General Sir Henry Maitland "Jumbo" Wilson, GOC [General Officer Commanding] of British Troops Egypt, suggested to Bagnold that he would find the men he wanted in the New Zealand Division. "The commander-in-chief has told me about this job of yours," said Wilson. "Sheep farmers should suit you, I think. I'll sound out General Freyberg. These people aren't very keen on serving with 'pommies,' as they call us, but his division has arrived without its weapons, which were sunk at sea." Wilson set up a meeting.
Armed with a detailed list of his requirements, Bagnold went to the New Zealand camp near Cairo. The bulky, battle-scarred "Tiny" Freyberg, with his unsurpassed fighting record in the First World War, was an almost-legendary hero to his own men, and he guarded their fortunes in turn with vigilance. His initial reaction was hostile. He was reluctant to lose his battalion commanders their best men, for this was in effect what Bagnold was asking. Fate, however, had made him the friend and confidant of Percy Hobart during the latter's bitter struggle for strategic mobility. Hobart's ideas had rubbed off on Freyberg, who was also mobility-minded, and Bagnold's proposal was for mobility on a previously unimagined scale. Freyberg gave in. "All right," he said, "You can have them, but only temporarily mind you." As Bagnold left, Freyberg shot after him, "I shall expect them back."
Freyberg's circular to his division calling for "volunteers for an undisclosed but dangerous mission" produced more than a thousand applicants. Freyberg selected two officers from these, Captain Bruce Ballantine and Lieutenant Steele, and told them to pick their own team. When the little army arrived in Cairo, the modified trucks were just beginning to emerge from the workshops. The New Zealanders' initial suspicion of English officers increased when they were received by a major and two captains who seemed to them to be somewhat elderly, greying gentlemen. Qualms were quickly supplanted by enthusiasm as they learned what they were to do, saw the equipment they were to do it with, and how everything had been thought out in meticulous detail.
Under Bill Kennedy Shaw's instruction, the six navigators-to-be quickly learned how to use the sun compass on the move, to plot dead-reckoning courses and to fix their nightly position by the stars. Unexpected help came from one of the volunteers, Private Dick Croucher, who admitted to being an ex-Merchant Navy officer with a first mate's ticket. Like many other New Zealand soldiers he had concealed his qualifications for fear of having to spend the war on a busman's holiday.
Within the six weeks' time-limit set by Wavell, Major Bagnold was ready with three patrols. Dumps of supplies had been made at Ain Dalla near the Sand Sea crossing as part of their cross-country driving instruction. Another dump had been made at Siwa Oasis to the north of the Sand Sea, whence Pat Clayton had already reconnoitered a second route into inner Libya. With two trucks and five picked New Zealanders, he had penetrated southwards over the hundred-mile-wide north-western arm of the sands. Clayton also discovered and crossed another vast dune field, little realizing that twenty years later a rich oil field would be located beneath this barrier.
Wavell came personally to say goodbye to the patrols. The great general obviously loved adventurous enterprises, and his weathered face wore a subtle grin as he looked over his "mosquito columns" as he called them. "The old man looks as if he's dying to come with us himself," said a New Zealand trooper.
On September 5, 1940, the patrols slipped out of Cairo in secret. Lest the delicate sand structure of the passes over the dunes might not stand the disturbance of so many wheel tracks, two patrols commanded by Clayton and Steele drove to Siwa Oasis. They made a double journey south over Clayton's new intra-dune route to make a dump on the enemy side at Clayton's Cairn, the marker built by the surveyor ten years previously. The third patrol, commanded by Captain Mifford, with Bagnold, Intelligence Officer Bill Shaw and Adjutant Ballantine drove to Ain Dalla, to cross the Sand Sea directly from east to west. Graziani's huge Italian army was already advancing along the coast road to invade Egypt. Siwa Oasis and its dump would probably fall into enemy hands shortly, closing the newer route to Inner Libya from the north. Everything therefore depended for future operations on the practicability of the Ain Dalla route, crossing the dune ranges at right angles. The burden of finally proving his conception thus rested squarely on Bagnold's shoulders. If he failed, he would fail Wavell at a time when a bluff might be as effective as fifty thousand soldiers in the field -- forces that Wavell did not now have.
