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One Surgeon's Soft War

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I marched with the Eight Army
An excerpt from comments made by Winston Churchill at Tripoli on 5 Feb, 1943.
I must tell you that your fame, the fame of the desert army, has spread throughout the world.
After Tobruk surrendered there were very dark hours, and many people who do not know about us were ready to take a discouraging view. But the events you have achieved have put the British Army on the map and won the admiration of all the troops now engage against the common enemy.
When I was in Casablanca with the President of the United States, it was the arrival of the desert army on Tripoli and the Fact that it had come into play as a great new factor the more than anything else influenced the course of our discussions and opened up hopeful prospects for the future.
Your are entitled to dwell on this fact with that satisfaction which men can feel in their hearts when great work has been finally done.
You have rendered great services to your country and to the common cause.
It must have been a tremendous experience, driving them further say after day over this dessert which it has taken me six and a half hours to fly across.
And the lines come to me of a hymn which you must know:
You nightly pitched your moving tents
A days march nearer home.
Yes, not only in the geographic sense, but in the sense that what you have done undoubtedly gives goof grounds for the home that the war itself may be shortened and home may come nearer to all than before could have been hoped.
I am here to thank you on behalf of His Majestys Government, of the people of the British Isle and of all those people throughout the British Empire and the and the world who have followed your marches and your actions. I do so from the bottom of my heart.

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