World War ll London Blitz: 3-1-45 to 3-31-1945 After four o’clock yesterday morning we had no bombs all day, but Gerry made up for his remissness last night all right; beginning at one-thirty he lobbed them over regularly every hour.


March 1, 1945

We had a rough night and a cold morning. After four o’clock yesterday morning we had no bombs all day, but Gerry made up for his remissness last night all right; beginning at one-thirty he lobbed them over regularly every hour. Then we had four between seven-thirty and eight-thirty, and no more until three-thirty this afternoon, since then, silence: and it is now eleven p.m. There is news tonight that President Roosevelt is safely back in Washington.

March 4, 1945

Since Friday Gerry has been sending his doodlebugs over again, night and day, as well as his rockets. Last night he sent piloted planes to bomb us, as well; these were the first he had sent since last July. The B.B.C. reports our defenses shot down six of them, and two more over the Continent. I have been writing letters most of the day. I wrote to Marjorie this afternoon. Now I am going to write a letter to Charlie, to go in the same envelope. The last news I had of Charlie was that his 2A deferment was up on February 7, and he thought it most likely he would be drafted. “But” wrote Marjorie, “it is hard to tell just what will happen; there is much talk, even official, which means nothing and leaves much to the discretion of the local draft boards.” Well, I hope Charlie won’t be drafted. Now I will write to him. So, Au-Revoir.

March 5, 1945

Between thirty and forty piloted German planes are now known to have been over here on Saturday night. We have had two alerts this morning, one at eleven and one at twelve twenty-five p.m. I heard the Gerry’s going over but nothing was dropped in this neighborhood. The Americans have entered Cologne.

March 6, 1945

News on the wireless is that the fall of Cologne is imminent. Several rockets fell nearby during the night but we had no alert for doodles or planes. I cannot concentrate not on anything, apparently. It’s this damn war getting me down. There was an alert just before I went out today, around half past two, and several Gerry planes went over. How can one concentrate on anything? Now it is time to get Ted’s tea, so au-revoir.

March 7, 1945

It was a terrible night, rockets falling every half hour. Ted can sleep through most of the explosions, but I cant. He’s lucky he can take them so callously.

March 8, 1945

It is evening now and at teatime Ted brought in the news of an “accident” to Mrs. Arendzen. As he expressed it “She has caught a packet.” She was in a bus, on her way to Stamford Hill to visit her son, when a rocket fell directly in their path. She is very badly cut about the head and has a deep wound in her breast. In her face they have put twenty-seven stitches! Awful. So it goes; scarcely a day passes that we don’t hear of this sort of thing happening to those we know. Any day it may be our turn. God preserve us, and only God can.

March 9, 1945

On the continent the Americans have crossed the Rhine below Cologne, and, we are told, have firmly established themselves on the eastern bank. Hitler promises to annihilate us with a Death Ray after March 15 He is supposed to have visited Berlin today, which we have bombed now for seventeen nights in succession. Oh, this war! Who will survive it!

March 12, 1945

I expect everybody is catching up on lost sleep, for last night was a nasty night for rockets. Beginning soon after eleven o’clock the damned things dropped over regularly every half hour or so all through the night. Several of them were alarmingly near. I have heard this morning that bad ones fell in Highlands Park and in Upminister. None have fallen since seven fifteen, just before breakfast, but all day planes and gliders have been going out, very noisy. Fierce battles are raging along the Rhine, especially where the Americans crossed last week at Remagen. People begin to say now that they think the war will end by Easter. It could, but I don’t think it will.

March 14, 1945

On the nine o’clock news this evening the B.B.C. told us that today a new heavy bomb has been dropped on Germany. Its weight is twenty-two thousand pounds, or about ten tons. This is horrifying. I’ve been crying about it. I hate the Germans, and I think they asked for trouble and deserve all they get; but this is truly awful. Germans, too are flesh and blood, and in Germany as elsewhere the civilian is destroyed, the innocent suffer because of the guilty. Twenty-Two Thousand pound bombs are too dreadful to think about. When will mankind return to sanity?

March 15, 1945

We had a dreadful night of bombs, which is not to be wondered at, and an alert for Doodles about five-thirty a.m. I did not come downstairs, I felt too tired to get up. Anyhow the bomb passed over and we were all right. Since then we have heard rockets dropping every half hour or so, not in this immediate neighborhood but I don’t know where. Anyhow they were sufficiently near to bang the doors and rattle the windows. On every news period the B.B.C reports the ten-ton bombs dropped in Germany. The reader seems to gloat about it. I feel ashamed for him. If we must wage war like this we shouldn’t boast about it. I am in an awful state today anyhow. I feel ill, and I wonder whether I may no be mentally ill also. The first is, I can’t stand marriage any longer. I just can’t stand it. In the night Ted loved me. At the very moment he turned me on my back a rocket crashed and shook the bed; but that didn’t make any difference to Ted, not a whit. All of this floods me with revulsion. I loathe the whole business and I loathe the man. Loathe him. This shouldn’t be written I know. If I didn’t spit out my venom in these pages I should go mad. Violently raving mad.

March 26, 1945

We had another bad night with rockets and doodlebugs. However, the war news is good. Montgomery’s Army is across the lower Rhine on a twenty-five to thirty mile front and to a depth of over seven miles. General Patton’s Third Army has made several crossings of the Rhine between Cobbling and Boppard. Churchill has crossed the Rhine, with Montgomery, and visited the troops in the newly won areas on the eastern bank. He also took a ride on the river. He’s seventy, yet acts like this, so Ted says, “What a boy!” To me he seems to enjoy the war, and I have a very disagreeable feeling about such sportiness.

March 27, 1945

Advances were reported last night in all the Rhine bridgeheads. The Canadians have cleared the town of Rees. The American first army in the Remagen sector yesterday advanced twenty-two miles through the German lines. General Patton’s tanks have entered the suburbs of Frankfurt. Lloyd-George has died. So has our neighbor Mr. Fitch. Lloyd-George was eighty-two, Mr. Fitch was eighty-four.

March 28, 1945

General Eisenhower has announced that the main German defense line has been broker in the crossing of the Rhine. The end must be near now.

Good Friday March 30, 1945

We had no bombs during the night, and none so far today. Maybe there will be no more; the whole German Army is reported on retreat in rout. No precise details yet, as “security silence” is being observed at Headquarters.

March 31, 1945

No definite news on the radio, this still being kept back “ for security reasons”, but at least we are told that Montgomery’s forces are fifty miles beyond the Rhine. I keep wondering about Cuthie. That is why I am so touchy today I expect, for to think of him and of what he must be enduring now, brings me to tears. We had no bombs last night.

It is now eleven p.m. and the B.B.C announces that General Eisenhower has broadcast in Germany, to the German troops, and to the Foreign workers in Western Germany, to this effect: Soldiers! Over great portions of your country, your government has ceased to have any effective control; therefore, in order to avoid further useless bloodshed and loss of life, I command you: Surrender! Then followed details how to do so. Then to the foreign workers in Germany he said: I advise you, keep out of the way of the allied armies. Do not work in any factories or go near any railroads, bridges, etc. Take no more orders from the Germans. Go into the country and take refuge there; after we have passed, send delegates to the nearest allied officers depot, and we will make arrangements to return you to your homes and families at the earliest possible moment. We are fully aware of your anxieties, but do not impede us. Keep off the roads. Germans, these orders take effect immediately.

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