17 AUGUST 1944, Page 4

The news that a considerable number of millions of maps

of Berlin have been printed for the use of the British troops no doubt argues a wise prevision, but there seems little likelihood that the maps will ever be required, except perhaps for the convenience of the forces of occupation. For unless the war takes a very unexpected turn, there will be no capture of the German capital from the West. The Russian armies are well ahead in the race for that particular objective, and so far, at least, they are making the better pace. The entry into Berlin may, of course, be an agreed affair if Germany has surrendered unconditionally before any hostile army reaches the capital. In that case all the elements for a dramatic spectacle would be present. Nothing could be more impressive than that the Russians should march up the Unter den Linden and British and Americans, approaching from Charlottenburg, make a junction with their Eastern Allies in the Pariser Platz in the shadow of whatever remains of the Brandenburger Tor. But if Berlin is to be taken by assault, it would be no bad thing on psychological grounds that the operations should be carried out by the Russians— as there is every prospect that they will be.

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