View Full Version : World War II Question

06-07-2010, 01:22 AM
The question I have concerns the mail. Were all letters censored that were written by soldiers? How about incoming mail to them? Was it censored too? Thanks in advance.

06-07-2010, 01:42 AM
The answer to both is yes. The main reason given for censoring incoming mail from home was if the soldier was captured, or he discarded his mail and it was found by the enemy. The letter from home could say something like "I know you're in North Africa and your division is getting ready to invade Italy . . . "

06-07-2010, 01:49 AM
Some of my dad's letters he wrote in England in '44 and '45 (Eighth Air Force, 34th Bomb Group) show strikeouts. In particular, aircraft losses and targets were blacked out. After a few letters, he stopped mentioning those kinds of things.

His letters became limited to "Hello I am fine. The weather is rotten/cold/rainy/foggy. How are you?" That's about all he could write about, as he sure wasn't going to mention the frozen blood that coated the interior of the aircraft after a waist gunner took a direct hit from a 20mm cannon shell or anything like that.

As far as I know, letters going to the servicemen (women) were not censored. No point in it, as the people back home didn't know anything. News was limited to radio and newspapers and was heavily censored too.


06-07-2010, 04:09 AM
I've seen letters so heavily censored that there's barely anything left on the page!

So yes, they were censored, and often quite heavily :)

06-07-2010, 04:25 AM
Dear Sweetie:

It's horribly cold here in ____________. Our____________marched for ___________until we couldn't see for the snow. But once we reached_______________,it was okay. ______________is nothing like home. I don't think I'll be here much longer as _______________________________ and________________________ . so it looks like _____________________we _______________________ . I hope so because if I have to ________________________ one more ________________________ , I'll go crazy.

I'll never complain about your lopsided cakes again. No one in __________________ can cook worth anything. Yesterday ___________________ came into camp from _____________ and ______________________ , so don't think I don't miss you. Every night we have to listen to the ____________________overhead. Your voice is a lot better.

Love me.


Tsu Dho Nimh
06-07-2010, 08:19 PM
Yes, letters TO servicemen/women were censored. Both my parents mentioned getting letters from friends and family that had chunks missing. Part of the missing chunks were references to the authors' jobs in defense plants, local politics, etc.

Also censored were private nicknames, family in-jokes, etc. If the censor did not understand the text, it went. Oblique references were censored. Foreign language was sometimes censored, and it certainly was read by someone proficient in that language.

06-07-2010, 10:52 PM
Our local paper published a lot of what the boys wrote home. They couldn't say much of anything except a bit about the weather and what they were eating (plus the usual - I'm fine). In one instance a large section of the letter had been taken out and the censor had written in "He talks too much". Our paper published that too. Puma

06-08-2010, 03:28 AM
I was a kid during the war and my uncle would send me letters from North Africa and Europe that usually included drawings of tanks, airplanes, and even people. He would tell me general things that were happening, including how he was almost killed when a German fighter strafed them while they were standing in line for chow.

When I was going through my mother's things after she died a few years ago, I found several of those letters. I don't recall seeing anything censored, so he must have been very careful what he wrote.

FWIW, when I enlisted in 1959 we were told that our mail could be opened at any time, so censorship was not restricted to wartime.