Tuesday, March 14, 2006

General Wavell stops being cooperative

General Wavell had acquiesced with many things to which he might have objected more vigorously. Now, on something that seems obviously the right thing to do, he balked. On 2 May 1941, the Defence Committee, in Britain, decided that the Middle East should be in control of operations in Iraq. General Wavell immediately started whining about the prospect and recommending negotiating with the Axis sympathizer, Rashid Ali. Thankfully, he was overruled, and he was told to go through the motions of preparing what would look like a large force to send to Iraq. What there actually was that was available was one mechanized brigade from the 1st Cavalry Division (incomplete in equipment), one field regiment, one motorized infantry battalion, "three machanized squadrons of the Transjordan Frontier Force". The combination would be called "Habforce". This is based on the account in Vol.II of the Official History.

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