Monday, October 06, 2008

Friday 18th July 1941

All quiet in this sector except for that blasted gun which fires on the harbour. (The enemy actually has the harbour under observation, from some high ground on the coast.) Each time the harbour gun fires, it is answered by a hail of shells from our 25 pounders and some 60 pounders in our rear. (When the 60 pounders fire, right over us, there;s a great “Boom-dum!” as though the side of the wadi has fallen in.) Of course, they move the harbour gun about and our salvoes can't be very effective as, otherwise, I'm sure the enemy gun would cease firing.

News tonight: Signs of Japan getting ready for another adventure. (Their war with China has now entered it's fifth year!) Syria has now given in altogether and is to all intents and purposes a British colony. German columns thrusting at Moscow and Leningrad. Very heavy fighting. Berlin states that in Russia 9½ million troops are engaged in the biggest war in history. (My God! Much depends on the outcome of the struggle there!) Heavy RAF raids on Germany continue and the enemy air activity over Blighty is still very slight.

To break the monotony, I'm going to introduce a new chapter title in this diary. The next part will be called “KHAMSIN”. In this part of the world one sees the shimmering haze most of the day, most of the year – when it's not dusty! It isn't, as in England, phenonoma peculiar to summer afternoons. “Khamsin” is the name of a wind which sometimes (not very often, thank God!) blows from the heart of the desert. It is like a furnace blast and always sends the shade temperature soaring above 100 degrees.

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