News weeks past: The Russians break through

When future military experts want to define that much-used word "breakthrough", they will probably choose the current Russian offensive on the central front as an outstanding example. There the Red Army had achieved a breakthrough in the fullest sense. It had smashed the defences – both in line and in depth – and crashed through to the enemy rear. The thousands encircled in the Nazi defence system died or surrendered. From Dvinsk to Vilna and Kovel, the survivors had no choice but to "fight their way back", as the German communiqué put it, to the next line of resistance. And the speed of the Russian advance surpassed all previous records: 30 to 40 miles a day as compared with the 16 miles a day that the Germans averaged during the first month of their invasion of Russia.