The War Illustrated No 145 Vol 6 January 8th 1945

GERMAN OFFICER, his Iron Cross promin­ently displayed ,his head bowed and hands raised in token of submission ,gives himself up to Allied troop sin Tunisia. .Photo, Associated Press the Moscow front are very moderate, nor have additions to the numbers taken in the first break-through on the Stalingrad front, when mass surrenders took place, been large. With the Russians steadily gaining ground the numbers of killed should also easily be ascertainable, and Mr. Cholerton states that no estimates are made of the considerable numbers of killed behind the German front. In the'heavy infighting those parts of the front where attack and counter-attack are constantly being delivered without much gain of ground, the mortality rate on both sides must be very high, and the process of attrition rapid but the Russians for a number o f reasons would seem more likely to stand the strain on their morale. The Germans in general are better placed as regards rail­way communications but where,as at Stalin­grad and Rzhev, rail­ways have been lost, th rest a i non the Luftwaffe transport service is clearly be­coming great, and the destruction of trans­port aircraft avery serious matter, made all the more serious by the diversion of trans­port planes to the Mediterranean. On the Stalingrad front, though Russian progress has been slowed down, the situation for the Germans shows no sign of improvement. There are few indications that they have mustered a relief army sufficiently strong to breakthrough the Russian ring. Though a fairly powerful force appears to be forming at Kotelnikovo, its main object at present is probably to check a further Russian advance towards that important centre : Kotelnikovo would evidently provide an advanced base for any attempt made from the south to re­establish communication with the encircled army. T f relief operations are undertaken, they A will most probably be from the south, with the Novorossisk-Kotclnikovo-Stalingrad rail­way as their axis. The Russians on that side, lacking good communications and not easily reinforced, can hardly be in great strength. Moreover, the obstacle of the Don would be avoided. Relief operations by the railway on the north bank of the Don are less likely, for in addition to having to force the passage of the Don they would be exposed to a flank attack by powerful Russian forces from the north. Further­ ISM U RAT A ,on the coastal road to Tripoli and situated some 300 miles N .W .of gAEl h e ila ,has a population of about 45,000. By Dec. 17,1942 the fleeing A frik a K orps was hearing the town .This photo shows Italian troop sin the main street. Photo, .N.AE .more, the Germans are anxious about a threatened Russian offensive south of Voronezh, and are probably holding reserves in readiness to meet it should it be launched. The whole situation on the Stalingrad front is made the more obscure because it is never made clear whether German counter-attacks reported have been made from outside the ring or by troops within it. On the Moscow front the fierceness and frequency of German counter-attacks show the enemy’s determination to hold onto positions threatened with isolation, and to avoid at all costs a withdrawal to straighten his front—a determination based no doubt on the recollection of just how disastrous the withdrawals made last winter really were. FAR EAST The taking of Buna points to the elimination of the Japanese foothold in Papua, but it also reveals the fanatical courage Japanese troops can display. If the same spirit pre­vails throughout the Japanese army, the prospects of a quick recovery of our lost territory would be poor indeed. But the Japanese have been known to crack, and there is reason to believe that the garrison of Buna was a picked force. It must be realized, too, that the attacking troops were desperately handicapped by ground and weather conditions, and were unable to develop superiority in armament. mach in e-gu n n er opens afire Sat tuk a during the Libyan fighting. The snake-like a m ­munition belt moves a t great speed through the gun. Photo, Associated Press T R IPO LI, capital o f Trip olitan ia, has for the past two years been the chief port through which Axis forces inN .Africa have drawn their supplies. Allied air attacks were concentrate don the dock sand military buildings. Trip oli's population o f about 110,000 is equally divided between Italian sand Arabs. Here is an aerial view o f the city. O then right, jutting into the h arb our, is the old Castle. PAGE 451 -Photo, Keystone In the Solomons the situation seems to be satisfactory, especially in the air and the Japanese have lost more ships in fruitless manoeuvres. Papua* New Britain, and the Solomons have a heavy rainfall at all seasons, but November to April (summer in those latitudes) is the wet season and extensive operations will presumably be postponed till the drier conditions maybe expected.
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