Blood and Essentials

To 5,372 U.S. doorsteps, since March 16, when the Allied drive in Tunisia began, came the unwanted telegrams, with the feared news: killed, wounded, missing in faraway Africa.

The people whose hands opened the messages, and whose eyes read them, a few days later read a statement made by War Secretary Henry L. Stimson. On the performance of U.S. troops in the Tunisian campaign, the Secretary said: "Inferences which have been made from the facts by commentators and others in the press have not been quite fair to the American troops."

There had not been many such inferences. The Secretary's defensive statement...

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