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Editorial – Rommel Is On The Run.

7 November 1942

Mexborough & Swinton Times – Saturday 07 November 1942

Rommel Is On The Run.

The German Afrika Korps and its satellite Italians are streaming westward in all haste while the British and Imperial Air Forces indulge in an orgy of strafing which will not add to the orderliness of the retreat.

The Nazis put the best face possible on the North African operations for as long as they could, and up to Wednesday night, when a strange silence came over their radio transmitting stations, had rushed out communiques with anxious alacrity to show that the Eighth Army was making negligible headway. Now the irrefutable facts of geography make it hard for the Germans to explain away the fact that they have been decisively ousted from their positions in the Egyptian coastal corridor. The soundness of our revived tactics of artillery bombardment, followed by infantry penetration has been handsomely vindicated, and now the tanks take first place again in the mobile phase which has been reached.

The first serious tank clash has gone in our favour, but the wily Rommel will play for time, and it he can disengage his forces effectively will certainly try to turn and make a stand farther back. There is a long and stony road to travel before he can be run out of Africa, but without indulging in premature optimism we can proudly commend the British and Imperial troops who have smashed the strongly prepared German defences. Their onslaught cut like steel into the enemy lines, and their defence of ground once gained had the unyielding quality of granite.

As yet we are only at the start of what may ultimately prove the most decisive of the African campaigns. General Alexander’s attack is a key which is likely to open a very wide door. The key is well home in the lock now. As it is twisted much will be revealed of what lies beyond.

In the meantime Stalingrad still holds against pitiless German pressure, and the soldiers of the Reich lie writhing and dying in swaths on the banks of the Volga, mercilessly driven forward to redeem their Fuehrer’s promise. Within the Reich itself Hitler can do little more for his bomb-harried people than draw up rules for the regularisation of suffering after the raids that scourge Germany’s cities and mutilate her industries. Across the North Sea Nemesis coils tighter and still tighter the spring which when unleashed will settle the frightful score which the Nazis have piled up against themselves.

And half a world away in the Pacific, American Marines, not a whit less dogged than their British and Imperial comrades, cling defiantly to their hold on the Solomon Islands, showing the Japanese that the counter stroke launched against them several months ago was no mere feint. In New Guinea, Australians are driving the Japanese helter skelter back over the Owen Stanley Mountains. The list is still a modest one, but sufficient to point a marked swing from defensive to offensive.

The United Nations have not yet come fully into their own, but the great Anglo- American dynamo is beginning to hum. The power which it generates has not been fully brought into play, but hard as the times ahead may still be, the signs and portents are more cheerful for the Allied cause than they have been since Britain ceased to fight alone.