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Joined: 02 Aug 2007
Location: Belgium
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Posts: 39 Quote Reply Posted: 27 Aug 2007 at 6:56pm
I give up on the name of the village he is writing from, maybe it doesn't exist anymore? It seems that he writes it without an "r" now.
It's Sunday and the big guns roar.

Progieki (?) 20/8/1916
Mein liebes Rosalchen!
Heute zwei Briefe und 2 Päktchen erhalten N° 214, 215, 216, 217, habe mich sehr darüber gefreut und sage Euch Allen vielen Dank dafür. Ja warum ich nicht eher mit dem Gesuch geschrieben habe, es war uns inder Parole vorgelesen worden, es gibt keiner Urlaub von hier aus, sonst hätte ich natürlich schon eher danach geschrieben. Doch dass lässt sich nun nicht ändern, jetzt müssen wir eben warten bis ich daran komme, nächste Woche fahren wieder 10 Mann auf 14 Tage die sind schon bestimmt, dann fahren erst wieder welche wenn die zurück kommen, da liegen die Gesuche auch schon vor, also mussen wir eben warten bis ich davon komme.
Da hat deine Mutter sich den Fuss wieder verstaucht, die hat aber immer Unglück, da musst du nun wieder rennen und dich abdraschen, wollen hoffen, dass es bald wieder vorüber geht und Sie bald wieder wohlauf ist.
Ich habe auch wieder Büchsen zurück geschickt habe aber die N° nicht gemerkt.
Heute ist nun wieder Son(n)tag hier merkt man nichts davon, die Geschütze donnern und wir müssen an die Arbeit genau wie jeden andern Tage, es ist eben Krieg.
Inder Hoffnung dass es dir lieben Rosalchen unsern kl(einen) Walter den Eltern Else u(nd) Walter gut geht grüsst und küsst dich 1000 mal dein treuer Karl.
Viele Grüsse an deine Eltern (= last line of first page).
Ubique fidelis et fortis

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Joined: 02 Aug 2007
Location: Norway
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Posts: 45 Quote Reply Posted: 27 Aug 2007 at 8:00pm
That is quite a strange situation. He is walking around hearing the heavy guns fire, while he is in comparative safety remarking , it is still war... Somehow I like this diary from behind the lines, it shows a reality that we rarely, if ever see in any books about WWI.


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Joined: 02 Aug 2007
Location: Belgium
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Posts: 39 Quote Reply Posted: 28 Aug 2007 at 10:48am
You're right BC, but let's not forget that he may be speaking about his own German artillery. Although big cannons can be heard (and seen when all is dark) for tens of miles (not the old Norwegian miles of 11,... kilometers a piece). Let me assure you that the noise of a closing bolt of a semi-automatic can, at night, be heard for over 250 yards (we did the experience once with a FAL).

Edited by Big commander - 01 Sep 2007 at 12:12am
Ubique fidelis et fortis

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Joined: 02 Aug 2007
Location: USA
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Posts: 16 Quote Reply Posted: 31 Aug 2007 at 6:40pm
The usual editorial license was used to enhance clarity.

Progieki August 20. 1916

My dearest little Rosa!

I received two letters and two small packages (Nos. 214, 215, 216, 217) today. It made me very happy and I want to thank you all very much. Well, the reason that I haven't written you about the petition was that we were read orders that told us that from here on out no more leave would be granted. Otherwise I naturally would have written to you earlier about it. That certainly can't be changed, so we now have to wait until my turn comes around. Next week we have confirmed that 10 men will be departing on leave, to be followed by a few more when they return. After that, the petitions [presumably for leave] will dealt with, and so we just have to wait until it is my turn.

So your mother sprained her foot again...she always is unlucky. Now you will have to once again run around and overwork yourself, so I will hope that she quickly recovers and is back in good health again soon.

I also sent cans back again but failed to note the numbers.

Now it is again Sunday, but one wouldn't know it, as the cannons still thunder and we have to do work just like on any other day, but that is war.

In the hope that you , dear little Rosa, our little Walter, the parents, and Else and Walter are all doing well, I send you all 1000 greetings and kisses,


Your Faithful,
Karl

Many greetings to the parents.


Edited by The Expert - 31 Aug 2007 at 6:42pm
CCW permits?? We live in Alaska. We don't need no stinkin' CCW permits!!
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Joined: 02 Aug 2007
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Posts: 39 Quote Reply Posted: 31 Aug 2007 at 10:51pm
Glad to see that you have some time left to chime in again Expert and although Bayonetcollector's English is better than mine I always appreciate "the master's eye" of the native speaker. Because as you are certainly aware of my personal errors in "tree" and "three" or "then" and "ten" and so on! Sometimes I see it afterwards and realize that speed doesn't always saves your hide!

Edited by Big commander - 01 Sep 2007 at 12:25am
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Joined: 02 Aug 2007
Location: Norway
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Posts: 45 Quote Reply Posted: 01 Sep 2007 at 1:39pm
Oh yes, it is great to have you back, expert. I can translate rather well, but the finer points that a native english speaker knows give the translation that little extra (But, big commander, do not be ashamed of your english, you're doing fine and noone has trouble understanding you). I'll have the next letter scanned and posted soon, just have to celebrate my friends 50th birthday first, leaving for the party now....


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Joined: 02 Aug 2007
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Posts: 16 Quote Reply Posted: 01 Sep 2007 at 5:21pm
Thank you both for your kind words and encouragement. It is enjoyable to have the time to do these again.

Do either of you have any idea about what he means when he says he sent "cans" home? The word could also be used to denote "rifles", but I fail to see how that makes sense here, given the context. Any thoughts are appreciated.

Regards.



CCW permits?? We live in Alaska. We don't need no stinkin' CCW permits!!
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Joined: 02 Aug 2007
Location: Belgium
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Posts: 39 Quote Reply Posted: 01 Sep 2007 at 9:20pm
I've a rather good idea what our writer means by "cans" (Büchsen). We all know the sealed cans that contain boiled vegetables, meat and so on. In my opinion he talks here about cans that didn't close hermetic or airtight. They must have been cylindrical or square boxes with a lid that closed well but not 100% airtight. Compare it with the metallic cookie boxes of today, but a bit stronger. His wife certainly used such boxes to get some homemade food to her husband "in one piece".
In one of his letters he mentions also the returning of bottles (Flaschen), even I (as an infant) witnessed the cleaning of used bottles by means of small copper nuts and water, shaken by hand by some housewives. One can hardly imagine it nowadays!
To add something about windows. Glass was often broken by explosions. I've seen wooden frames with build in bottles, the first one standing upright on his bottom, the next one on his neck and so on (a couple of millimeters space between them). These windows of fortune withstood the explosions and were used in the dugouts of the trenches also.


Edited by Big commander - 01 Sep 2007 at 9:37pm
 
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