LONDON (Aug. 12)
With the steady advance of the Nazi armies in the Caucasus, British military experts today indicated that the danger for Palestine, Syria and Egypt may become even more serious since the occupation of the Caucasus by the Nazis may open for them new strategic opportunities for air-and-land attacks on Syria.
Opinion is expressed here that the present lull on the Egyptian front is due partly to the fact that General Rommel, commender of the Nazi army there, is awaiting the outcome of the battle for the Caucasus. German victory in the Caucasus may lead to a Nazi pincer drive on Syria, Palestine and the Suez Canal through Persia and Irak timed with the renewal of offensive activities on the part of Cen. Rommel’s forces in Egypt, it is believed.
“The present lull in Egypt cannot be expected to last for long,” Brigadier General H.S. Sewell writes. He takes the pessimistic view that “it will take many weeks, even months, for fresh British reinforcements and heavy equipment to reach Egypt from England and America, while the Axis can meanwhile reinforce and re-equip their army in Africa over what, in comparison, is a very short line of communication.”
NEWS FROM EGYPT INSPIRE NO OPTIMISM, BRITISH GENERAL SAYS
Declaring that “there is little in the news from Egypt to inspire undue optimism as to the general situation,” Brigadier General Bewell emphasizes that the Nazi army on the Egyptian front, though checked, is nevertheless not beaten. “Further attempts by the invader to reach the Nile valley are likely to follow soon,” he warns.
Pointing out that the supply of ammunition in a vital factor for both armies in Egypt, the British general says: “Axis supply routes have been subjected to heavy air attacks, but it is doubtful if more than a small proportion of ammunition and gasoline has been destroyed by serial bombing. Trucks are small targets, they can move almost anywhere in the desert, and there are no bridges and few defiles on which transport need converge. At this time of the year, too, the ground is frequently hidden from the air by sandstorms.”
General Charles de Gaulle, head of the Fighting French, arrived yesterday in Syria to inspect his fighting forces there. Together with British military leaders, he will make a tour of inspection as for as the Syrian-Turkish frontier. He will then proceed to Cairo to discuss with the British military commend further measures of defense for Syria from possible Nazi attacks.