Page 4, 11th February 1944

11th February 1944
Page 4
Page 4, 11th February 1944 — The War Week by Week
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Organisations: German army
People: Bernard Acworth
Locations: Surabaya

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The War Week by Week

IEVENTS I INTERPRET THEMSELVES By Capt Bernard Acworth To attempt to comment on the war happenings of the past week in a few paragraphs is almost an impertinence. Events, as I recently said, are going to be their own best Interpreters. There are, however, a few general reflections which may be of interest in following the war news from day to day. On the vast Russia is front the German army is in full retreat, but whether, as is being freely asserted, in a state of rout, time will show. In a pocket of the Dnieper Bend ten German divisions have at last been trapped, and face surrender or extermination. But the extent and speed of the Russian advance seems to indicate that the bulk of the German armies are already far to the West. The advance of Soviet armies towards Europe raises new military and political issues without solving them.

IN Italy the Bridgehead is under I fierce assaults and the road to Rome Is proving a stern and bloody one. Not for the first time in the war the claims that our bombers had blasted, shattered anti " settled " the enemy's communications with their two fronts are proved to have been incorrect. We havo held air mastery in Italy from the outset. To win land mastery is the grins task of the infantry.

SPAIN has re-declared her neutrality, a fact which seems to be resented by those who are looking for an opening to interfere actively in Spairea internal affairs. It is difficult to conceive a better example of how politick]] passion can fuddle military judgment. A hostile Spain might well prove the lest straw for breaking the British camel's back.

IN the South-west Pacific the invasion et of the Marshall Islands under the lee of a great American fleet is a major event in itself. But it is more than that, It is a teat, on a very small scale, of the sort of operations that will be necessary for the recapture of some such great naval base as Rangoon, Surabaya or Singapore before the grand offensive against Japan can be launched. Surprise has been expressed that the invasion was unopposed by the Japanese fleet or by a large part of it. TheAmerican Admiral hoped for a great sea action, but the Japanese declined. Front this it is to be concluded that the enemy intends to defend himself on land while imposing on the Americans the immense task of supplying sand reinforcing the small invasion force over great distances. This involves tying up a large American fleet to guerd against a Japanese naval surprise of inadequately escorted convoys to susUM the attack. Jo bring the Japanese main fleet to action on our terms is an Allied necessity. It is not going to be easy.




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