Thursday, May 26, 2005

O'Connor hoped that the victory at Beda Fomm would gain him permission to take the rest of Libya

The odds were stacked against him, but General O'Connor hoped that winning at Beda Fomm would gain him permission to advance further. The Italians were is disarray, and had taken considerable losses in the process. They had lost 20,000 prisoners, 112 medium tanks (M11/39 and M13/40), 216 guns, and 1500 cars and trucks.

The problem was Greece. Churchill was eager to go into Greece and to help them fight Germans, if and when they were attacked. Churchill warned General Wavell that his overriding priority needed to be to aid Greece and possibly Turkey. He was to halt his advance into Libya, so that he had resources to send to the Balkans. Just possibly, O'Connor might have been able to advance far enough to forestall any German reinforcements, but it was not to be. Within a month, Rommel, and his advance forces, were in Libya, scouting out the British positions.

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