Thursday, February 09, 2006

General Paulus's assessment in May 1941

General Paulus wrote a report submitted on 12 May 1941. He thought that the main issue was the supply situation. The tactical situation was difficult, but the supply line needed to be made secure. Otherwise, the a crisis was inevitable. The port of Benghazi was so damaged that Tripoli would have to handle the great bulk of supplies. Adequate air defenses of the ports was critical, as Benghazi was especially vulnerable. The current need for the troops in Libya was 50,000 tons per month, although perhaps only 30,000 was needed for the current use, while the rest was to build up stocks for further advances. By attacking, Rommel had increased the instability of the Axis position in North Africa. This is based on the account in Vol.II of the Official History.

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