Sunday, November 30, 2008

Wednesday 4th November 1942

They called me at 5:45a.m. for the W/T netting at 6a.m. I stood up in bed – ie. in my slit trench – and it seemed very much like some peoples' idea of hell. Guns were firing furiously all over the place, but dust obscured the view, so that one could see no flashes. All I saw was an opaque wall of dust, about 50 yards away in each direction. A bleak, dead waste. Empty. But the air was full of noise – a steady thudding of guns. When the mediums fired, there was a light pressure upon my eyes and ears. And overhead was a soft sighing, as our shells flew westwards in a long stream. Surely something like the cold deadness of one's conception of purgatory?
This was a deadly day. Made two advances. The flies got worse as we pushed on into enemy territory.

Information: “The enemy is cracking. He is trying to extricate his main forces, leaving a thin screen in his rear. Dense columns of MT are pouring westwards from Daba. Every available RAF plane is being used to bomb and strafe those areas...”

We found a fine Jerry dug out in the evening and had visions of a snug night – there was a candle, and black out arrangements. But at dusk we had to move. Damn! There was just time for some supper! And eventually we moved only about a mile and then stopped and dispersed.

Slept by our trucks. No digging.

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