Monday, June 12, 2006
Churchill was unhappy with RAF staffing plans for the Middle East
Convoy capacity from Great Britain to the Middle East never was great enough for the demand. By the summer of 1941, the Chiefs of Staff had wanted to send 35,000 men to the Middle East to build up the RAF there, to correct the shortages and shortcomings. Churchill was resistant, because he wanted to send army troops instead. In stead of 35,000 men, he wanted that number to be reduced to 20,000. The 35,000 men was intended to aid the buildup to 62-1/2 squadrons, including 17 new fighter squadrons. Churchill was also unhappy with the total planned number of 85,000 men, which he considered to be excessive. Even without the 17 new fighter squadrons, the need was to build to about 74,000 men. This is based on the account in Vol.II of the Official History.