23 FEBRUARY 2002, Page 35

Soldiering on

From Mr Hairy Whitbread Sir: I refer to Bruce Anderson's article ('Is this how bin Laden escaped?', 16 February), about the difference between the US and the British attitudes to war. Rumour has it that the British forces referred 'affectionately' to the bra Bora cave complex as the 'Tara Palmer' caves, and that the Americans nicknamed it the 'Valley of Death' (or something similar). Perhaps military psychology can be explained by a nation's soldiers' sense of humour, or lack of it, in testing circumstances.

Harty Whitbread

London SW11