The patrol quickly reached Ain Dalla, a deserted artesian spring on the eastern side of the sands, two hundred jolting miles from Cairo. The dump was intact. The absence of fresh camel tracks indicated that its existence was still a secret.
After a short rest, refueling and loading up from the dump, the patrol set out for the great dunes a few miles distant. Bagnold took the wheel in the leading truck. Months of planning and effort focused on this tough, austere Englishman whose insight, energies and vision had brought them all to this moment of challenge. He showed no emotion, but only the same pervasive practical confidence they had all come to respect. Tension mounted as the New Zealanders saw ahead a high rampart of sand stretching away unbroken to both horizons. Driving closer, they found the barrier rising ever higher above the fiat and rocky plain over which they were lurching. The dazzling yellow glare struck down from the rampart with ever-increasing intensity, blanching the eyes and so magnifying the steepness of the dune that it seemed like a vertical wall hundreds of feet high. Lumbering towards this frightening mountain in trucks carrying over two tons each, the challenge assumed a terrifying immediacy.
Halting the party some distance away, Bagnold let in the clutch and went rolling forward in his single truck to demonstrate the art of assaulting the dunes. Jamming his foot down to the floorboards he sent the heavy vehicle charging at the barrier with engine roaring and speedometer climbing. At 50 mph the wall of glaring yellow came rushing at them alarmingly. Clutching wildly at the dashboard, the man beside Bagnold let out a terrified bellow. "Christ," he yelled, "you're not going to ..." Crashing head on at full tilt into the dune, all wheel motion suddenly seemed to cease. Nose tipping upwards, the truck rose bodily with its cargo as though hoisted from above. "It's the first hundred feet that matters," barked Bagnold above the engine noise. "If you can rush that without wavering you're all right -- if you know where to go."
With a deft, shockless change of gear the truck continued to glide up a long but gentler slope to the crest, where Bagnold slowed and turned quickly. The men with him saw why. A 50-foot precipice of avalanching sand fell away beside them. Braking very gently, Bagnold brought the truck to rest. He'd done it. A ragged cheer went up from the trucks far below them on the plain.
Seconds later Bill Shaw drove his truck up with the same apparent ease. Alarm turned to confidence as the men saw that once again these veteran Englishmen knew what they were doing. Bagnold waved for the rest of them to tackle the climb. He had lectured them on the art of climbing dunes, but it could be learned only by doing it. Nerves of steel and a cast-iron gut were needed to charge that wall at full throttle. The drivers made the almost inevitable mistakes: lack of initial momentum, getting into the tracks of the truck ahead, wild gear-changing at the wrong moment, and trying to restart on the steep up-grade. A chaotic jumble of trucks resulted, their wheels stuck deep in bottomless sand.
Hours of back-breaking labor under the searing sun were needed to free the trucks, reassemble them and get them to the top. Bagnold was everywhere amid the sweating, cursing men, demonstrating, instructing, guiding -- a leader by example. One by one the vehicles were extricated, in a gruelling ordeal that lasted all day. The sun was setting as the last truck reached the top.
They looked westwards over a new and fantastic world of endless repetitive curves. Solid ground could be seen nowhere, submerged as it was to an unknown depth. Range upon parallel range of giant dunes reached away limitlessly to the far horizon, two or three miles apart, like enormous ocean waves about to break but with their motion frozen. In black shadow the setting sun picked out the deep gulfs between each range of dunes. The Great Sand Sea. No more appropriate name was ever given to any natural feature.
Even Bagnold's close friends of prewar years had felt and respected his deep natural reserve, feeling that nine-tenths of the man was essentially hidden. He withdrew by himself now, and sitting propped against a truck he added up the score in the greatest game he would ever play. Distance covered from Dalla: ten miles; distance to the other side: 140 miles of bottomless sand and 40 more of these monumental dune ranges. The trucks could do it, overloaded as they were. He and Bill Shaw had already proved that. The New Zealanders would soon learn. They were adaptable and remarkably intelligent. He comforted himself by remembering the mess his little party had made of their first attempt here ten years ago -- and how they had suddenly got the hang of the new driving art.
