The news of the destruction of Guernica, and the statement that it was the direct result of an air attack on a market day, was contained in a telegram to The Times from its special correspondent, Mr G.L. Steer. The wording suggested that he had been an eye-witness of the events he described. Subsequent messages made it clear that he had not, in fact, been within many miles of Guernica at the time of its destruction, and that he had relied for his vivid narrative upon the panic-stricken reports of refugees. He did not, on his own showing, reach Guernica till 2 a.m. on April 27th, some six or six and a half hours after the alleged bombardment had ceased, and even then be was not allowed in the centre of the town. Having claimed that it had been destroyed by air, Mr Steer stuck to his story, and has since published a book in which without adducing any new evidence, he repeats his version of events.21
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