Page 5, 19th January 1945

19th January 1945
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Page 5, 19th January 1945 — gal W
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gal W

THE WAR 1 EEK BY II by Captain WEEK '46 End of the War' Offensives? 4.1. Bernard Acworth

LAST week I described the situa

tion 'on all European Front as " 'tense." This week the ten sion on the Western Front has great]; eased, while on the Eastern Front i has given place to a great westwart surge through Southern Poland of Lb, Soviet hosts, How far the Russell tideawill have flowed by the time thi• appears I cannot say. This new often sive must be closely associated wit} Operations in and around Budapest, alIC seems to indicate that the Hungariar campaign is about to be decided again,* the Germans, The stunning blow by Stalin which as I emphasised last week, was expectec at any moment by the Germans ant the Western Allies alike, has beer struck with a vengeance, but I adhere to my view that our main concern should still be with the Anglo-American forces in the West for military as 'well as political reasons, if, that is to say, it is any longer possible to differentiate Sharply between the political and military aspects of the war in Europe.

With regard to the Western Front, the general concensus of expert military comment is that, on balance, Rundstedt's surprising offensive has re. dounded to our advantage rather than to his. It is claimed that the enemy's losses, including prisoners, exceed pur own, and that the minor German offensive in Alsace and Loraine is now ex. posed as a diversion rather than as a serious attempt at a break-through. All the indications, at the time of writing, are in accordance with this estimate, but no harm will be done by a little caution for a few more days. It is unreasonable to degrade Rundstedt from a

military genius to a military fumbler . , until his hand has been fully exposed,

which at present, by common consent, it has not been.

If counting heads and weighing material is a safe guide in estimating the i'ishances of embattled armies Geis many is finished and the Russian onslaught would be rigatly styled, as it is " being styled, an " end-the-war " offensive. But strong natural defencies, manned by desperate fighters, directed by able generals, have,o way of holding out in the face of seemingly overwhelming odds. This is not the first time that the end has seemed, and been proclaimed, to be in sight. Tilts time let us hope there will be less prophesying arfel more patient waiting on events by spectators of this Homeric struggle. '




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