Somewhere in Italy

Beginning in February 1945, Epstein's letters are marked as being written "Somewhere in Italy." This reflects his arrival at the front lines, where censorship was closely enforced to avoid revealing any information about unit locations or plans to the enemy. Soldiers' letters were read by officers to ensure nothing sensitive was mentioned; on many of the envelope's from this period you can see the censor's mark verify that the enclosed letter has been checked.
By this point in the war, the Italian front had largely turned static following the fall of Rome in June 1944 as both sides' resources were drawn more and more to the new front in France. Upon its arrival in January, the 10th Mountain Division joined the front lines of the U.S. Army's V Corps, taking up a part of the line between the Serchio Valley and Mount Belvedere.
Beginning  in February 1945, however, Epstein and the 10th Mountain Division participated in a new offensive. The 10th Mountain made good use of its specialized training, as members of the division surmounted the seemingly insurmountable Riva Ridge in a daring night attack, unhinging the German position on Mount Belvedere. By April the 10th and the rest of V Corps had broken through to the Po River Valley and forced the surrender of all German forces in Italy on May 2nd, six days before V-E Day ended the war in Europe.
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