Saturday, May 13, 2006
As soon as General Auchinleck arrived, Churchill was pressing for a new offensive
General Auchinleck had been in India, prior to taking over from General Wavell as the theater commander for the Army. Churchill was already asking him if a new offensive could be mounted, partly to take advantage of the German preoccupation with Russia. Political considerations were largely behind the desire for an offensive. In Britain, they did not want to do nothing, so if Russia defeated Germany that they could claim to have done so without British help. They were also concerned that if Russia were defeated, that Britain could have been said to have done nothing to help. When Auchinleck seemed unresponsive, he and Air Marshal Tedder were called to Britain to discuss the situation. This is based on the account in Vol.II of the Official History.