ACTION AMID RUINS

by

DAVID BRIGGS

 

Man is born free and everywhere he is in chains

---Rousseau

 

The author and his ambulance just after hitting
three German teller land mines at the Mareth Line in Tunisia.

 

THE AMERICAN FIELD SERVICE
New York City
1945

Dedicated to

S.J.E.

 

FOREWORD

For the eighteen months during which I was on the high seas, in the battle for North Africa, and in the Italian war zones, I was officially an ambulance driver. But unofficially, I was an interested observer and spectator.

My battle experiences have not been exceptional. My travels have not been overly extensive. Most American Field Service men and U. S. Army soldiers overseas in this war will have seen and experienced as much if not more than I.

What 1 have seen and done, I have put down in this book because millions of American citizens will return to their country when this war is over having observed and felt many of the same things. These American citizens abroad are keen men. The pictures they have formed of foreign lands which will influence their thinking should be known and understood by their fellow citizens at home.

 

                TABLE OF CONTENTS

Chapter
 
  Foreword
   
        PART I: EASTERN SEA FRONTIER

I
Off to the Wars

II
Coasting Dangerously

III
Attacked!

IV
Strange Censorship

V
Through Infested Waters
   
        PART II: THE SLOW CRUMBLING

VI
Land Ho!

VII
Sailing Alone

VIII
Cape Town Hospitality

IX
The Triumvirate

X
Where East Meets West
   
        PART III: THE DESERT WAR

XI
Alamein

XII
The Trek Begins

XIII
Bardia Interlude

XIV
Westward through Nothing

XV
"To the Shores of Tripoli"

XVI
The Mareth Stand

XVII
There Shall Be No Dunkirk!
   
        PART IV: VOYAGING

XVIII
Reunion in Algiers

XIX
Return to Egypt

XX
Journey to Palestine

XXI
"Peace on Earth "
   
        PART V : NEW RUINS AND OLD

XXII
Into Italy

XXIII
The Italian Scene

XXIV
Rebuilding the Ruins


Part One