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Cartwheels at Dawn

In response to:

The Misunderstood Victory in Europe from the May 25, 1995 issue

To the Editors:

Following the publication of my article “Grand Illusions: The Misunderstood Victory in Europe” [NYR, May 25], I have received a letter from Major Denis Hills, whom I mentioned in regard to the moral dilemmas of serving officers and his principled stand against Allied policy towards so-called Soviet “repatriates.” I think that a further small correction to my article is necessary.

I had written that Major Hills, whose scruples were clearly a thorn in the flesh of his superiors, was “cashiered having being caught performing cartwheels in the main square of Trieste at dawn.” Major Hills now informs me that he was not cashiered, only court-martialled, although his offence included handsprings as well as cartwheels. After receiving a reprimand, he was allowed to serve as before but “minus one rank.” In the circumstances, I really think that we ought to refer to him as “Colonel Hills.”

Norman Davies
London, England

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