Bagnold's main anxiety was the weather. Right now it was good. Temperatures were little more than 100 degrees F in the shade, although things in the sun were too hot to touch. No sand moved in the gentle breeze, but if a "qibli" were to hit them in the Sand Sea, the results could be disastrous. He had once left a truck abandoned for two days, and found it lying on its side at the bottom of a ten-foot-deep scour hole. In a "qibli" the whole surface, now so still, would flow like water. They'd have to keep moving, yet it would be impossible to see through the mist of stinging sand grains, impossible to pick a firm route between dry quick-sands, or to keep men and trucks in sight. The Sand Sea could swallow the patrol under such conditions. Only Bill Shaw among them knew of the weather risk, and he would keep it to himself.
Bagnold began the next day with some short practical lessons. "Once you understand one of these dune ranges," he said, "you understand them all. They're all one family. Look at our tracks... barely half an inch deep. The sand here will take great weight, yet its quite loose. You can run your fingers through it. The reason it's firm is that its surface is streamline to the wind. And the wind has fitted the grains one by one to make the densest possible packing." He pointed to a nearby area. "See that different ripple pattern and the slight change of color? That sand was deposited at random, maybe centuries ago, by avalanching down a dune that has now marched on. Walk over and try it."
Two soldiers walked to the area and sank in nearly to their knees. Once more, the grey-haired Englishman spoke the truth. "Many patches like that," he said, "are covered over like thin ice over water. So keep your speed up, in the hope that your momentum will carry you through. But keep a sharp lookout for sudden precipices like this one. If you get stuck in soft sand, never, never try to get out without putting the channels under the back wheels. Remember that even this firm sand here is loose. Treat it like ice and be very gentle on both brake and clutch."
This learn-as-you-go instruction paid immediate dividends. The patrol covered 40 miles of the Sand Sea the second day. Expertise quickly developed in unsticking bogged trucks, and in foreseeing where the surface was likely to be soft. Confidence increased with skill. On and on they ploughed, until by noon on the third day they emerged triumphant on to a vast, featureless plain of hard, sand-strewn gravel. They were across!
Looking back along their tracks, the men marvelled how anyone could find those narrow ascents on firm sand between so many avalanching sand cliffs. How could any man weave his way so unerringly across that bewildering landscape without a single landmark. How in hell had the major done it? Bagnold overheard some of their incredulous comments and wondered himself how he had been able to pull it off after a lapse of ten years.
Here on the Libyan side of the sands stood Clayton's Cairn, the surveyor's professionally-built pillar of loose stones. No man or animal had since visited the God-forsaken spot where they now stood. The only tracks were Clayton's of ten years previously -- still visible in the gravel. Bagnold's underground route into Libya was still a secret from the enemy. While waiting for Clayton's two patrols from the north to rendezvous, Bagnold mounted a return journey to Dalla for supplies. The men's newly acquired skill showed in the scant seven hours they needed for the trip each way. When Clayton arrived, they had a substantial supply dump at Clayton's Cairn, and the complete mosquito army stood ready for action. Bagnold's bold concept had been vindicated in its most critical phase.
A military force could cross the Great Sand Sea, and in this brand-new fact lay considerable strategic possibilities. The inner desert no longer provided a defensive flank to an enemy attacking along the coast, but instead lay open before Bagnold's little force. The slender north-south lines of communication from the Mediterranean coast to Graziani's bases at Kufra and 'Uweinat in the far south could be harassed at will.
On September 13, 1940, Graziani's Libyan Army crossed the Egyptian frontier on its eastward advance towards Cairo and the Suez Canal. On that same day, Bagnold launched a two-pronged probe westwards into the heart of Libya. Mitford's patrol struck westwards across five degrees of longitude, burning the stocks of petrol found on the chain of landing grounds along the Kufra air route. They examined the motor tracks leading south, and kidnapped a small motor convoy complete with vehicles, supplies and official letters.
Pat Clayton meanwhile struck south-westwards, passing between Kufra and 'Uweinat mountain, right across southeast Libya to make contact with an astonished French outpost of Chad Province in French Equatorial Africa. Skirting the enemy garrison at 'Uweinat, the patrols rendezvoused in the desert and returned via Ain Dalla to Cairo. The prisoners and captured letters were handed over to Intelligence, and proved to be a mine of information for General Wavell. From Clayton's Cairn to Dalla, the patrols had travelled 1,300 miles completely self-contained. 150,000 truck miles had been covered without a single serious breakdown. This was only the beginning.
