War in The Desert

The Desert War - Artillery Units were having the highest casualties - and for good reason.

August 4, 1942 – Targets In The Desert – Wild Rumors And Severe Reprisals – August Is A Most Important Month.

War in The Desert
The Desert War – Artillery Units were having the highest casualties – and for good reason.

August 4, 1942 – News Of The World – NBC – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –

August 4, 1942 – News about the Desert war and the possibilities of a Second Front. From Cairo came word that the war in the desert around El Alamein was grinding on. A report that, of most of the units currently seeing action in the Desert, the one receiving the highest rate of casualties were the Artillery units. And the reason was simple; the desert offered no adequate cover or protection against shrapnel and that they were open and in plain sight and subject for everything from snipers, strafing by air and return artillery fire. Aside from the armor protecting the guns themselves, there was no other protection for gun crews and subsequently, losses were high – but also high were the stories of heroism under fire. The Desert war was proving to be unlike any other war being fought in the current conflict.

And the persistent rumors of a Second Front were bringing about wild claims, from RAF leaflet drops over French towns advising partisans to stand by for word from the Allies to an alleged increase of assassinations of German military and sabotage of trains and factories. All this and purported severe reprisals from German officials. London was tight-lipped over any actual plan and this only succeeded in creating more agitation from the Axis.

All this to lead one report to claim August was going to be the most auspicious month of the War. Military observers said that, based on all the action taking place in all the battlefronts this August, it was shaping up being one of the most important and could decide whether it would be a short war or a dragged-out one. Certainly, all eyes were on Russia where many felt August would decide if the Red Army would succeed in keeping Hitler out of the Caucuses and whether or not the German drive had been stopped. It was also believed August would be the month Japan decides to invade Russia or not.

Speculation for a very busy month indeed.

And that’s just a sample of what went on this August 4th in 1942 as reported by NBC’s News Of The World.

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