Sunday, November 30, 2008

Wednesday 28th October 1942

Midday, and hot but – for once – not very dusty. We are well forward – beyond the Jerry minefield in fact – and things are quite lively. The artillery is giving 'em hell, and their guns are doing their best to send hell back. A lot of stuff fell around here last night; first it was 88mm and later there was a little heavier type – 149mm perhaps. It may be that the main clash will occur today. A lot of our armour has moved up and there are reported to be about a 100 Jerry tanks (possibly part of the 15th and 21st Panzar divs.) in the district. Plenty of aerial activity yesterday, but less this forenoon. There are a good many burning vehicles about a mile away. Wonder what Jerry's lines look like?

There was a bit of a panic in the command post when I was there just now, phoning through the ammo return for last night (788 rounds HE and 7 of smoke expended). A regimental target was being ordered and a wireless set had suddenly gone wrong. Bill Bax alone seemed unperturbed. He was rubbing a damp flannel over his face and paused to smile whimsically. Coming near to me, so that he needn't shout, he said, “Hullo Steve. We do see life, don't we?”

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