Near Alexandria, Egypt

Cairo to Algiers
endless blowing sand, and years
of sweat, blood, and tears

Near Alexandria, Egypt | March 1943

Near Alexandria, Egypt

While driving a recently repaired ambulance from Cairo to our assigned post with the British 12th Light Field Ambulance (LFA) at Marble Arch, the ambulance broke down again. We arranged for it to be fixed and hitched a ride with a friendly British officer in three-ton truck in a supply convoy. We lay comfortably on top of the cargo, which may have been explosives, and looked backward out through the open canvas truck cover, watching the desert unfold: from flat gravel with sparse grass, cactus, and desert shrubs, to rolling sand dunes with an occasional oasis. Sometimes we came close enough to see the waves of the Mediterranean and feel the cool, humid sea breeze, but most of the time it was just hot, dry, and dusty. I hated to see the desert strewn with an unbelievable array of war detritus: destroyed military vehicles and war junk, evidence of two and a half years of prolonged, deadly, and violent fighting—a deadly soccer game. The native people were wise to stay out of sight and let our crazy war storm past.

Fragments of Peace in a World at War