Diary of Albert E. Holland

November 19, 1944

Nov 19th

The air-raid signal sounded at 6:00 AM today – There had been bombing to the South since 5:30 – some of our planes came over about 8:15 and bombed & strafed the airfield, the Port Area and the main railroad station – one plane was shot down in a dog fight – Just one mass of flames – The poor fellow must have been burned alive, if he was not killed by the bullets that hit his plane –

Desultory bombing all day – The important bombings must be further South –

I have just read Wavell’s “Allenby.” I found it disappointing except for the last part which deals with the Campaign in Palestine & Syria. Megiddo was really a masterly piece of work – T. E. Lawrence and the Arab uprising assuming their rightful proportion – A proportion distorted by Lawrence in his “Seven Pillars of Wisdom.” Wavell is of the opinion that Allenby was one of England’s greatest generals – I have read most of the official histories and memoirs of the Great War; I can not agree

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with Wavell – Plumer, Monash, Smith-Dorrien, Hamilton were certainly as good generals as Allenby – Hoffmann, von Seeckt, and other Germans were superior – Allenby was really a good “Bluff.” He had very fine qualities, certainly – But equal to Cromwell, Marlborough. Moore & Wellington? Never – Wavell must have served with Allenby – A great deal of the book suggests this – Wavell is at his best when describing battles & campaigns – but the maps are poor – As for the rest of the book it is boring –

I am dead tired – on duty for 12 hours now at the hospital – There is not much work, but the strain in just being here is very great –

Are we considered a symbol in the United States of America in the P.I.? Have we purposely been left here as a reminder to the Filipinos of the past years? If this suffering has a purpose, then we will not regret it. But if we are starving, have been left to starve, have been forgotten, then the bitterness will be very great – We will want to know why the women & children & and the sick were not

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repatriated.

We hear no further food supplies will be brought into camp – that means, after the middle of December no food at all – say after December 20th – one month! One month on 950 calories per day! Try to imagine what 950 calories represent – Every day we have at home 3000-3500 in a well-balanced diet – here 950, all of it in carbohydrates!

I am very depressed tonight, perhaps because I am so tired – Those next weeks are going to demand plenty of grim courage – How will we measure up?

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