National Geographic : 1943 Jul
The National Geographic Magazine U. S. Army Signal Corps from Acme Army Nurses on a Day Off Bargain with an Algiers Salesman for a Necklace Lieutenants Helen Hinckley (left) and Florence Christman are authorized to wear the trinket only with evening dress, unlikely equipment in North Africa. In place of blues, too easily spotted by the enemy, Army nurses have been promised a new dress uniform of olive drab. When Lt. Bernice Wilbur nursed wounded Lt. Gen. Lesley J. McNair in an evacuation hospital, she wore men's coveralls and G. I . boots. Director of the nursing service for the North African theater, she has been promoted to lieutenant colonel. The massive jowl of II Duce has long deco rated walls along with some of the dictator's epigrams, which must now offer cold comfort in the light of recent events: Believe, obey, fight. Many enemies mean much honor. Better to live a day like a lion than a hun dred years like a lamb. Europe will be Fascist tomorrow through the logical development of events. Ostrich Feathers, Ivory, Ebony, Dates But behind this braggadocio is another Tripoli. It is the neglected native city, a maze of squalid, twisting tunnels ten feet wide that grope beneath the decaying buildings of Arabs and Jews. The wealth that was once here has gone into the pockets of the black shirted Fascists of the new city of marble and brass. Gold dust, ostrich feathers, ivory, ebony, cotton, dates, pour into Tripoli from the camel caravan routes across the Libian Desert. A good trail connects Tripoli with Lake Chad. The trek from Tripoli to the Egyptian border has been the road of death for many thousands of Allied and Axis soldiers. Added to the hazards of battle are the dangers of thirst, starvation, exhaustion, burn ing heat, and bitter cold. Supply lines are perilously long. The road often disappears and trucks go by compass across the wastes. To get lost, or left behind by your convoy, may mean very bad luck. Every sign of a track may be wiped out by the blowing sand. When a car runs out of gas, the driver must walk. Hyenas and jackals hover at a respect ful distance waiting for him to fall. Bandits are plentiful because of the impoverished con dition of the Bedouin tribes.