Throughout his service at the front, Gleitsmann carried a small sketchbook, pencils and pens to document what he saw and set down ideas for future paintings. This notebook contains those wartime sketches which the artist later mounted on larger sheets. The explosion that wounded Gleitsmann in 1945 also sent his sketching kit flying away. He called out for it. The men near him on the front "began crawling up and down the ditch in a bewildered search for [it]. It was found much later and returned to me while I was in the hospital."