20 DECEMBER 1940, Page 12

THE FUTURE OFFENSIVE SIR, —Mr. Curell's letter under the above heading

in your issue of December 13th seems to me to have missed the point of the para- graph in your Editorial Notes of September 6th to which he refers. You then suggested that the Brass Hats were starving Sir A. Wavell in order to build up a great army for the invasion of Germany. You made the analogy of the Loos campaign of September, 1915, not very happily, for the Brass Hats were to a man opposed to that campaign, and in answer to their remonstrances they received a direct order from His Majesty's Government to comply with Joffre's plans. You will, I think, agree that the Brass Hats have not done so badly in reinforcing General Wavell, despite the fact that three months before last September our Expeditionary Force in France had lost almost the whole of its equipment.

If we had today enough trained and equipped men (i) to reinforce the Greeks and enable them to drive the Italians into the Adriatic ; (ii) to inflict a decisive defeat on Graziani's army in Libya ; (iii) to force the isolated Italian army in Abyssinia to surrender, while at the same time providing adequately for home defence, we should be able to go a long way towards forcing Italy out of the war, thereby releasing the Mediterranean Fleet for the protection of our sea communications. This would have greater effect than any amount of bombing. Unfortunately, we have not yet got the required number of trained and equipped troops for this. The case for reducing the Army does not for these reasons seem to me to be a zo West Road, Cambridge.