Letters, Jun. 19, 1944

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    "That German is no rookie; he is very likely the last survivor of his original squad. There may be only a handful like him in his company, but he's been through the mill and has learned his business while he was being completely transformed into what you see in the picture. Look at his gear: it's worn (and obviously this isn't a posed picture), but it's all there and in good shape. A 'demoralized' soldier gets rid of his equipment the first thing. (You should have seen the Eyties.) He's carrying his weapon in the easy way you associate with experience and skill. . . .

    "Now, for the 'demoralized' look in his face. That's not demoralization you see. It's the look we all get—Germans and Americans when for days & days & days life is nothing but a soul-killing nightmare of death and flame and fears and fatigue. . . . There really isn't any hope needed at this point, because you've quit thinking. And that's what has happened to the Jerry. He's quit thinking, and I wouldn't mind telling TIME that I'll take on a company of young, fresh, inexperienced Hitler -zealots and finish them with my platoon quicker than you can get a squad of this 'demoralized' kind blasted out of the way. . . .

    "To sum it up, as my guide said when he saw the picture before showing it to me, 'Who-ee, I hope I never meet up with that guy!'

    "In conclusion I still think TIME the finest magazine we get and best liked by the men."

    Lois R. FITZHUGH Lancaster, Tex.

    Civilian TIME bows to a damn sight better description than its own.—ED.

    Oil Men

    Sirs: Please accept my sincere thanks for the interesting story on oil and the intricacies of drilling for the stuff [TIME, April 3]. A lone oil man could be a pretty nice guy, I guess, but I've lived with a good half-dozen ever since joining this battalion two years ago. I believe I have yet to hear any two of them reach an agreement, and I have listened to them screech at each other all the way across the Pacific. The C.O. is one of 'em but his rank doesn't help him when the majestic question of proper mud consistency arises.

    Thanks to you I now know, at least, what the hell they're talking about. FLOYD A. HATFIELD ist Lieutenant c/o Postmaster San Francisco

    "It Is Probable That . . ."


    ". . . the action of July 5-6 in Kula Gulf in which U.S. forces sank three Jap cruisers and five destroyers at the cost of one ship, the Helena."—TIME (May 22).

    "While the amount of damage inflicted on the enemy (in the Kula Gulf engagement) could not be accurately determined, it is probable that two Japanese destroyers were sunk. . . ."—Our Navy at War, Official Re- port by Admiral Ernest J. King, March 27, 1944.

    Is it in the public interest to perpetuate such myths when they have been officially exploded?

    (NAVY LIEUTENANT) Washington

    ¶TIME'S statement was based on: i) the U.S. Navy's communique; 2) observations of U.S. Naval officers who fought the battle; 3) the reports of TIME Correspondent Duncan Norton-Taylor, who was there. Admiral King's "official reports" are notoriously conservative.—ED.

    The CSWs


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