Other more aggressive raids quickly followed. Enemy desert outposts in the north were bombarded and destroyed, their garrisons routed or taken prisoner. Simultaneously the garrison at 'Uweinat was attacked 500 miles to the south. A collection of aircraft was destroyed on the ground, and a large dump of bombs and ammunition blown up. The attackers seemed to emerge from the fourth dimension to strike and vanish like lethal ghosts. They appeared, struck and disappeared at widely separated points seemingly within hours of each other. British radio monitors in Cairo and elsewhere intercepted enemy messages of alarm and cries for help pouring into Graziani's headquarters from all over eastern Libya.
All Graziani's plans for the conquest of Egypt were based on the assumption, backed by his intelligence reports, that he faced only weak forces. Quick victory and occupation of the Nile Delta were anticipated within a few weeks. Yet within a few days of his first battalions crossing the Egyptian frontier he began getting these disturbing reports of attack -- from a direction he believed to be completely secure. The British seemed to be everywhere, operating at incredible distances from their base. These assaults gave the war situation a new dimension. These far-ranging forces might attack his vital rearward lines of communication. Graziani ceased believing his intelligence reports and their central theme of British weakness. In overwhelming strength, the massive Italian army halted its advance. Wavell's bluff was beginning to succeed.
Exploiting the situation to the full, Wavell ordered the number of patrols to be doubled. Twice as much piracy would spring from the additional patrols. >From Long Range Patrols, the force was given a new designation, Long Range Desert Group (LRDG). The new distinguishing badge, showing a scarab riding a wheel, made its wearers among the most respected soldiers in the Middle East. Volunteers from the Brigade of Guards, Yeomanry regiments, the Rhodesian Army and the Indian Army joined the pioneer New Zealanders.
With the doubling of the patrols came a second carte blanche from Wavell: stir up trouble anywhere in Libya where the enemy can be harassed, attacked, shaken. Bagnold promptly obliged. He mounted an attack on Murzuk and its landing strip 1,100 miles as the crow flies from Cairo and 1,400 miles over the ground. Murzuk and back was far beyond the maximum range even of Bagnold's patrols, but supply dumping by the Free French in Chad under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel d'Ornano, provided the necessary extension of range. (Colonel d'Ornano's "price" for supply assistance was to be permitted to participate in the Murzuk raid. He was killed in action there.)
The brilliant Free French military commander Leclerc, stimulated by what he had heard of the capabilities of the British patrols, soon afterward resolved to capture the Italian stronghold at Kufra Oasis. Kufra was too tough a nut for Bagnold's small force to tackle alone. By a miracle of improvisation, Leclerc overhauled and equipped sufficient local transport to carry a battalion of native Chad troops and two 75-millimeter field guns, together with supplies for the double journey of a thousand miles. The attack on Kufra, backed by Bagnold's patrols, finally cleared the enemy from the whole interior of eastern Libya. The Murzuk and Kufra strikes were timed to coincide with Wavell's counter offensive in the Western Desert. With the time Bagnold's force had won, Wavell had built up his strength, and by February 5, 1941, he had smashed the Italian Army.
From this time until the end of the North African war, at least one patrol of the Long Range Desert Group was always behind enemy lines. The unit doubled in size yet again. An LRDG "private air force" was added, in the form of two WACO monoplanes purchased from an Egyptian pasha, which aided communication with HQ and evacuation of the wounded. The LRDG guided and carried commando units far behind the front to carry out daring raids. With its unrivalled travelling and navigating abilities, the LRDG could place espionage agents at the very gates of Axis-held strong-points almost anywhere in North Africa.
LRDG patrols themselves razed airfields in daring nocturnal raids, destroying hundreds of aircraft on the ground between 1940 and 1943. Beating up Axis supply convoys and mining roads hundreds of miles behind the front was their steady war routine. The LRDG set up "road watch" patrols, often lying within earshot of the enemy and reporting every vehicle, weapon and tank that passed by. This precise intelligence of Rommel's supply position was one of Montgomery's vital tools in the ultimate defeat of the Desert Fox. When Ritter von Thoma, Rommel's deputy, was captured in the Battle of Alam Halfa just before El Alamein, the German general was shocked to learn that Monty knew more about the supply status of the Afrika Korps than he did. Most of this information reached Monty via LRDG road watch patrols.
