Letters from the front: Greek soldiers write back to their families in 1941

WW2, WW2 in Greece

By Pierre Kosmidis

The fight against the Italians on the mountains of Albania is raging and the Greek soldiers, in the lull of the battles, write back home to their wives, girlfriends or parents.


Correspondence with their loved ones was a crucial lifeline with the ordinary lives they had to leave behind, when the Italians attacked Greece on October 28, 1940


“Dear nephew, please take good care of your mother and father” a soldier writes, adding: “We are winning. I will bring you an Italian, as I promised, for you to keep him in the yard” obviously in a humorous mood.


“My dearest Stella, I am doing fine, hope you received the parcel I sent you. Please send me as quickly as you can a photo of you with our children and a photo just of you. Please write to me every day!” another soldier writes to his wife



“My dear parents, I am sending you 2,000 drachmas for you to do what you think is appropriate. I received the letter from young Giorgos who wants to enlist before we throw the Italians into the sea. I congratulate him because he wants to fight for our freedom. This is exactly what we are doing here” a young soldier says to his parents.



In a hastily written letter, as the words seem rather flimsy, a soldier says he is doing fine, adding “it is cold up here on the mountain, a different kind of cold compared to what we were used to. Our only comfort is to receive letters from our loved ones”




January 1941: A Greek soldier sends a letter from the front, using an Italian “cartolina” war booty