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An account of battle

David Holbrook and D-Day

This letter was written during Holbrook’s convalescence from an infected wound sustained during the shelling of his unit’s headquarters, and shows an early formulation in prose of experiences that were later to form the basis of episodes in Flesh wounds. Incidents such as Holbrook’s visit to the Canadian formation and losing his bearings on the return journey, and acting as the ammunition-loader in the engagement with the German anti-tank gun, are recounted in greater detail in the novel. The letter ends with a drawing of the pit in which tank crews were trained to escape from their vehicles in the event of their becoming submerged: a real and dangerous possibility during an amphibious assault such as the D-Day landings.