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WAR

JANUARY 8 T H ,

FLIGHT

24

IN

THE

FRENCH

AIR

1942

INDO C H I N A
SAIGON

and prevented trie enemy machines


from taking off. A couple of Messerschmitts succeeded in getting to grips
with our aircraft and shot down two
of t h e m . F o u r Heinkel n is were shot
down. Our aircraft also silenced some
of the enemy batteries, and one flight
of Blenheims found a convoy off the
coast and sank one ship for certain.
The warships destroyed a number of
other enemy vessels.
The Germans describe this raid as
having only a nuisance value. I t is
more probable t h a t it was a dress rehearsal for n e a t e r operations b y all
three Services in conjunction. Combined operations of this sort may well
develop' into something really big in
the future.

Victorious Russia
r\N
t h e Moscow front the Germans
^ - ' h a v e suffered a h e a v y defeat. They
are not routed, b u t t h e y are in retreat
over country which offers no hopeful
line of resistance, suffering terribly
from t h e cold, and o u t n u m b e r e d in
the air. Troops were brought up from
Cracow, it is said, by air in a vain
a t t e m p t t o stem the Russian advance. I t is reckoned t h a t up to 50
per eent. of their fighter strength has
been withdrawn to F r a n c e to meet the
British sweeps, while of late t h e y have
been massing bombers in Greece,
Crete and Sicily, no d o u b t hoping t o
check General Auchinleck's advance
before the whole of Italian Libya is
lost and the British forces advance up
to the boundaries of French Tunisia.
No wonder t h a t Hitler's New Year
message to the German people was
pitched in a minor key and contained
something like -a prayer t h a t Germ a n y might be saved in the coming
/ear.
.Stiff fighting has continued round
J e \ a b v a , where General Rommel ha-

SCALE IN MILES

lost more of his remaining t a n k s . T h e


losses of the Axis air forces are amazing, a n d airfields have been falling into
the h a n d s of our troops on a wholesale
scale. One very striking incident was
a raid by a regiment of Sikhs on Derna
airfield, which overcame all resistance
and did immense damage. General
Auchinleck has been assaulting Bardia,

and as t h e enemy garrison has no hope


of relief the place must fallperhaps
it will h a v e fallen by t h e time these
words are published. The use of this
port will simplify our supply problems,
which h a v e been growing as our forward troops get farther away from
their base. Benghazi is in our hands,
but t h e port has been much damaged.
At t h e same . t i m e . Middle E a s t
bombers h a v e been raiding air bases
in Greece and Crete. D a m a g e has been
done a t the Piraeus and Heraklion, and
the submarine base at Salamis has also
been bombed. The shade of t h a t brilliant scamp Themistocles must have
rejoiced a t this last-mentioned effort
by the friends of Hellenic freedom.
Tripoli and places on either side of it
are, of course, regularly visited by
our bombers.

In the Pacific

IDENTIFICATION PROBLEM : British troops searching the remains of an enemy


bomber shot down in Libya. Souvenirs will be collected and cherished only to be
thrown away on the first full-pack march.

TN the m e a n t i m e things h a v e been


* less cheerful in the Pacific. Japanese
bombers have raided Rangoon, b u t
lost a high proportion of their n u m b e r
t o Allied
fighters.
T h e American
volunteers who have undertaken t o
guard the B u r m a road helped the
British fighters. There have been
alerts a t Singapore, but the place has
not been knocked a b o u t so far. T h e
R . A . F . bombers h a v e responded by

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