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Alwyne Diary
©2011 Heather Johnson
November 1942
24th Not quite so cold. Russians still advancing. 24,000 prisoners taken.
23rd Cold and dull. Big Russian victory. Germans cut off at Stalingrad. French West Africa including Dakar comes over to Allies. Heavy raid on Germany. 10 missing.
22nd White frost. Dull and cold, only 40 degrees. Lots of planes going out in evening, lovely and moonlight. Fanny came to tea. Russians have launched offensive NW and SW of Stalingrad.
21st Dull and cold but lovely moonlight evening. Heaviest raid of war on Italy made last night on Turin. Bombs dropped included 54 two tonners and 110,000 lbs of incendiaries. Only 3 missing. Eighth Army has entered Benghazi. Moved climbing roses.
20th Quite a nice day. Lovely mild moonlight evening, went for walk. Been a big force of bombers go out to-night. Germans have evacuated Benghazi. Russians have won big victory in the Caucuses.
19th Very dull all day but milder. Went for walk in evening. Attack on Tunisia has started. British troops now south of Benghazi. Raid on Turin last night, all returned.
18th White frost and cold day. British troops now 75 miles from Benghazi. Paratroops have captured an important aerodrome in Tunisia. (Soul el Arba on 16th November). Dad set bulbs.
17th Cold day. Derna captured. (Eastern Libya). Big naval victory by Americans off Solomons. Japs lose 1 battleship, 5 cruisers, 5 destroyers and 12 transporters. Axis losses in Libya 75,000.
16th Turned colder. Went fire-watching. Dad finished putting up Morrison shelter. Germans pouring forces into Tunisia. Another raid on Genoa. None lost.
15th Dull all day. Church bells rung for African victory this morning. Big air force going out tonight.
14th Lovely sunny day. Hoed lettuces. Top put on Morrison shelter this afternoon. No enemy aircraft been over for a week. Eighth Army has reached Gazala (North Africa) and Allied forces have entered Tunisia. Heavy raid last night on Genoa by Stirlings and Lancasters, none missing. Had a warning since writing this 9.55 - 10.30 p.m. Guns going on coast. One big bang on windows.
13th Dull and cold but no fog. Tobruk recaptured. Proceeding with putting up of Morrison shelter.
12th Foggy nearly all day and cold. Nothing special in way of war news. Dad took down the old tin tabernacle (signifying previous portable/make-shift shelter) and we started to put up the Morrison. (Morrison Air Raid Shelter - introduced in 1941 and named after the Minister for Home Security Mr. Herbert Morrison. Approx 6' 6" long, 4' wide and 2' 6" high, it was a cage made of heavy steel. It was used in the home, the solid top could be used as at table).
11th Not so foggy but white frost. Nice sunny day. More sensational news. German troops have marched into unoccupied France. Corsica occupied and German forces flown to Tunis. Germans say they have forestalled an Allied landing in South France and Corsica expected within 24 hours. Hostilities in Algeria and Morocco have ceased to-day after only 78 hours fighting. Allied forces are rushing to attack Tunis. Churchill has given war review in Parliament. Says Church bells to be rung on Sunday to celebrate victory over Rommel. Our losses in Egypt have been 13,600 and the Axis 59,000. Churchill says there will be big developments within next few days. Vera went to Braintree for day.



The wartime diary of
Alwyne Garling
93 London Road
Lexden
Colchester


brought to us by
Heather Johnson



www.WW2inColchester.com


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