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To Second Lieutenant Allen T. Brown
April 18, 1944 Washington, D.C.
There have been several fairly lengthy and most interesting letters from you lately which give us a very good idea of your situation, and experiences.1 We have also heard from Clifton frequently recently. Your mother seems to take the situation with considerable calm, though I imagine it is largely a matter of repressing feelings. In any event she never refers to it.
It rained Saturday but we got down to Leesburg about 11 Sunday; it started to rain but the sun came out as we arrived. I worked continuously except for thirty minutes for lunch until about six in the evening and got a great deal done but the main thing was that I cleared my brain for the trials of this week, which are pretty severe.
I can’t discuss your affairs in a letter though I probably know more about them than you do. The war is moving very fast in the Pacific due to the fact that we have a large naval superiority with a tremendous force of carriers and can strike almost where we will on a 4,000-mile front which puts the enemy in a very difficult position and he is paying a heavy price. There are some 15,000 hopelessly cut off in the Marshall Islands and already on half rations with most of their antiaircraft ammunition gone. We have over 90,000 cut off in the South and Southwest Pacific, facing starvation and before long we will have still more on the shelf, and all this has been done with very few troops but it has required very stern fighting. Our hope is to utilize the mobility of the Navy so as to have things in the Pacific in such a condition that a long-drawn out struggle will not be possible for the Japanese.
The fighting in India is severe, under most difficult conditions of climate and jungle, trails and rivers. Deadly blows are being struck into Rumania by the Russian Army while our bombers are ripping up all the rail communications in the rear of the Germans on that front. The daily press probably keeps you advised of the gathering storm in England.
Altogether, however hard for us it is in any particular spot our enemies are in a dreadful dilemma.
Molly and the children are well, the latter almost too well from the viewpoint of activity. The nurse your mother found, who is excellent, went off Sunday to see her people and comes back Wednesday, bringing her sister, we hope. In the interim Molly is having a lively time because now that Kitty walks she is all over the place.
With my love and prayers
Document Copy Text Source: Research File, Family Folder, George C. Marshall Research Library, Lexington, Virginia.
Document Format: Typed memorandum.
1. Marshall’s stepson had recently been given command of a tank platoon, and they had moved again. “One thing I feel certain about is that we will be going into action somewhere before long,” wrote Allen. “If I have half the luck I had with the New Zealanders I will consider myself a very lucky guy. I don’t know who was taking care of me up there, but whoever it was, I hope they are along the next time.” (Brown to Marshall, April 10, 1944, quoted in Forrest C. Pogue, George C. Marshall: Organizer of Victory, 1943-1945 [New York: Viking Press, 1973], p. 346.) For information regarding Allen’s reference to the New Zealanders, see Marshall to Brown, March 21, 1944, Papers of George Catlett Marshall, #4-305 [4: 358].
Recommended Citation: ThePapers of George Catlett Marshall, ed.Larry I. Bland and Sharon Ritenour Stevens(Lexington, Va.: The George C. Marshall Foundation, 1981- ). Electronic version based on The Papers of George Catlett Marshall, vol. 4, “Aggressive and Determined Leadership,” June 1, 1943-December 31, 1944 (Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1996), pp. 422-423.