Gunner Bert Cox
July 9, 1918
My Dear Carl,
Just finished stables yesterday when some body handed me your letter with Mabel's enclosed. I knew at once that an amusing time was in store.
I look forward to your letters more than anything with those desperate phrases and expressions and ideas of the war, which are so totally different to mine. The press is really doing it's work nobly; it has you, like everyone else properly fooled.
Blues, nothing, man…I never have the blues, nor am I a pessimist. I'm looking at it from the broad view and you are crazy if you think that Germany can't hold out on account of not having enough men, because she has more men on the Western Front, today, than the Allies have.
If it were a question of money and men this war would last for 20 years. I don't want you to imagine for a minute that I think we are going to lose in the end, because we're not; at least not until every man on this side is killed. But we can only win on points. It's not going to be a knock out, as you are persuaded it will be.
Berlin will never be ' marched through' by our soldiers, man. It's a 20th Century War, not "William the Conqueror versus Harold at Hastings." (Note: British history dates from the Norman Conquest 1066 AD)
As John Bull says " We are bound to win this war, because we've tried our damdest for 4 years to lose it".
We want a few Hindenburgs and Ludendorfs on this side to run things Our men are all right, but we fall down in our generalship. What we want are beaucoup bombing planes to bomb their cities and then armies and everything else. Then, Good Night Germany.
Say, is it very Hot in NY?…must be the heat that's effecting you. .When is the time for ripening? For Heaven's sake make it snappy , if that's the way you feel about it. Note: ( I think that Carl is threatening to 'join up' as he was 42 years of age at this time. )
I've been down at the horse lines for 2 weeks and we change crews today. We've just had an inspection of horses, harness and vehicles this morning and I'm writing this out in an open field, on a tree stump with the wind blowing about 40 miles per, while I watch the team graze. Am playing in a cricket match today against 'the heavies' ( heavy artillery). Will then parte' tout suite to the canons tonight.
I think I've already told you that our gun No.2 is in the sniping position. We are forward of the other 5 guns by about 2,000 yards. He never shells the Battery, but just pours them around our gun. He has had 2 direct hits on it (them), but has never got a man.
Did you receive the last long epistle I wrote about 3 weeks ago? Thank Mabel ever so much for her letter and will write her next time. Do write again soon, yourself. Laughing is good for the morale of the troops, you know.
Well, must close. It's time to take the old nags in.
Lots of love for Mabel, Piggott and self from your affectionate brother,