(For those who haven't seen my original post, and before this excellent thread gets derailed, "That officer" was Jellicoe) I take your point but to be fair, it's an extract from a much longer interview, with no clue in the text as to his light/very self-depricating tone when dealing with serious issues. I suspect he meant relatively few, rather than none, they were patrolling in the desert after all, not in highly populated areas. He himself was shot and wounded by men who he later thought were Sanussis, and who probably had mistaken his patrol for Germans, so he knew there were people living there. The point still stands though, there was, by many accounts, a different feel towards the enemy in N. Africa at that time. The interview continues... I have no doubt he was aware of the repercussions for all should the Nazis have won.