This post is part of an after-action report of Unconditional Surrender! (Salvatore Vasta, GMT Games) and therefore entirely fictitious.
Riga, January 7, 1940
I cannot believe just two weeks ago we were celebrating Christmas – attempting to, at least. Not a single person in Latvia can be in a festive spirit when our country is at war against such an overwhelmingly more powerful foe. Of course, our boys are fighting bravely, what good is bravery if the Soviets have five soldiers for every one of ours – without even calling their troops from other parts of the country? For every offensive of theirs that we stifle, another succeeds, and so the frontline has only been moving in one direction – ever closer to Riga, and of course also to you in Ventspils. I do not mean to frighten you, but I cannot see how we would ever be able to hold out much longer.
I know, President Ulmanis is trumpeting every day that the German help is going to turn the tide. It certainly has turned the tide of our business! The government has commandeered all three of my freighters to ship heavy equipment from Germany on promises of compensation once the war is over. But as long as we get only the oldest German tanks and artillery pieces, Ulmanis is certainly not going to be in a position to dole out anything once the war is over!
Well, the Estonians are even worse off than us. They had the misfortune of another month of peace before the Soviets came for them, and now the Germans say they have already given out everything they can spare, thank you very much for your valiant defense of the Baltic. If they were actually concerned about us, they’d send men instead of old tanks and lukewarm encouragement. But of course it’s only about poking Stalin. Hitler must still be furious that their negotiations last year have not yielded any treaty. If they had, we’d probably be cut up between them by now,
You know I always wanted to have a son who could take up the business from me. But now I’m happy Līga and I were never blessed with one – there is no business to hand over, and we’d be worried sick about him fighting, as you and Andrejs must surely be for your two boys. May God hold his hand over them and you in this new year.