Hutchinson's Pictorial History of the War, Series 22 No 1

HUT CHIN SON’S PICT O RIAL HISTORY OF THE WAR What is going to bethe next German move ?My own view is that the enemy will attempt moreno than a delaying inaction Southern Italy. I cannot seethe Germans, with Italian resistance collapsing and Italy perhaps actually hostile to their troops, tying up large forces to positions at the end of such exceedingly pro- carious lines of communication as those which rundown the length of Italy. From Rome southwards the railways are practically limited to two, one on either side of the Apennines, and both as a rule very close to the sea. 1 think that would be too great a risk. On the other hand the Germans would obviously like to keep the Allies out of Lombardy and the Po basin if they could. To do that they might establish aline across the Northern Apennines, where the mountains turn more lessor cast and west instead of north and south. If they could defend such aline it would not only keep us out of the rich Po valley but also cover most of the principal Italian ports except Naples. If they found that impossible in an Italy which had submitted to the terms of the Allies, or had dissolved into chaos because her Government could not makeup its mind in time whether to submit or not, then the Germans might confine themselves to a less ambitious defence pro­ gramme. They might go farther back and cover only the approaches to the Brenner, the great plateaux like the Trentino, which were the scene of so many battles in the last war, and the Istrian peninsula, to her the doorway into Yugoslavia. Whatever they do the Balkans will cause some head scratching. How are they going to replace the Italian garrison in the Balkans— avast army of occupation of upwards of 30 divisions only a few weeks ago ?They are getting their hirelings, the Bulgarians, to take 011 more of their dirty work, but it is out of the question for the Bulgarians to take the place of more than half of the Italian Army. The German reserves are not yet brought to action but they are certainly being stretched, and this process will continue, though I am not suggest­ing that all this will happen at once. I am not going to speculate in detail upon future allied strategy. It is, however, reasonable to expect— and this must be as apparent to the Germans as to ourselves— that our next moves arc likely to take place in the Mediterranean, where wc have assembled such great resources and have at our disposal such considerable numbers of trained and experienced divisions. It must be clear to all that we have not yet got to grips with the inner kernel of the problem which con­fronts us, the defeat of the powerful forces which garrison Germany herself. A hard road 011 which there must be heavy fighting lies ahead of us before that process can be begun. But when I last gave the war commentary I had to consider the possibility of our offensive being adversely influenced by a successful German inoffensive Russia this summer. That risk has been removed, and its absence makes a great .difference. Russia has played a splendid part in forwarding allied prospects by her defeat of the Kursk offensive and by her present counter­offensive resulting in the magnificent capture of Orel. [3 LA NDIN G-CRAFT HEADING FOR SICILY Crowded with troops this landing-cratt is about to land its human cargo 011 011c ot the Sicilian beaches. Hundreds of similar craft were used in the well-organised invasion of the island on 10th July
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