Sunday, November 30, 2008

Monday 9th November 1942

We are now in a bivouac area near Mersa Matruh. No cosy deep holes here! It was bitterly cold, lying on the deck last night; the wind seemed to drive right through my four blankets. We came here yesterday in response to an SOS but now we don't seem to be needed after all.

Conditions on the road between Fuka and Sidihanaish were quite fantastic. Vehicles were sometimes standing nose-to-tail, two deep, for stretches a mile long. One could not get off the road as heavy rains the previous day had turned parts of the desert into a vast bog. Luckily the Luftwaffe did not come! All along the road was grim evidence of what the RAF had done to Rommel's retreating forces a few days earlier. Bullet riddled trucks, burnt out wrecks...

Heard a bit of news tonight. Our forward forces are past Sidi Barrani and the enemy is still retreating.
French West Africa (Vichy territory) has suddenly been invaded by the Americans at several points. Algiers is already in their hands!


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