17 AUGUST 1944, Page 4

I have some sympathy with a correspondent who protests against

the perpetual misuse of the word " shambles," so consistently invoked by war correspondents as a fitting description for villages reduced by bombing and shelling to piles of rubble. The description might, it is true, be justified if the destruction was accompanied by abnormal bloodshed, but mention is rarely made of that. What " shambles " means is simply a slatighter-house, or figuratively " a place of carnage or wholesale slaughter ; a scene of blood." Some of the Jewish concentration camps in Poland might well be called

shambles (though in fact the wholesale slaughter is usually blood. less); places like Cassino or Aunay are not to be .properly described.