February 13, 1943, Stanley writes to Dad. He has a good amount of time to write as he is in “charge of quarters and taking charge of the office for a few hours from 1PM to 6PM. All I am doing is sitting here at the typewriter pounding away letters.”
He warns his brother, “You better not get too good with shooting on the range or they will put you in the infantry for being such an expert. “ As for his own experience, “Remember me telling you that I got as far as carrying the gun and we were supposed to go on the firing range a few days later and we were shipped out. I never really got the kick out of the gun just to see what it felt like.”
In other news, “I think I will be moved again into another room on the same floor but into another section of the building. There was a lot of fellows who were shipped out today. They were from the chemical warfare, engineering, infantry and where they went we do not know. They did not even finish school.” It was only two weeks ago that he was moved into his current room. As far as those that were shipped out, it’s a good guess that they were sent overseas.
As far as his training, Stanley reports that “on my test for the third week was a 77% C. We had another test today for the fourth week. We had a total of 20 questions to answer with our books closed.”
He also recounts a film that they were shown about the German invasion of Poland, “I don’t think it was the same picture the choir presented as this one was RESTRICTED…it showed how the Germans went into Warsaw and what type of equipment they used and how they operated the whole affair. It showed the Germans goosestepping in a parade. It also showed the Polish soldiers laying down their arms, and showed the mass of Polish prisoners which were being marched under guard. They showed a large field which was lined up with guns, trucks, machine guns, cannons and what not. It sure was a pitiful picture to look at. Well now the tide has turned and the stinken Germans are getting everything back and I hope they get it double.”
It is worth noting here that the invasion of Poland was by no means news, having happened on September 1, 1939. Assuming the film below may be the same one Stanley had seen, it was shown as part of “know your enemy” training. Shot by German cameras, the Allied forces managed to get their hands on the footage and re-edit it with a new voiceover. From Stanley’s comments above, it looks like the War Department was using another version of the film for public consumption.
In lighter news, Stanley reports that he saw two other movies the previous week, “Immortal Sergeant” with Henry Fonda and “Dead End Kids in Mugtown”. He also reports that they got a bit of snow the other morning and that it was nice to see the violets poking up through it but that it cleared up and the sun soon came out.