December 25, 1939:
The end of the year 1939 left the war still in its sinister trance. An coxasionai cannon-shot or reconnoitring patrol alone broke the silence of the Western Front. The armies gaped at each other from behind their rising fortiﬁcations across an undisputed "No-man's-land".
There is a certain similarity [I wrote to Pound on Christmas Day] between the position now and at the end of 1914. The transltion from peace to war has been accomplished. The outer seas, for the moment at any rate, are dear from enemy surface craft. The lines in France are static. But in addition on the sea we have repelled the U-boat attack... and we can see our way through the magnetic mine novelty. Moreover, in Prance the tmes ttm tbe frontiers instead of six or seven of the French provinces and Belgium being in the enemy's hands. Thus I feel we may compare the position now very favourably with that of 1914. And also I have the feeling (which may be corrected at any moment) that the Kaiser's Germany was a much tougher than than Nazi Germany.
This is the best I can do for a Christmas card in these hard times...