mit dem Dienst in Anspruch genommen, denn am 20. ist Besichtigung und damit endlich die Ausbildung beendet, nun ist ja alles ein bisschen nervös. Nach der Besichtigung gibt es sicher Urlaub. Hiermit bestelle ich schon für den ersten Tag Birnen in Teig, für den 2. Schweinebraten mit Füllung und dann Kartoffelpfannkuchen usw usw. Da staunt ihr was?! Sonst ist hier noch alles beim Alten. Bloß mit dem Rauchen klappt es nicht mehr. Wie ist es, könnt Ihr nicht wieder Zigaretten in den Briefen mitschicken, oder sind sie bei Euch auch knapp. Außerdem habe ich kein Zigarettenpapier, hier gibt es nichts und meine Pfeife ist kaputt. Bei der Verpflegung bekommen wir gewöhnlich Tabak. Ich habe seit Dienstag nichts mehr von Euch gehört. Am Mittwoch habe ich ein Paket abgeschickt mit Kaffeerahm, Puddingpulver und Vanillecreme.

Soeben habe ich mal wieder große Wäsche beendet. Ich habe 2 Paar Strümpfe und 10 Taschentücher gewaschen. Es wird alles kalt aus=gebürstet, natürlich mit Wasser und Seife, aber es leidet doch alles unter der Bürste. Wenn ich auf Urlaub komme kann ich´s ja umtauschen. Nun will ich schließen, denn ich muß mein Bett nachher noch zusammennageln. Es ist heute Mittag, als ich meinen Mittagsschlaf halten wollte zusammengebrochen. Außerdem weiß ich nichts mehr.

Viele Grüße an Alle

Euer Herbert

The letter translates in English as:

O.U. on 16.01.1943

My Dears!

It's about time that you hear something from me again. At the moment we are very busy with the service, because the inspection is on the 20th and the training is finally over, so everybody is a bit nervous. After the inspection there will certainly be a holiday. I hereby order pears in pastry for the first day, roast pork with stuffing for the second and then potato pancakes and so on. Now this leaves you speechless! Otherwise everything is still the same here. It's just that smoking isn't working anymore.

Can't you send cigarettes in the letters again, or are you also short of them? Besides, I don't have any cigarette paper, there's nothing here and my pipe is broken. We usually get tobacco with the rations. I haven't heard from you since Tuesday. On Wednesday I sent a parcel with coffee cream, custard powder and vanilla cream. I have just finished another big laundry wash. I washed 2 pairs of stockings and 10 handkerchiefs. Everything is brushed out cold, with soap and water of course, but it all suffers under the brush. When I come on holiday I can exchange it. Now I want to close, because I have to nail my bed together later. It collapsed this afternoon when I was about to take my nap. Besides, I don't know more at the moment.

Many greetings to all

Yours Herbert

Herbert writes this letter to give a hopeful update related to leave that he is now certain will happen. Herbert details how himself and his fellow Kameraden have been very busy with their training with a final inspection on the 20th January that will see their training come to an end. Herbert expresses how despite the possibility of a holiday after training, everyone is still very nervous due to the inspection of the unit as failure to pass the inspection would result in a loss of holiday/ leave and result in further training. The training that Hebert is apart of during this period is likely that of a re-training of the unit. Re-training such as this allowed for Soldaten to be trained in new skills or trades such as signals or explosives in addition to using new weapons that require efficient training. It is likely that Hebert was to be trained on small arms such as Mp43's and G98's in addition to equipment such as mortars.

Despite the nerves of possibly not having a holiday, Herbert expresses what he would like his returning home meals to be as a form of celebration of passing his training in addition to re-uniting with his family who he has been away from for some time. The holiday being the focus of this letter as it is something both Hebert and his family can be exited about and look forward to, countless letters across the period apart and now the opportunity to have a brief in person reunion. Opportunity's like this were scarce so often looked forward to and taken full advantage of by Soldaten and families alike. With this Herbert requests his meals for his return, it is suggested these are a joke as rationing is in affect as recent items both Herbert and his family have attempted to get have been scarce but in an idea world Hebert orders " Pears in pastry for the first day, roast pork with stuffing for the second and then potato pancakes" followed by a cheeky "and so on. Now this leaves you speechless!". This being a cheeky remark that Hebert writes as he gives his orders of what dishes he wants upon his return.

After this Hebert says that everything is much the same as it was before but remarks how his smoking isn't working anymore, with this as before Herbert requests his family to send more cigarettes in the letters where he asks if they are maybe short of them too. It is likely especially with rationing and shortages mentioned both Hebert in service and at home in Kiel. Hebert writes how he doesn't have any smoking papers and that his smoking pipe is unfortunately broken, Herbert seems in desperation to smoke as he details how they often get some form of tobacco in their rations however there isn't any where he's currently located.

Hebert goes on to write how he hasn't heard from his family since last Tuesday as Herbert details that on Wednesday he sent "a parcel with coffee cream, custard powder and vanilla cream" this showing what food supplies Hebert was able to acquire with his Postgeld (Postal Money) to help with the rationing situation back home with his family. Next Hebert details his current chores, of which he writes how he has been doing laundry, this time washing 2 pairs of his stockings and 10 handkerchiefs! Herbert details he process of washing them in cold soap and water but the brush used to clean them damages the garments. Hopefully Herbert writes when he returns for holiday he can exchange his inadequate clothing and items for fresh and new ones.

Finally Herbert closes the letter by saying that he is off to repair his sleeping arrangements as his bed collapsed in the afternoon when he was going to sleep, Herbert explains he is going to nail it together again and have some rest. In addition Herbert has nothing to add in terms of updates or news to his family. With this Herbert wishes his family well with greetings " Euer Herbert " (Your Herbert).

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