Celebrating a victory with a champagne breakfast in Caen, July 9, 1942, left to right: Schröter, Nippa and Poldi wearing his newly awarded Iron Cross 2. (Picture taken by a war reporter)
The letters from 1942 begin with Operation Cerberus, for which Leopold "Poldi" Wenger's squadron (Jagdgeschwader 2 "Richthofen") played an essential role. This is the first of two major operations in which he was to take part in 1942, the second being the Battle of Dieppe in August. In between these two, we read of continuing dog-fights over the Channel. Poldi's first letter home was not until after Cerberus was successfully completed.
copyright 2013 Wilhelm Wenger and Carolyn Yeager
Translated from the German by Carlos Whitlock Porter
14 February 1942: Everything has been happening at once over the past few days, as you have, of course, heard from the Christmas news bulletins; and this time we are involved, too. We flew fighter support for the German fleet and were present at precisely the most exciting moments shortly before the breakthrough at the narrowest point on the Channel and in the evening air and sea battles. It was a bold undertaking and a surprise attack right in front of the Englishmen’s own front door, so to speak, with the two battleships “Gneisenau” and “Scharnhorst”, as well as with the heavy cruiser “Prinz Eugen” and many convoy ships, torpedo boats and destroyers in the front line. [Poldi is describing Operation Cerberus that I wrote about here.]