The patrols continued to penetrate Axis territory pretty well as they chose. In the immensity of the desert their vehicles were rarely spotted. Bagnold's original concept, his detailed development of it, and his far-seeing organization had transformed the inner desert from a text-book "defensive flank" into a serious liability to the enemy.
In action against the Axis forces in North Africa from first to last, the LRDG proved to be the most original, boldly conceived and brilliantly organized "private army" of the war. The success of Bagnold's patrols helped break down official opposition to those commando-type formations, specialist units and "private armies" that fulfil novel and essential roles for which orthodox forces are neither trained nor equipped. The commando idea had been current for half a century or more, but its modern potentialities under special conditions had never been seriously considered. Those at the top seldom possess the special knowledge and experience to judge the probability of success. Luckily for the Allies, and perhaps for the world, Wavell was a commander willing to take risks. Without the stunning success Bagnold achieved, it is doubtful if some of the later private armies would have been authorized.
Unfortunately for Ralph Bagnold, the modernizer of this kind of auxiliary warfare, the modus operandi of his unique force had to be concealed in wartime from the enemy. Security blocked all details of its size and capabilities. Writing about the LRDG was initially forbidden and later heavily censored. For this reason, the LRDG was far less well-known in wartime than other auxiliary forces such as Carlson's Raiders, Wingate's Chindits, Stirling's Parashots or even German Colonel Otto Skorzeny's glider and parachute commandos. All these leaders became world famous.
Bagnold shared the anonymity of the LRDG in wartime. He left the unit in the summer of 1941 to become Inspector of Desert Troops,(note 1
) and shortly afterwards deputy signal-officer-in-chief, with the rank of brigadier. He was decorated for his achievement in forming the LRDG with the Order of the British Empire -- an exceedingly modest award for his unique contribution to the security of the Middle East and the defeat of the Axis. As he left the LRDG in 1941, his name ceased to be associated with it thereafter, except by those who knew the whole story and the true story. Later writers tended to assume that the colorful LRDG had come into existence as though grown on a bush. Bagnold's personal indifference to publicity helped hide him to history, and he was already half-forgotten when his LRDG brought off the classic climax to its career.
From his vantage point on the staff, Bagnold saw the LRDG trigger the end of the North African war, just as it had opened the Allied account in 1940. At Mareth in Tunisia, where Rommel made his final stand, a "left hook" was smashed home against the German forces that ended Axis hopes in Africa forever. This devastating knock-out blow was delivered through country marked "impassable" on military maps. Leading the pulverizing stroke was Major-General Sir Bernard "Tiny" Freyberg, who had given Bagnold the first troops for his patrols -- back when Bagnold was known in Cairo for his "wild ideas." Freyberg had followed a route through "impassable" country found for him by, a patrol of the LRDG.
After the war, Brigadier Ralph Bagnold retired from the army for good, the green tranquillity of the Kentish countryside substituting for the golden wastes on which he found high adventure and fulfillment such as comes the way of few men. A busy and respected member of the British scientific community for decades, his fascination with the mysteries of natural physical processes was endless. He was a longtime consultant in the movement of sediments, beach formation and the like. In the words of Bill Kennedy Shaw: "Dry sand being difficult of access for him, he deals with wet mud."
Although unknown in the United States outside professional circles, in 1969 Bagnold became the first recipient of the G.K. Warren Prize, awarded by the National Academy of Sciences of the USA. The prize recognized his contributions to fluvial geology. In 1970 he was awarded the Penrose Medal of the Geological Society of America. He was further honored by the Geological Society of London with its Wallaston Medal in 1971, and the International Association of Sedimentologists recognized his achievements with its Sorby Medal in 1978. Bagnold died in London on May 28, 1990.
Bagnold's contribution to Allied victory remained but little known or understood even in his native England, which showered honors and historical affection on other desert and commando heroes. He could rightly be called the Allies' hidden hero of the North African conflict. Without his "mosquito columns," events in 1940-41 would have unfolded very differently. The mind boggles at the consequences of the seizure of the Suez canal in the autumn of 1940 by Graziani's massive army. Rommel's army was only a third as large when, two years later, the Desert Fox nearly took Egypt and the canal.
With the slenderest resources, Bagnold and Wavell -- each a visionary in his own way -- aborted the disaster of Egypt and the Middle East being lost in 1940. In modern military history there has rarely if ever been a bluff of such magnitude. Certainly there has never been one pulled with such elegance and finesse as Bagnold's bluff, invested as it was with the conquering power of an idea whose time had come.
