* 6 parts over 7 days.
** Quarterly feature to follow evolution of American reading habits. The Robe looks like the runaway #1 seller in fiction. See Here, Private Hargrove is still doing well in the general category. Guadalcanal Diary is opening fast, making all the lists except Atlanta, New Orleans and L.A. Atl. and N.O. prefer Lees Lieutenants. Here are the earlier lists. They are near the end of the post in each case.
Axis offensive in Tunisia expanding
Monday, February 15, 1943 www.onwar.com
Axis troops filling water containers before the battle [Photo at link]
In Tunisia... Troops under the command of Rommel, now commanding the Italian 1st Army, join the Axis offensive. A detachment of the 15th Panzer Division, along with Italian armor, strikes Gafsa and captures the town. Most of Rommel’s forces are defending the Mareth Line where the last of the rearguard is now arriving from Libya.
Just a general comment regarding the reporting by the NYT. As a conneisseur of the Russo-German War, it has been widely assumed that this titantic struggle was relatively unknown and under-reported in the West. Based on what I’ve seen in the last six months’ editions of the New York Times, I have to say that there is no justification for this view. Often, the Times is giving front page headlines to the War in the East. Of course, the Soviet view is predominant, as western correspondents have no direct access to Berlin. But that is no different than the reporting for El Alamein or Guadalcanal. Even if western reporters are not given the same access in the USSR as they are in the USA or UK, I have to admit the Soviets are releasing fairly complete and accurate reports of the fighting.
The front-line maps are pretty accurate. The names of Soviet commanders are being released to the west. Stalin is not grabbing headlines and hogging all the credit. Even if the Soviet generals are not giving regular press conferences to the western correspondents, I can live with that. They have more important work to do. Also, compared with American censorship of naval battles with the Japanese Navy, I would have to say the Soviets are being just as candid with the progress of their war, if not more so.
At any rate, the average American reader is getting a lot more detail than I had thought.