Monday, September 19, 2005
The air force was stripped from O'Connor's force
The air force units attached to O'Connor's army had been largely stripped by the third week in February. There had been four Hurricane squadrons and three Blenheim squadrons. Gavin Long writes that should have been sufficient to establish ascendency over anything that the Germans would have had in February and March. Instead, there was just the No.3 Squadron RAAF at Benina. No.73 Squadron was at Gazala. In East Africa, General Wavell allowed the forces there to continue to advance against the Italians, while the forces in Cyrenaica were stopped and reduced. This is based on the account in To Benghazi.