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FROM THE ANTHOLOGY: From the Archives: Dispatches: America at War

America at War: December 1942 -- May 1943

Courtesy Reuters

THE history of the last six months of conflict has been, in general, a history of Allied success. The victories have been indecisive and preliminary, it is true, but they have been victories nevertheless. And Tunisia and Attu will stand with the Russian winter campaign in the Don bend and the Ukraine and with the continuing air attacks upon Germany as representative of the first important offensive victories yet achieved by the United Nations in this war. The strategic initiative has passed to Allied hands; we have reduced important enemy outpost positions; and we now are ready to prepare an assault upon the enemy's "main line of resistance." The hardest battles are yet to come, but the indispensable preliminary victories have been won.

The American part in the defense of Stalingrad and the subsequent transformation of the Russian retreat into a Russian advance is illustrative of the little publicized but important aid which the United States is giving to its Allies in all quarters of the world. That aid is moral and material. The enthusiastic moral support of the American people unquestionably was a factor in the dark days of the late summer and fall of 1942, when the deep German drive into Russia must have sorely tried not alone the confidence of the Red Army and the Russian people, but more particularly the resolution of the Russian leaders. The material aid furnished by the United States also was -- and continues to be -- a not inconsiderable factor in the Russian victories. American planes, some of them probably flown to Russia, American motor vehicles by the thousand, American food, American raw materials, and many, many items of American industrial and military equipment helped to keep Russia fighting and aided her in preparing during the spring of 1943 for the summer resumption of large-scale operations.

A more direct and obvious American contribution toward victory, however, was our intervention in North Africa in November 1942, and our participation in the six months of Tunisian fighting

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