Courtesy Reuters

THE spring months brought the war towards a crisis. Since December 7 the strategic situation of the United Nations had deteriorated steadily; and as these words are being written the Axis Powers are mustering their forces for the summer offensives. The decisive months of what is probably the critical year of combat are at hand, with the future course of world history at stake.

Between February and May, Java and Burma were lost to the Japanese; the tragic epic of the Philippines came to its inevitable end; and the war at sea reached a crisis in many ways comparable with some of the worst months of the unrestricted submarine warfare in 1917. As I write, the total American and Philippine casualties -- killed, wounded, prisoners and missing -- number between 75,000 and 100,000. We have lost 41 commissioned naval vessels of various types,[i] and probably about 800 to 1,800 planes in combat (plus possibly an equal number

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  • HANSON W. BALDWIN, military and naval correspondent of the New York Times; author of "The Caissons Roll," "United We Stand!," "Strategy for Victory" and other works
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