2 OCTOBER 1942, Page 1


HE battle for Stalingrad continues with unabated ferocity among the debris of ruined houses and more substantial houses d factories which afford strong points for defence. The Russians ye held their grOund in most parts of the city, but the enemy made me progress in the north-west. They appear to have succeeded bringing up more artillery, including perhaps some of the heavy lege guns used at Sebastopol ; but, on the other hand, to the ground rtillery which they use so effectively the Russians are able to add the s of gunboats on the Volga which can be quickly moved from point to point. The powerful Soviet counter-attack to the north- west which has reached the river Don and is dealt at the left flank of the salient caused by the advance on Stalingrad continues to make headway. If it is scarcely likely to cut the communications of the German spear-head it is nevertheless effective in that it can scarcely fail to draw off forces which would otherwise have been directed against Stalingrad. There is fighting on a severe scale in many sectors of the long front in the Rzhev area, at Voronezh and south- east of Leningrad, and of course also in the Caucasus region, where the Russians are more than holding their own except in the terek valley, where they have had to yield some ground. With battles on such a scale involving so many areas of their long line it is not surprising that the Russians should call out for the opening of a second front in Europe. But till that demand can be satisfied it must never be -forgotten that by circuitous routes we are main- taining an army in Egypt where at any moment a new battle may Hare up, another army in India, others in Syria and Persia, and yet another still engaged in operations in Madagascar. The Australians and Americans, of course, are at grips with the Japanese in the Pacific. The battle on the oceans is ceaseless—there the front is everywhere, and the toll of lives and material is heavy indeed. It is a battle which counts for even more than the defence of Stalingrad.