Two articles: 8th Army on heels of fleeing enemy and where can we surrender

SValentineJRM1251404v10023.jpg

Title

Two articles: 8th Army on heels of fleeing enemy and where can we surrender

Description

First article headlines: 8th army on heels of fleeing enemy, prisoners expected soon to number 100000, drive ahead, Montgomery new order to his troops. Account of operations in desert against German and Italian forces. Second article mentions correspondent directing parties of 100 or more Italians asking where they could surrender.

Date

1942-11-08

Temporal Coverage

Language

Type

Format

Two newspaper cuttings mounted on a scrapbook page

Publisher

The Observer
IBCC Digital Archive

Rights

This content is available under a CC BY-NC 4.0 International license (Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0). It has been published ‘as is’ and may contain inaccuracies or culturally inappropriate references that do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the University of Lincoln or the International Bomber Command Centre. For more information, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ and https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/legal.

Identifier

SValentineJRM1251404v10023

Transcription

THE OBSERVER, SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 8, 1942

8th ARMY ON HEELS OF FLEEING ENEMY

Prisoners Expected Soon to Number 100,000

“DRIVE AHEAD”

Montgomery’s New Order To His Troops

From OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT

CAIRO, Saturday.

Britain’s Eighth Army is steadily pushing ahead with the destruction of Rommel’s German-Italian forces in North Africa.

Besides the 20,000 prisoners so far officially stated to have been captured, five Italian divisions – which would normally total some 75,000 men – are trapped, with little or no hope of escape.

Hungry bands of isolated Italians, who know they have been let down by their German allies, are hourly surrendering.

Already hundreds of enemy tanks, guns, and motor vehicles, abandoned in the haste of retreat, have been taken by the British.

Rommel is now very short of armour, but he still commands a fighting force capable of giving a good account of itself.

The Eighth Army has now advanced so rapidly that our mobile forces are operating south of Mersa Matruh, 110 miles west of El Alamein, and our air forces, steadily moving up as the battle line moves on, are heavily strafing the enemy troops and vehicles west of that point and beyond.

WHERE CAN WE SURRENDER?

A BUSY RIFLEMAN’S DILEMMA

WITH THE EIGHTH ARMY, Saturday

Driving along the coast from El Daba to Fuka to-day, writes Reuter’s Special Correspondent, I had the unusual job of directing parties of 100 or more Italians who were disconsolately asking where they could surrender.

All along the road we met long lines of Axis troops, mostly Italians, but with a few Germans, trudging along in a dazed way towards the prisoner camps.

All the evidence shows that the Axis withdrawal from the El Daba and El Alamein area was in the nature of a rout.

The whole country west of El Daba is strewn with abandoned vehicles, burned-out tanks, and bodies. I came across mess tents with their tables still laden with uneaten food and mugs of cold tea.

So rapidly did the Eighth Army advance that large pockets, mainly of Italian troops, were found waiting to be rounded up. All the tracks and roads going east were crammed with Italians driving their own lorries and asking the way to the nearest prisoners’ camps.

SMILING PRISONERS

They were all smiling. Even some of the Germans seemed pleased to be out of the war after the last few days of pounding from the air.

I was stopped by a little Cockney Rifleman with a perplexed look on his face, who asked me to take over about 100 Italians from him as he wanted to get on with another job.

“I don’t know what to do with ‘em,” he complained. “They keep following me about – demanding to be allowed to surrender to me.”

One party of Italians near El Daba aerodrome nervously fired a few shots over the British convoy, but in a few minutes two New Zealand bren gun carriers went into action. Three short bursts of bren gun fire, followed by a few hearty New Zealand words – and the whole party of Italians came streaming out with their hands up.

The effect of the Allied air bombing in the last few days is terrifying to see. The road is littered with burned-out vehicles. El Daba and other aerodromes are strewn with wrecked Messerschmitts.

Citation

“Two articles: 8th Army on heels of fleeing enemy and where can we surrender,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed February 9, 2023, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/20883.

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