1. Prewar companion and pilot Guy Prendergast relieved Bagnold as commanding officer (CO) of the LRDG, and happily flew half of the unit's "air force," which consisted of two WACO monoplanes. In the Bagnold tradition, Prendergast was the most mobile CO in the North African theater.
"Bagnold's Bluff" is a lightly edited version of a chapter of my book Hidden Heroes, published in 1971 by Arthur Barker, Ltd. (London). That was during the Vietnam war era when military men were widely disdained in America, and soldiers were sometimes even spat upon. The US market for military history was poor, and I went on to other things. Thus, Ralph Bagnold remained in the obscurity to which wartime security originally consigned him. The story of his remarkable strategic bluff in the fall of 1940 has therefore remained essentially unknown in the United States, and this essay is presented here to an American readership for the first time.
In August 1940, more than 200,000 Italian troops were massed on Libya's frontier with Egypt, poised to seize Cairo and the Suez Canal and thereby threatening the loss of the entire Middle East to the Axis. The strategic and geopolitical consequences of such a loss would have been incalculable. Nothing better points up the appalling weakness of the British defenders at that time than the fact that when Bagnold drew weapons for his patrols from the available supply, he found just three Vickers machine guns remaining as the total reserve for the entire Middle East. General Wavell used more guile than guns when he sent Bagnold's mosquito columns to raise hell on Graziani's supposedly secure right flank. History has certainly credited Wavell fairly for his February 1941 defeat of the Italians, but it was Bagnold's Bluff that caused wavering, apprehension and irresolution in the Italian command, despite the overwhelming numerical and material superiority of its forces.
The story of Ralph Bagnold strikingly points up how individuals can and do critically shape events of world importance, and thus make a real difference in history. This extraordinary man has never been given proper public credit for his enterprising role in keeping Egypt and the vital Suez Canal from Axis hands, and thus in altering the war's entire course. During the war years, the story of Bagnold's dune-crossing route to inner Libya had to remain secret. And while his patrol force was successively expanded, in 1941 Bagnold himself was promoted away to a lower-profile post, and thereby lost to history. While Wavell has received well-deserved acclaim for his victory over the Italians, Bagnold's key role in Wavell's strategic deception has remained veiled.
In writing this piece, I am grateful above all to Ralph Bagnold himself, with whom I had extensive correspondence. My long research on the Long Range Desert Group convinced me that the most fascinating of the many stories the unit generated was that of its creation, from absolute zero, in beleaguered 1940. As a retired Brigadier, Bagnold kindly assisted me with illuminating detail, which has appeared nowhere else, about this crucial start-up period. A gentleman of formidable intelligence, he kindly vetted my drafts of "Bagnold's Bluff," and provided valuable additions.
My good fortune, also as a young writer in the 1960s, was to become a corespondent of William Boyd Kennedy Shaw, former Major and LRDG Intelligence Officer. His book, Long Range Desert Group, published in 1945 by Collins (London), remains the basic work on the subject. An archaeologist and Arabic scholar, Shaw had been one of Bagnold's dependable companions on the prewar expeditions into the Libyan Sand Sea, and beyond, which completed the primary exploration of that region. Through this ineffable gentleman, I was able to contact former Major Pat Clayton, another member of Bagnold's prewar exploration group who later helped him organize the LRDG, as well as retired Captain Richard Lawson, former LRDG medical officer, who kindly loaned me his precious photo negatives of the period.
I am indebted to all these late gentleman for their generous and heart-warming aid.
About the author:
Trevor J. Constable, born in New Zealand in 1925, has an international reputation as an aviation historian. With Colonel Raymond F. Toliver, he has authored a number of successful works on fighter aviation and ace fighter pilots. He has lived in the United States since 1952. He now makes him home in southern California.
Bibliographic information Author:
Constable, Trevor J. Title:
Bagnold's Bluff Source:
The Journal for Historical Review
(Institute for Historical Review
March/April 1999 Issue:
Volume 18 number 2 Location:
Page 6 ISSN:
0195-6752 Attribution: "Reprinted from The Journal of Historical Review
, PO Box 2739, Newport Beach, CA 92659, USA. Domestic subscriptions $40 per year; foreign subscriptions $50 per year."