Saturday, September 17, 2005

What if?

Gavin Long writes in To Benghazi that if O'Connor had been allowed to take Sirte, and "had advanced from there on the 20th [of February, 1941] with full naval and air support, as he wished to do, Hiter would have ceasied reinforcing the Italians and O'Connor would have rapidly occupied Tripolitania and defeated its garrison". As Gavin Long puts it, however, Churchill was focused on the Balkans and wouldn't even consider a further advance. In any case, as a consequence of Churchill's plans, the British and Australian forces had largely vacated western Cyrenaica, and had left a token occupying force that would be easily routed.

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