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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - October 13, 1971, Lethbridge, Alberta 44 THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD Wednesday, Ottober 13, 1971 Doubt prevails Was Alexander top strategist? By H.AHOLD MORRISON LONDON (CP) Courteous and courageous, the late Field Marshal Earl Alexander of Tunis has often been de- scribed as the most popular allied commander of the Sec- ond World War. But while a British col- league agrees with this view, he finds the shadow that re- mains is whether Alexander, who crowned his career by becoming Governor-General of Canada, was as great a strategist as he was a natural leader of men. Lt.-Gen. Sir William Jack- son, who fought under Alexan- der in Italy, suggests in a new appraisal that while the im- peccable professional soldier was one of the great com- manders of his age, he lacked originality of thought and tended to overestimate stra- tegic possibilities. He knew what Prime Minis- ter Churchill wanted, Jackson says in his book Alexander of Tunis "Whether consciously or is little evidence to show provided the arguments which the patron wanted and in so doing gave his arnu'es tasks which they could only carry out if all went well." TWICE RIGHT Alexander's strategic esti- mates proved correct on only two occasions in Italy, says Jackson, currently com- mander of the British Army's Northern Command. They were before the important Diadem offensive to capture Rome and the battle of the Po. "In all his other operations during the Italian campaign the achievements of his army group fell short of his expec- tations. The Americans can rightly claim that it was his rose-tinted views which led Churchill so often into head-on collisions with (President) Roosevelt and (General) Mar- shall." These criticisms, adds Jack- son, do not mean Alexander failed in Italy. He succeeded "in a most remarkable way." Yet even his success in smashing the German de- fences was tinged with some disappointment. Alexander wanted to exploit the offensive by driving through northern Italy Into eastern Europe, to advance on Vienna. But Alexander's desire to beat the Russians into Vienna was "too eccentric" for Roos- evelt's geometry, says Jack- son. Roosevelt wanted a straight western drive into the heart of Germany quoting his early geometry that a straight line is the shortest distance between two points. Later Prime Minister Har- old Macmillan was to exclaim "how different might the story have been" if in 1944 Al- exander had been allowed to follow his strategic plan which might have prevented the later partition of Europe. But Alexander was a good loser. He was the British Army commander who had to strengthen the spirit of his men during the disastrous re- treats from Dunkerque in 1340 and Rangoon in 1942. "He was the right man to command a diversionary says Jackson, who fought in the capture of Rome and later served in Al- exander's headquarters. "Most men faced with the disappointments he suffered would have resigned or al- lowed the campaign to drift into a listless stalemate. Alex- ander continued to do his best without recrimination." Military analj-sts have shown repeated fascination with the attempt to compare Alexander with his more flamboyant subordinate. Field Marshal Viscount Montgo- mery of the Eighth Army de- sert fame. Jackson draws no judgment. "The casting of Alexander and Montgomery in their re- spective roles was near-per- lie maintains. "Montgo- extreme and just what the Eighth Army needed to set it on the path to victory. Alexan- balanced and equally well chosen to chair the Middle East commanders-in-chief committee, to draw together the military and political lead- ers in Cairo and to handle the problems of the great mixture of the human race which made up the sprawling British Middle East base. "The differences in the two men's characters c o m p 1 e- mented each other while then- ideas ran in parallel." Australian PM favors U.S. visit By VINCENT MATTHEWS CP Correspondent CANBERRA Prime Minister William McMahon of Australia can escape from his domestic political problems he would like to visit Washington soon to re-establish the close accord that marked U.S.