Monday, May 23, 2005
Churchill apparently felt that he had to contest every German attack
The Greek adventure where the British and ANZAC forces went into Greece, starting as early as late 1940 can be rationalized since they quite rightfully believe that they would only face Italians. In fact, the Italian assault was blunted, which was the excuse for the Germans to come in and rescure the situation. Still, the whole operation into Greece and the withdrawal to Crete was part of the overall collapse of Churchill's strategic vision. He was really geared to fighting Italians, not Germans. His forces could mop up the Italians in East Africa and eastern Libya with considerable ease, although with a sustained effort. The expedition to Greece dashed the opportunity to take all of Libya before the Germans arrived in strength. After the Germans, lead by Rommel, arrived in Libya, the British and Commonwealth forces were set back on their heels, as there was no one on the British side commanding armies in the field who had the skill and energy of Rommel. General O'Connor might have done well, but he was bagged early in the German attack. Auchinleck could do well, but he was tied up as theater commander.