Thursday, September 15, 2005
In January 1941, Wavell's stall believed that capturing Tripoli was feasible
Major-General de Guingand, who had been a Lt-Colonel on Wavell's staff in early 1941, reported that they had believed in January 1941, after the fall of Tobruk and Benghazi, that taking Tripoli was achievable. After the war, General Wavell had written that the logistical probelms, along with worn-out tanks would have precluded the further advance. General Dill, who had long had a defeatist attitude, reportedly, was also against a further advance. We will never know for sure, but the British leadership squandered the opportunity to try, as they allowed time for Rommel and his German reinforcements to be shipped to Tripoli. Rommel was quick to take advantage of British weakness and vacillation by the higher command.