-Aus- tralian relations a few years ago. He would, say Canberra re- ports, wish to do this in direct talks wiUi President Nixon. Any such visit would be timely for there is an increasing trend in Australia to regard the United States as no longer the close and reliable ally it was back in 1966 when President Johnson made his dramatic visit to this country. During that visit, Lyndon Johnson brought out on to the streets of Australian cities the biggest crowds ever seen to welcome any world figure even beating the enthusiasm shown for visits by queens and kings from Britain. Australian prune minister at the time was Harold Holt who established an extraordinarily warm relationship with LBJ. But Holt was drowned in the sea off the southern Victorian coast in December, 1967, and his successor, John Grey Gor- ton, during his visit to Wash- ington the following year, failed to carry on where Harold Holt left off. OFFENDED LBJ Gorton was less effusive, a tougher negotiator and made it plain only weeks after taking office in January, 1968, that no more Australian troops would be sent to Vietnam. This hardly endeared him to Johnson at the time soon after the Tet of- fensive in South Vietnam. With the election of Richard Nixon and the new doctrine of Asians helping themselves seen in Australia as a clear in- dication of the U.S. withdrawal militarily from Southeast Asia the chilly feelings between Canberra and Washington have grown. The cornerstone of Austral- ia's foreign policy is still the A.N'XUS treaty, which is re- garded in Canberra as a guar- antee of American help in the case of any threat to this coun- try. But the shape and form of any such help seems increas- ingly vague as American mili- tary power withdraws from the area. Apart from the military and political implications of the cooling off in relations, busi- ness dealings have taken on a sour note, too. The arrangements between Australia's national airline Qantas and airlines in the United States over flying rights of jumbo jets across the Pacif- ic have been widely interpreted here as a complete capitulation to American demands. Qantas was initially refused landing rights in the United States for its jumbos because of Australia's refusal to allow extra American flights to Syd- ney and Melbourne. As Qantas gains nearly 30 per cent of its revenue from its Pacific route, the ban was re- garded as a disastrous blow to the Australian airline's opera- tions. A top-level mission led by the director-general of civil aviation, Sir Donald Anderson, flew to the United States to ne- gotiate. But the final agreement provided for two extra flights a week for American Airlines to Melbourne and an extra flight for Pan-Am. Qantas was allowed four flights a week to the United States but because of technical problems caused by the initial ban these flights cannot begin until Jan. 19, three months later than intend- ed. It was hardly a novel experi- ence for Australian negotiators! to find themselves outgunned and out-manoeuvred by Ameri- cans or so it was felt in Canberra. Kver since Australia ordered the F-111 fighter bomber from General Dynamics in I9M, nu- merous missions have been sent to the United Slates to try to sort out price and reliability problems of the aircraft. In fact, the cost of sending these missions IMS itself be- come a major item of Austral- ian government spending. Zeller's 39th C 8 PICE FREE A PAIR OF PANTY HOSE TO THE FIRST 50 CUSTOMERS THURSDAY and FRIDAY October 14 and 15 LADIES7 SKI JACKETS -100% Nylon Lining -100% Polyester Padding REG. 13.86 EACH 9.94 LADIES7 FORTREL PULL-ON PANTS -All Fall Colors -Sizes 10 to 20 Reg. 8.99 PAIR 6.94 FREE CARNATION TO THE FIRST 50 LADIES SHOPPING AT ZELLER'S Saturday, October 16 LADIES7 PILE SLIPPERS -Washable By Hand -Sizes S, M, L. PAIR 1.44 FREE 19" JUST CASH YOUR FAMILY ALLOWANCE CHEQUE AT ZELLER'S You Could Be The Lucky Winner DRAW TUES., OCT. 26 GIRLS7 QUILT DUSTERS -Rose, Pink, Maize -Sizes 8 to 14 EACH 3.33 LADIES7 PRINT ARNEL TOPS -100% Arnel -Sizes 10 to 18 Reg. 8.88 EACH 6.94 BOYS7 PILE LINED SKI !T Sizes 8 to 14 Reg. 9.96 EACH 7.94 FREE 100 GALLONS OF GAS COURTESY OF ROY-Al SHELL SERVICE AND ZELLER'S COUNTY FAIR You Could be the Lucky Winner! DRAW TUES., OCT. 26 MEN'S PILE LINED SKI JACKETS -100% Nylon Shell REG. 10.88 EACH 8.94 MEN'S HEAVY DUTY FLETTE HUNTING SHIRTS and Blue Plaids -Sizes EACH 2.44 ...Satisfaction Guaranteed! located In the South Lethbridge Shopping Centre on Mayor Magrath Drive. Open Daily 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday ond Friday 9 a.m. lo 9 p.m. Telephono 328-8171 ;