Lt. Reichard’s WWII Diary – January 31, 1943
by Alison Harder (01/31/09).
Introduction by Will Seippel, CEO – WorthPoint.com Lt. Reichard began writing a diary on January 1, 1943. In February, he bought a camera and began taking some photos. For the next three years, he wrote almost every day. When I started reading his diary, I thought it should be shared and that perhaps WorthPoint’s community of collectors, people like me who are intrigued by the past, might find the diary as fascinating as I did. (To read Will Seippel’s entire introduction, click here)
January 31, 1943 Diary Page (click to enlarge)
Transcript of diary entry January 31, 1943
Sunday, January 31, 1943
Gowen Fieid, Boise, Idaho
This morning I had the clock set for eight so I got up. I got over to the office about nine and made arrangements to pay the men off. We had to pay six of them on vouchers so I took them up to the Finance office and cleared that up the same time I picked up the payroll. We came on back to the office and I paid them off. Fifteen minutes later a craps game was going on in one end of the barracks and a blackjack in another. Before night one of the boys had cleaned up nearly $100.00 and that aint hay brother. I can’t see how those men can sit down and lose most of a months pay and than do the same thing next month. Maybe I’m not built right.
About three thirty I had Pvt. Dailey run me in to Marie’s house. Ray and Helen were there as we had all been invited to dinner. They had a fire going so we all sat around the fireplace and talked. Also went outside and took some pictures. We had dinner about six and it was delicious. We had a thick cut steak medium rare plus hot rolls. For dessert we had hot cinnamon rolls. Boy were they good. We sat around the fireplace after dinner until ten thirty talking then Marie ran us down town. I took a bus out to camp and turned in early.
The Day That Was: January 31, 1943
• To Adolf Hitler’s disgust, German Field Marshall Paulus and 15 other generals, trapped in Stalingrad, surrendered the southern group of his army. Two days later, General Schreck surrendered the northern group. The VI Army was no more. (http://www.holocaustresearchproject.org/nazioccupation/opbarb.html)
• Vichy France created the Milice (Militia) under the command of Joseph Darnand, an extreme right-wing World War I veteran, to combat the Resistance. The Milice effectively became an arm of the German occupation forces and reached a strength of more than 20,000 by mid-1944. (http://www.worldwar-2.net/timelines/war-in-europe/western-europe/western-europe-index-1943.htm)
• Finnish leadership was sure that Germany would lose the war and started to think how to make peace with Allies. (http://www.lysator.liu.se/nordic/mirror/sa-int/hist.html)
• The 8th Army took Zuara, near the Tunisian frontier. (http://www.worldwar-2.net/timelines/war-in-the-desert/war-in-the-desert-index-1943.htm)
Diary transcription: Kathleen Long
Diary photos: Claudia Forbes
Video production: Alison Harder
Narration: Mountain VIsta H.S. Theater Department
Jeremy Goldson, Department Chair; Sean McGill – voice of Lt. Reichard
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