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I'll Be Home For The Christmas Rush

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I’ll Be Home For The Christmas Rush

Letters From Europe, 1944-45
  • by Albert W. Hoffman
    • Edited for publication by David R. Hoffman
      • Merriam Press World War 2 Memoir Series
        • Second Edition 2012
        • 256 6x9-inch pages
        • 27 photos
        • 3 maps
  • Paperback Edition
    • $19.95
      • Purchase paperback edition
These letters are one man’s messages to his wife and children while he  was in Europe during 1944 and 1945. Although the letters to him did not  survive, in a sense his letters constitute half of an ongoing conversation  with his family, as he responds to news from home and comments on  what he has heard from relatives and colleagues. Wartime censorship regulations kept him from writing about combat operations (he probably would not have wanted to, had he been able), or about day-to-day movements in the combat zone, but he gave thoughtful descriptions about the country where he was, how it was like or not like his home in Texas, and about the non-military personnel he encountered in England, France, and Germany. 

Albert loved his wife, his family, his home. He had a sense that he would be home for the 1945 Christmas rush at the Post Office—always the busiest time of the year, and must have had that sense from the date of his National Guard Division’s call to active duty in 1940, as he indicated in a letter of May 9, 1945. He was right. He returned from Europe in September 1945, and was back “in harness” at the Post Office in time for the Christmas rush.

Hoffman's letters from Europe to his wife and children in Texas, covers his service with the 29th Infantry Division in the ETO. Born in Brownwood, Texas, Hoffman enlisted in the Texas National Guard in 1926 and served with the 36th Division after mobilization until 1943, and again after the war in reorganization of the Texas National Guard, as a Lt. Col/Battalion Commander from 1946 until 1956, and as a Colonel on Division staff from 1956 until his retirement in 1961.


Joseph Balkoski: David Hoffman's collection of his father's World War II correspondence provides a valuable and illuminating glimpse into the mindset of a U.S. Army field grade officer during that momentous conflict. The letters, as well as David's meticulous footnotes, will intrigue World War II scholars and novices alike. [Joseph Balkoski is the author of five World War II histories. Two of them, Omaha Beach and Beyond the Beachhead: The 29th Infantry Division in Normandy, pertain to the division in which Maj. Albert Hoffman served.

Dave Cox: I am reading David Hoffman's book and enjoying it a lot. You and David did a great job with it. I have been in the Army Reserve for 29 years, served in Kuwait during 2003, and at the Pentagon from 2006-2009.

  • List of Photographs
  • List of Maps
  • Foreword
  • Acknowledgments
  • I’ll Be Home for the Christmas Rush
  • En Route to Europe
  • In England
  • Normandy Beachhead to St. Lo
  • Wounded at St. Lo; Hospitalized in England
  • Discharged from Hospital; Return to Continent
  • With the 29th Division Again
  • Victory in Europe; the Wait to Return Home
  • Afterword
  • Bibliography
  • Index

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