Sunday, August 19, 2007

The Gandini Papers - part 1

These are documents found at the home of a Signora Gandini in Montepulciano, Italy during the advance of 1944. They provide much valuable information on the Isdonisgrad campaign in Russia September 1942. The papers have been translated from the original Italian by Lt Sneak-Jones, British Intelligence.

Document 1:

Petrova, Russia
31 August 1942

Mamma Mia,

Mamma! I am so pleased to be able to tell you that your bambino has been made a General! He is in command of the whole Axis Army on the Isdonisgrad front & his command includes not only the brave Italian boys in his old Company, but 6 Companies of Germans as well! I know you will be proud! As I am! I have had several kilos of extra gold braid sown on my uniform. Unfortunately, there was no room on my hat for more.

So how did your bambino get to such a prestigious position? Because I remember what my Papa told me about what he did in the Great War. I always make sure my men know where I am – in a nice safe place well behind the lines. Then my lines of communication are never interfered with by the enemy, so my plans, they go well all the time. And these Germans - they think they are so brave! But they are fools – they get themselves killed all the time! All the senior German officers got killed in the last offensive, so they just had to make me their leader. The young German officers don’t like it much (they are surly bunch), but their Fuhrer has spoken, and they must follow orders without question - useful concept that.

Tomorrow, the Panzers will roll forward in my great offensive. My brave Italian boys will be at the place of honour - covering the rear of the advance. I must go now, Gaetano has my dinner ready & I must get a good night’s sleep.


PS: Thanks so much for the crate of Chianti – it’s so hard to find good wine here! Can you believe it? The locals drink rotted potato juice!

PPS: Yes, I have been keeping warm and well fed. Since Sgt Corleone joined my staff, the food has improved greatly. He’s from Sicily and a peasant, but for some reason nobody refuses him anything.

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