Saturday, June 11, 2005

Operation Hats in August 1940 and other reinforcements for the Middle East

The decision was made to send reinforcements to the Middle East. Churchill was presented with a list of units and equipment that would be included in the shipment. They included the following:
  • 3rd Hussars with light tanks
  • 2nd battalion of the Royal Tank Regiment with cruiser tanks
  • 7th battalion of the Royal Tank Regiment with 50 infantry tanks
  • 48-2pdr anti-tank guns
  • 20-Bofors 40mm light anti-aircraft guns
  • 48-25pdr guns
  • 500 Bren guns
  • 250 0.55in Boys anti-tank rifles
  • 50,000 anti-tank mines
  • 300 tons of spare parts and equipment
The navy was preparing an operation to reinforce the Eastern Mediterranean, so the plan was to include four 16 knot transports carrying the supplies and vehicles. The operation was called "Hats", and involved the Mediterranean fleet and Force H, based at Gibraltar. The navy became increasingly concerned about risking the fleet to escort a convoy at 15 knots, and their view eventually prevailed, causing the army convoy to be sent around the Cape, to arrive in late September at Suez. After the Prime Minister saw the success of Hats, minus the tanks and equipment, he insisted in 1941, on sending them through the Mediterranean in the Tiger Convoy. This is based on Vol.I of the Official History and Winston Churchill's Their Finest Hour.

1 comment:

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